What began in the 1960s as an appeal to the male gaze has transformed into something much more uplifting, empowering, and women-focused in the six decades since. The annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (and the publication as a whole) is no longer about simply providing men with pretty women to look at — it’s about celebrating women of all walks of life, and the idea that they can pursue and achieve anything they desire while looking phenomenal, mothers included.
With 2023’s newly announced cover stars being Martha Stewart, Megan Fox, Kim Petras, and Brooks Nader — among 24 additional models making appearances across the issue’s pages — Sports Illustrated Swimsuit editor-in-chief M.J. Day explained, “There is no theme — rather, there is a vision, a sentiment, a hope that women can live in a world where they feel no limitations, internally or externally.” She added, “But the absence of a theme is not to say that [these women] don’t share certain common traits. They’re constantly evolving.”
Stewart, for her part, is blowing up any idea that women can’t look or feel good once they reach a certain age with her jaw-droppingly gorgeous cover photos. The 81-year-old lifestyle maven told the magazine, “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.’ And I don’t think about age very much, but I thought that this is kind of historic,” she shared. Historic, badass, completely amazing — yes indeed.
And Stewart isn’t the only SI model making history. Nicole Williams English is one of 28 models for the 2023 issue, and she just happened to be 7 months pregnant at the time of her photoshoot — making her only the second woman to shoot for SI while carrying a child, after Katrina Scott made history as the first to do so in 2022.
Williams English told the magazine, “The fact that I’m actually a rookie and shooting while pregnant, it’s just really cool to know that my baby girl is going through this with me and that one day she’s gonna look back and see all these photos and know that she was shooting for SI with mama.”
To see which celebrity mamas have graced the illustrious pages of Sports Illustrated Swimwear, scroll on.
Katrina Scott made history in 2022 when she became the first visibly pregnant person to appear in an issue of Sports Illustrated. It was a really profound moment for the fitness personality, who told the magazine, “It’s so crazy because I feel like I’ve been on my fertility journey while being part of the Sports Illustrated family.”
She explained, “They have been there for me through all the ups and downs. When I first had a miscarriage, the whole team at SI sent the most beautiful arrangement and checked in on me. Then when I walked the runway [for SI], I was doing my IVF treatments. And then I was asked to be back in the publication, but pregnant. This is really an SI Swimsuit baby!”
Martha Stewart became the oldest model to grace the pages of SI in 2023 at 81 years old — and she looks stunning as ever thanks to her extensive prep for the shoot, which she casually chalks up as nothing more than “good living.” Stewart is not only a mother but also a grandmother, making her cover appearance that much more iconic.
Megan Fox also appeared as a cover model for SI’s 2023 Swimsuit edition, and the mom of three looks sexy as ever in a variety of skin-baring pieces. The actress actually opened up about motherhood during an interview with Kourtney Kardashian for her SI cover, and she explained why she no longer shares anything about her kids on social media.
“I’m really proud of my kids,” Fox began. “One is like a concert pianist, an amazing artist. And I would love for people to see that. But the first time I shared anything of them, it became this huge news story, because Noah and Bodhi both had long hair. And for whatever reason — even though it was 2018 — it was such a big deal,” she recalled.
“There was a discussion about if I was trying to feminize them or shape their sexuality. And it was such an unnerving, upsetting feeling because I was just posting a gorgeous picture of my beautiful, free, happy children,” Fox said.
A mogul in the health and wellness space — and a mom of two — Melissa Wood-Tepperberg appeared among the group of SI Swimsuit models in 2023.
As of 2023, Padma Lakshmi can add Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model to her impressive resume — which includes being a mom of one.
Nicole Williams English
Following in Katrina Scott’s footsteps, Nicole Williams English appeared as a Sports Illustrated model while pregnant for the magazine’s 2023 edition. In fact, the appearance marks her debut with the prestigious publication — at seven months pregnant, no less.
Williams English told SI, “The fact that I’m actually a rookie and shooting while pregnant, it’s just really cool to know that my baby girl is going through this with me and that one day she’s gonna look back and see all these photos and know that she was shooting for SI with mama.” As of the 2023 release, she and Scott are the only women to have shot for the magazine while pregnant.
Prior to Martha Stewart’s appearance, Maye Musk made history as the oldest SI Swimsuit cover model in 2022 at 74 years old. Musk has three children, including the controversial business tycoon Elon Musk.
Ciara joined Musk as one of four Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover models in 2022. The mom of three welcomed her third child in 2020 with NFL husband Russell Wilson.
Joining Ciara and Musk as one of 2022’s cover stars, mom of four Kim Kardashian made her first appearance as a SI Swimsuit model. Kardashian told Sports Illustrated she “never thought in a million years” she’d be shooting a cover for the magazine, especially in her 40s — but her age makes it all the more iconic.
Three years after welcoming her son via surrogate in 2016, Tyra Banks appeared on the cover of SI Swimsuit for the third time in 2019. The supermodel made history with her 1996 appearance alongside Valeria Mazza as the first Black model to have appeared on the magazine’s cover. A year later, Banks starred as SI’s cover model again — solo this time — making her the first Black model to do so.
After gracing the cover in 1986, ’87, ’88, and ’94, Elle Macpherson returned as a SI Swimsuit model in 2006 following the arrival of her two sons. To date, the supermodel is credited with the most appearances on the magazine’s cover by any one model.
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