Kate Upton Is a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition Triple Threat

For her third marquee appearance, model gets three covers

Tuesday was a big day for the Kate Upton household. While fiance Justin Verlander logged his first day of spring training in Florida for the Detroit Tigers, the model joined Jimmy Kimmel in Los Angeles to reveal her Sports Illustrated 2017 Swimsuit Edition covers. There are three of them.

Swimsuit Edition editor MJ Day tells sister publication Time that it has not been as easy, for Upton, as it looks:

“She was a kid when she landed that first cover in 2012, and she was publicly eviscerated by many people for not having a typical body type or a typical look, and she took it in great strides. She’s definitely developed herself over the past five years into a really special woman. She became this catalyst for body inclusivity and body diversity, because she was not the norm at the time.” …

“There’s definitely a stigma attached to this magazine. It’s unfortunate. I ended the magazine with what I think is a really important photo–it’s Nina Agdal, and she has a wet t-shirt on, and the t-shirt says, “You don’t have to be modest in order to be respected.” I really believe that. No one should be telling women what they need to look like to be beautiful, or what they need to wear to be respected. How you look, how you dress and how you want to be perceived is your own choice–it’s you, doing you.

During Upton’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, the host trotted out several SI Swimsuit Edition gag covers, most notably one pairing her with a playful Guillermo. After Kimmel joked that one of the model’s cover outfits looks less like a swimsuit and more like a “hammock that has been torn to bits,” she noted that another cover ensemble is just a necklace.

Addendum (Feb. 15):
Speaking of issue editor Day, she has posted a video of herself in a swimsuit to help kick off a campaign with the hashtag #WhatIModel. It’s a partnership between SI, Health magazine and Instagram community Women in Real Life.

Previously on Fishbowl:
Christie Brinkley’s Latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition Is a Family Affair