Well, now it’s official! After days of rumors, Kate Upton‘s Sports Illustrated cover is out on newsstands.
All we can say is: DAYUM. Girl looks good–and she’s a welcome variation from the super-skinny models like Bar Rafaeli and Petra Nemcova who have previously dominated the covers. Turns out her lightening speed fast rise to fame is also off the beaten path: Upton owes her success not to a chance encounter with a scouting agent, but to, well, the Dougie (yes, like the dance), according to the New York Times. We’ll explain: About a year ago, Upton uploaded a video of herself doing the Dougie, and before she knew it calls from casting agents started rolling in. Now, she’s snagged one of the most coveted positions in the biz: The Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover.
“We all know that social media now creates its own reality,” Wayne Sterling, the publisher of Models.com, told the New York Times. “If you become a YouTube star among teenagers, you have even more recognizability than a TV star. Kate Upton is the perfect example of that.”
And despite the fact that her all-American, voluptuous look contrasts with fashion’s “robotic Eastern European beauty ideal,” Upton has caught the eye of more than a few industry insiders. “Kate is bigger than fashion,” Ivan Bart, the “superagent” who heads IMG Models, told the paper. “She’s the Jayne Mansfield of the Internet.”
Not everyone is a fan though. Sophia Neophitou, who casts the Victoria’s Secret runway show, said of Upton: “We would never use her. She’s like a footballer’s wife, with the too-blond hair and that kind of face that anyone with enough money can go out and buy.” Ouch.
To her credit, Upton isn’t fazed by all the factors working against her. “People told me I couldn’t be fashion, that I’m just an old-fashioned body girl, only good for swimwear,” she told the paper. “But I knew that I could bring back the supermodel.”
“Social media brings a personality to models,” she added. “That’s how consumers today decide what to buy.”
We, for one, are happy to see Upton on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and we hope this marks a trend toward both curvier and social media savvy models. We just have one problem: Is it just us or do her teeny-tiny bikini bottoms make you a little uncomfortable? As in how-much-of-her-vagina-did-they-have-to-photoshop-out uncomfortable?