Speculation ramped up after Instagram pics surfaced of a bikini-clad brunette model on a tropical photo shoot

By Alex Heigl
January 21, 2014 02:45 PM
Credit: Omar Reyes/Landov

Emily Ratajkowski was pretty much an unknown until her appearance in Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” video in 2013.

The song was one of the year’s inescapable hits, and the video – notably featuring a topless Ratajkowski – has been viewed more than 257 million times.

Such a reaction has led many to speculate that Sports Illustrated would be featuring Ratajkowski in its 50th anniversary swimsuit issue, which hits newsstands Feb. 11.

In December, veteran SI swimsuit-issue editor MJ Day posted Instagrams of a brunette model on a tropical shoot, though stopped short of identifying Ratajkowski.

Coincidentally, the same day editor Day was Instagramming maybe-Ratajkowski, the model herself put up a photo from some tropical location, saying she’d arrived in “paradise.”

This prompted photographer Dax Balladares to Tweet a possible spoiler at Ratajkowski.

NBC and Time Inc. have partnered to present a two-hour TV special celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sports Illustrated‘s swimsuit franchise – one of the most hotly-anticipated annual fixtures in American pop culture. “Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years of Beautiful” is set to air on NBC, Monday, Feb. 3 at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

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