Supermodel Kate Upton, who was named the 2013 Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover girl, tweeted a first look at herself in body paint.
Upton, 20, couldn't contain her excitement at being the first SI swimsuit model to adorn back-to-back covers since Tyra Banks did in 1996 and 1997. "I'm so FREAKING EXCITED about this issue!" Kate gushed.
Sports Illustrated's decision to make Upton its cover girl for the second consecutive year has raised eyebrows because the buxom 5-foot-10 Kate is curvier than its recent cover models. Ironically, Upton was rejected as a runway model for the annual Victoria Secret's fashion show because her look was considered tacky and pedestrian.
“We would never use [Upton for a Victoria’s Secret show]," casting agent Sophia Neophitou told the NYTimes. “She’s like a footballer’s wife, with the too-blonde hair and that kind of face that anyone with enough money can go out and buy ... She’s like a Page 3 girl ... too obvious."
In July 2012, a pro-anorexia blogger made headlines after she called Kate a fat pig and compared her to a cow with "huge thighs, NO waist, big fat floppy boobs and terrible body definition."
She also wrote the following caption next to a photo of a bikini-clad Upton walking the runway: "Did you know that humans are 80% genetically identical to cows? Well, allow me to prove it to you ... [Kate] looks thick, vulgar, and she's a solid 30 pounds too heavy for a bikini."
In response, Upton said she was happy with her curvy body and had no intention of starving herself to fit someone else's aesthetic ideal.
“I’m not going to starve just to be thin," Upton told the Sun. “I want to enjoy life and I can’t if I’m not eating and miserable.”
Kate eats healthy and does Pilates, kickboxing and strength-training, but refuses to succumb to media fat-shaming.
“It’s important to look at magazines and think a healthy lifestyle is attainable,” she said. “Now that the fashion industry likes the idea of me, I’m happy if I can have an influence. I’m sure every girl can relate [to not being a size zero]."