Martha Stewart, at 81, becomes oldest ‘Sports Illustrated’ swimsuit cover model, inspiring others

Martha Stewart has made history as the oldest Sports Illustrated cover model ever, appearing alongside three other cover girls for the annual Swimsuit Issue. Megan Fox, Kim Petras, and Brooks Nader also grace the covers.

In an interview with TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, Stewart expressed her initial reaction, stating, “When I heard that I was going to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, I thought: ‘Oh, well that’s pretty good.’ I’m gonna be the oldest person, I think, ever on the cover of Sports Illustrated,” as reported by PEOPLE.

Stewart admitted feeling nervous about the photo shoot, sharing, “I’m sort of shaking because it’s odd to go to an island and get changed into nine different bathing suits in one day in front of all those people.”

Despite her apprehensions, she was pleased with the final result, stating, “I like that picture… And it turned out okay!” Stewart was approached about the cover in November 2022, and the photo shoot took place at the end of January. Reflecting on the experience, she described it as a challenge, remarking, “To be on the cover at my age was a challenge. And I think I met the challenge.”

To prepare for the shoot, Stewart followed a strict diet and exercise regimen. She abstained from bread and pasta for a couple of months, diligently attended Pilates sessions every other day, and maintained a healthy lifestyle overall. Stewart sees this opportunity as a testament to good living, emphasizing the importance of focusing on successful living rather than fixating on aging.

She highlighted the Center for Living at Mt. Sinai, a hospital she co-founded, which promotes healthy living and inspires individuals to prioritize well-rounded lifestyles as they age.

Stewart attributes her confidence to the influence of her parents and described the photo shoot as a fun experience. She mentioned the support and encouragement she received from the team during the shoot.

Embracing change and new experiences, Stewart shared her motto, “When you’re through changing, you’re through,” encouraging others not to fear trying new things. She hopes her Sports Illustrated cover will inspire women to reflect on their lives and embrace opportunities for growth.