The 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is expected to be read by an estimated 70 million adults. And by adults I mean males.
Sports Illustrated unveiled a billboard of the cover across from the Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan, where Kate Upton was shown to be the model selected for the front of the edition on Late Night with David Letterman on Monday.
According to USA Today, Upton now joins the ranks of other models who have appeared on the SI cover, including: Kathy Ireland, Christie Brinkley, Cheryl Tiegs, Elle MacPherson, Tyra Banks and Brooklyn Decker, and last year’s cover model, Irina Shayk.
The 5-foot-11 Upton was born in Michigan but raised in Florida. Time reports that she has done modeling programs for Garage and Guess, swimsuit line Beach Bunny, and made a commercial for Sobe beverages last year.
According to CNBC, Upton turned down an opportunity to try modeling at age 12 because she was involved in the American Paint Horse Association horse circuit. She got her first modeling break in Miami when she was 15.
“If you have a curvy figure, you’re automatically going to get more bathing suits and lingerie work,” Upton said, according to the New York Daily News. “Because I started in Miami, I was always comfortable in that.”
According to the International Business Times, a YouTube video of Upton doing the "Dougie" during a Los Angeles Clippers game in 2011 quickly went viral and has picked up over 3 million views. Earlier today, a Youtube video of her Sports Illustrated outtakes was posted.
She has already been linked to rapper Kanye West, and New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.
And in somewhat of an odd pairing, Upton appeared on the Today show Tuesday morning with domestic goddess and dog lover Martha Stewart, who happened to be at the Westminster Dog Show at Madison Square Garden. Stewart tweeted a photo of the two dog lovers together.
The cover shot was taken in Australia, but models also went to Apalachicola, Florida for photo shoots. Diane Smith, editor for the SI swimsuit edition, said it became a goal of the magazine to go to the Gulf Coast. She told USA Today, "We thought we could really help a region that needs to be showcased."