Sports Illustrated celebrates 60th anniversary of its ‘Swimsuit Edition’

Martha Stewart. Christie Brinkley. Tyra Banks.

These are just three of the models who have graced the cover of Sports Illustrated’s famous — and at times controversial — “Swimsuit Edition.” Now, to celebrate the special issue’s 60th year in print, the magazine has unveiled seven new covers featuring 27 women and reuniting past cover models for a “Legends” photo shoot.

Kate Upton, Chrissy Teigen, plus-size model Hunter McGrady, and CBS News host Gayle King all posed for their own solo covers. (This marks the fourth time Upton has appeared on the magazine’s cover, and the second time for Teigen.)

The remaining three “Legends” covers feature alumni including Chanel Iman, Maye Musk, Megan Rapinoe and Winnie Harlow, among others, as well as snowboarder (and gold medal-winning Paralympian) Brenna Huckaby, the first amputee model to appear in the “Swimsuit Edition” and Halima Aden, the first hijabi model.

In a news release, Sports Illustrated editor-in-chief MJ Day said that the “Swimsuit Edition” has “transcended its origins.”

What “began as a mere diversion in the winter months when the sports calendar was relatively empty” is now “a global symbol of empowerment, diversity and positivity.”

“We’ve done our best to honor women of all shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds,” said Day. “We’ve strived to reshape societal norms and redefine the standards of beauty. This year’s issue does just that.”

Model and TV personality Chrissy Teigen appears on one of the anniversary edition's seven covers.
A total of 27 women are featured across the new covers. Pictured above, model Hunter McGrady.

Sports Illustrated debuted its first-ever “Swimsuit Edition” started in 1963, with a young German model named Babette March on the cover, pictured frolicking on a beach in Mexico in a white bikini.

Since then, the yearly special issue has become a mainstay. It has at times attracted criticism because of its focus on women’s bodies.

Over the past few years, the magazine has included a more diverse range of fashion models in its pages, including trans models Leyna Bloom and Valentina Sampaio (as well as the trans singer Kim Petras), older models like Musk, and plus-size models like Ashley Graham and McGrady. The magazine has also expanded its portfolio of cover stars to feature musicians, athletes and celebrities like Beyoncé, Kim Kardashian, Naomi Osaka and Megan Thee Stallion.

“With each passing year, we have challenged ourselves to push boundaries and redefine what it means to be Sports Illustrated Swimsuit,” said Day in the news release.

“While this year’s issue is a tribute to the recent past, it’s also a reminder of the work we must continue to do. We must remind women to challenge the status quo, to celebrate strength and confidence, and to inspire those around us to embrace their uniqueness and pursue their passions fearlessly.”

Source of news and images https://edition.cnn.com/

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