Story at a glance

  • Sports Illustrated celebrated the upcoming release of its famous swimsuit issue with an inclusive runway show at South Beach’s Mondrian Hotel on Saturday.
  • Saturday’s runway featured 57-year-old model Kathy Jacobs, social media influencer Natalie Mariduena, actress and model Saje Nicole, among others.
  • The 2021 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition will be available on stands July 19.

Sports Illustrated kicked off the upcoming release of its famous swimsuit issue with an inclusive runway show at South Beach’s Mondrian Hotel on Saturday.

While in its past the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition was known for its roundup of new and established supermodels, usually of the stereotypical tall and thin-framed model physique, in recent years the magazine has begun to take steps to diversify its swimsuit edition.

In 2016, Ashley Graham became the first plus-sized model to grace the cover of the swimsuit issue. In 2019, soccer phenom Megan Rapinoe became the first openly gay woman to appear in the issue.


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


“The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit franchise is all about empowerment and is a platform championing diversity, inclusion and positive change,” the magazine stated in its reveal of its 15 finalists for the 2021 models, adding, “As our audience evolves, as the conversation around beauty, size, race and gender change, we are working even harder to celebrate unique beauty and draw awareness to inspiring stories that might otherwise go untold. The Swim Search finalists include athletes, models, entrepreneurs, students, moms and more. We hope our readers can see something in themselves through the stories of these individuals.”

Saturday’s runway featured 57-year-old model Kathy Jacobs, social media influencer Natalie Mariduena, actress and model Saje Nicole, and personal chef Chelsea Heath, among others.

The 2021 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition will be available on-stands July 19.


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

DAVID HASSELHOFF'S DAUGHTER BECOMES FIRST PLUS-SIZE COVER MODEL IN PLAYBOY HISTORY

‘QUEER EYE’ CAST FACED ‘BLATANT’ HATE FILMING IN TEXAS

BURGER KING DECLARES WAR ON CHICK-FIL-A OVER LGBTQ+ RIGHTS AND CHICKEN SANDWICHES

TV STAR APOLOGIZES FOR BEING QUEEN OF ‘RACIST, SEXIST AND ELITIST’ ORGANIZATION’S PAGEANT

TV STARS CHIP AND JOANNA GAINES DONATE TO CAMPAIGN AGAINST CRITICAL RACE THEORY IN SCHOOLS

Published on Jul 12, 2021