When Kate Upton’s GQ cover hit this morning, we’re sure ours weren’t the only jaws to drop. There are few models who look (or move!) like Kate. Likewise, there are few models who have enjoyed such a meteoric rise to fame and success.
But make no mistake: Upton is by no means just a benefactor of good luck (or bountiful breasts). She’s very much a star of her own making, and her career decisions–starting with the fateful day she posted that Dougie video to YouTube–have helped her carve out an image and public following that is truly unlike any other model: She managed to parlay a popular YouTube clip to propel her ho-hum modeling career into the supermodel stratosphere, becoming a favorite of fashionistas like Katie Grand and Carine Roitfeld and lad mags alike. Taking cues from reality TV, she plays up her blond bombshell, sometimes even ditzy, personality with a wink–and now she’s poised to become a household name.
So how exactly did she do it? Read on for a look at the ups and downs of Upton’s career–and how she harness the power of social media to ensure she’d be more than just a good set of you-know-whats.