[New York, NY] Right now, a 19-year-old beauty from Florida is the hottest girl on the planet, likely the topic of conversation du jour around the water cooler this week. And at the bar. And on the subway, the bus, airports – everywhere men (and even women) gather.
Melbourne native Kate Upton graces – and we do mean graces – the cover of the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, easily one of the most-viewed covers in the magazine industry every year. The much-celebrated issue hit newsstands Tuesday.
The cover was unveiled on Monday night’s Late Show With David Letterman. Watch that here.
She is simply stunning in a barely-there bikini, flaunting all of her natural, ahem, assets. It is the type of picture that breeds lifelong fans, turns boys into men and creates stalkers out of normally reasonable adults. Upton is now a certified legend, forever part of pop culture’s fabric.
She’s just on a magazine cover and in a few hot photos – jeez – what’s the big deal?
“The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit franchise reaches more than 70 million people annually, and more men 18 to 34 than the Super Bowl,” reads the press materials. “The iconic franchise now spans more than 20 product extensions in digital social, broadcast, publishing, mobile and consumer products.”
That’s the big deal. Not to mention the cover is a bona fide jumping-off point to a successful career in TV, fashion, business or film – and sometimes all four.
Kate Upton is in good company, for sure – household names such as Kathy Ireland, Christie Brinkley, Cheryl Tiegs, Heidi Klum, Elle MacPherson and Tyra Banks have all been SISI cover models. You can hardly go a day within seeing or hearing about one of these women in the media.
Kate Upton on the cover of the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue
So get used to 5′-10″ Kate Upton, who was actually born in Michigan, but raised in Melbourne. For her cover debut, Upton was photographed by legendary SI photographer Walter Iooss Jr. in Sydney, Australia.
“That was one of the first photos from the first shoot,” Upton told Florida Today. “It was my favorite swimsuit. … I felt sexy in it but confident.”
Amazing … confident was the first thing that came to our minds as well. Upton is featured in the section dubbed “The Gulf” which shines the spotlight on the region from historic Apalachicola. It is actually just a bunch of hotties in skimpy bathing suits that just so happen to be in Apalachicola.
And because of all the advances in technology, there are a gazillion ways to see Kate Upton and the other models in action. There’s a supercharged tablet edition that works across many platforms – iPad, Kindle, Nook, Android smartphones, etc – and features more than 150 photos and 2 hours of video.
And then there’s possibly the best use of technology ever: an iPhone app that gives Apple owners a “360 degree view of bodypainted athletes.”
“You will see innovation on every Swimsuit platform this year,” said Terry McDonell, Editor Time Inc. Sports Group. “The magazine tablet app showcases the highest levels of photography through scrolling-panoramic sequences, we created a new music section on SI.com, and on your iPad and iPhone the 360 degree views of bodypaint will offer an entirely new perspective on Swimsuit.”
Catch more of Kate Upton here. See you tomorrow sometime. Maybe.
By: Mark Christopher/Sunshine Slate
Images: Sports Illustrated