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Kate Upton Lands Her Third Sports Illustrated Cover

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Becoming the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover lady is kind of a big deal, especially if it’s not your first time at the rodeo. As you might have found out during the Valentine’s Day edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kate Upton will become only the fourth woman in history to grace a SI cover three times. The other three women on this short and exclusive list are Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks and Christie Brinkley. Elle Macpherson still holds the all-time record with five cover appearances.

kate upton

Bryan Steffy/Getty Images

And just to make the occasion even more special, this year’s Swimsuit issue will have three different covers featuring Kate Upton. As SI Swimsuit editor MJ Day explained, they were trying a lot of different looks at the shooting, and each photo seemed better than the last one. If it was any other model, they would have probably stuck with a single cover. You can take a closer look at all three covers right here:

Of course, Upton and Sports Illustrated go way back. In 2011, she was named SI’s Rookie of the Year after appearing in the body paint section of the annual Swimsuit issue. She followed that up with back-to-back Swimsuit covers in 2012 and 2013 and an appearance in the Swimsuit Legends class of 2014.

kate upton

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

Upon receiving the good news, Upton took to Instagram to say how honored and excited she was to be back on the SI cover. She was particularly pleased in regards to the issue’s biggest theme: celebrating beauty of all shapes and sizes. According to Upton, one of her biggest passions in life is inspiring women to love themselves by finding a good balance between working hard and having fun.

kate upton

Donald Bowers/Getty Images for Make Up For Ever

This year’s Swimsuit issue features many other notables, including Olympians Aly Raisman and Simone Biles, former cover girl Chrissy Teigen and tennis champ Serena Williams. The aforementioned 63-year-old Christie Brinkley also makes an appearance with her two adult daughters, Sailor Brinkley and Alexa Ray Joel. In addition to that, this year’s issue will mark the first time SI has used non-models in its ads.

That leaves just one tiny problem with this issue: Upton isn’t actually wearing a swimsuit on any of these three covers. As Jimmy Kimmel and CNN anchor Jake Tapper were quick to point out, the bathing suits she’s wearing do look somewhat impractical. Then again, the Swimsuit Edition was never really about the swimsuits themselves. As long as the magazine’s sending the right message, we probably shouldn’t get too hung up on the technicalities.

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