Martha Stewart, 81, becomes oldest Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover model
Martha Stewart has become Sports Illustrated’s oldest cover model ever, posing for the magazine’s annual swimsuit edition at the age of 81.
The television personality and cook is one of four cover models for this year’s issue, which aims to celebrate powerful women who “live in a world where they feel no limitations, internally or externally”. The other models were actor Megan fox, model Brooks Nader and musician Kim Petras.
“When I heard that I was going to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, I thought: ‘Oh, well that’s pretty good.’ I’m gonna be the oldest person, I think, ever on the cover of Sports Illustrated,’” Stewart said in an interview about the cover.
“And I don’t think about age very much, but I thought that this is kind of historic and that I better look really good.”
Stewart, who was photographed in the Dominican Republic by Ruven Afanador, was asked what Snoop Dogg, a friend and frequent collaborator, would think of her cover. She laughed and said: “Snoop is going to just think that it is fantastic.”
Stewart’s cover shoot means she is now the oldest woman to ever pose for Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue, surpassing Elon Musk’s mother, the model Maye Musk, who posed in 2022 when she was 74.
“My motto has always been: ‘when you’re through changing, you’re through,’ so I thought, why not be up for this opportunity of a lifetime?” Stewart wrote on Instagram. “I hope this cover inspires you to challenge yourself to try new things, no matter what stage of life you are in.”
Stewart, deemed the “OG of influencers” by Sports Illustrated, rose to fame in the 1980s when she started to write cookbooks and appear on television after her success as a chef. Since then, Stewart has written 99 books, hosted multiple cooking shows, launched her own lifestyle magazine and released her own lines of clothing, cooking and home products.
“Never in her life has she let her circumstances dictate her outcome,” Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s editor-in-chief, MJ Day, said of Stewart. “She’s changed with the times – always one step ahead, it seems – to build a wide-reaching business empire.”
Petras is just the second trans woman to appear on the Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover, following model Leyna Bloom, who in 2021 also became the first trans person of colour to ever appear in Sports Illustrated.
“No matter what your gender or sexuality or any of that stuff is, it’s about what you make of life,” Petras said, in a video about her cover shoot. “It’s about what’s inside of you.”