At 81 years old, homemaker and entrepreneur Martha Stewart set a record for becoming the oldest model for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
“When I heard that I was going to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, I thought, ‘Oh, that’s pretty good, I’m going to be the oldest person I think ever on a cover of Sports Illustrated,’” Stewart told the publication. “And I don’t think about age very much, but I thought that this is kind of historic.”
On the “Today” show, Stewart unveiled the cover and explained to Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb how this photo shoot came to be. Just a few months before the January shot, in November 2022, she described how she was contacted. That was a request I’ve never received before, said Stewart. Being on the cover at my age was difficult. And I believe I was successful.
She was able to overcome the issue by starting a pilates program and refraining from “any bread or pasta for a couple of months,” but she appreciated how flexible and supportive the Sports Illustrated crew was of her.
“They tell you you look okay. That’s nice. They sort of reinforce that it’s okay to be doing what you’re doing.”
At first, Stewart, 81, was a little hesitant, but she went on to explain to Guthrie and Kotb that she had agreed to this because she saw her late-life endeavors as chances to be “successfully living.” Stewart said, “I think all of us should think about good living, successfully living and not aging. The whole aging thing is so boring. You know what I mean?”
Stewart joins actress Megan Fox, musician Kim Petras, and Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Brooks Nader as women who have appeared on the cover of the magazine’s swimsuit issue for 2023.