The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is out.
And, newsflash, Kate Upton is the covergirl ... again!
We kid you not. The world found out on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Tuesday night.
Upton, a 24-year-old model-turned-actress, is cute and all. But isn't this just a little bit of Upton overkill?
Last year, Sports Illustrated made a bold and welcome move when it featured real women on the cover of its most-coveted annual issue. Curvy, bikini-clad Hailey Clauson, Ashley Graham, and Ronda Rousey each had their own covers, and by association, their bodies were touted as aspirational. (Though former SI swimsuit model Cheryl Tiegs said she thought Graham's weight wasn't healthy.)
But there was a sense of validation that real women with real bodies were starting to matter. Maybe we could stop feeling the pressure to eat celery for lunch every day.
Sports Illustrated's choice to put Upton on the cover for the third time -- she joins the ranks of pale-skinned bombshells Tiegs, Kathy Ireland, Daniela Pestova, and Christie Brinkley-- makes us feel again like it's business as usual. (Brinkley, by the way, is also featured in the magazine with her daughters Alexa Rae Joel and Sailor Brinkley Cook.)
Hey Valentines! We're on the Today Show Tomorrow! 8:00 hour and then again at 10:00 #nbctoday #thetodayshow @thetodayshow @nbctodaysh @si_swimsuit @alexarayjoel @sailorbrinkleycook and Tomorrow Houston I'm bringing my Bellissima ����let's have Fun! @bellissimaprosecco #houstonvibes��
A post shared by Christie Brinkley (@christiebrinkley) on Feb 14, 2017 at 6:28pm PST
The irony is that this Sports Illustrated issue -- which, like last year, features three covers, all of Upton -- is supposed to celebrate beauty in every shape. Upton may not be a waif -- although it looks like her tummy was seriously Photoshopped -- but Upton's brand of beauty is pretty standard. Why not really shake it up and take one of those inside shots of tennis great Serena Williams and put her on one of the covers?
A post shared by Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) on Feb 15, 2017 at 6:30am PST
On a strictly fashion note, the styling on this particular trifecta of Upton covers is impeccable.
Wow, I feel so honored and excited to be back with Sports Illustrated!! Thank you @si_swimsuit and @mj_day for inviting me to be part of an issue that features and celebrates beauty and confidence in every shape and size #siswim17 #grateful
A post shared by Kate Upton (@kateupton) on Feb 14, 2017 at 9:53pm PST
The sequin moto jacket (who knew that was considered a bathing suit?), the barely-there white one-piece, and the belly-dancing ensemble were fire.