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Martha Stewart continues to inspire as she becomes oldest 'Sports Illustrated' swimsuit cover model at 81

'To be on the cover at my age was a challenge. And I think I met the challenge,' Stewart said in an interview.

Martha Stewart continues to inspire as she becomes oldest 'Sports Illustrated' swimsuit cover model at 81
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Jerod Harri

Martha Stewart has become the oldest Sports Illustrated cover model ever. She is one of the four cover girls for Sports Illustrated's annual Swimsuit Issue. Other three stars include Megan Fox, Kim Petras, and Brooks Nader. As she spoke to TODAY's Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, the lifestyle guru said, “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,’” Stewart said, reported PEOPLE.

Image Source: Getty Images | Dimitrios Kambouris
Image Source: Getty Images | Dimitrios Kambouris


“And I don’t think about age very much, but I thought that this is kind of historic and that I better look really good.” She also shared that she was nervous initially, "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." "I like that picture. ... And it turned out okay!" She was first asked to be on the cover in November 2022, and the photo shoot was scheduled for the end of January, "That was kind of a request that I've never had before," Stewart recalled. "To be on the cover at my age was a challenge. And I think I met the challenge."



Stewart became strict with her diet and exercise while preparing for this photoshoot. "I didn't starve myself, but I didn't eat any bread or pasta for a couple of months," Stewart said. "I went to Pilates every other day and that was great; I'm still going to Pilates every other day 'cause it's so great. And I just, I live a clean life anyway — good diet and good exercise and healthy skincare and all of that stuff."



She added that she sees this photoshoot as "a testament to good living." "I think all of us should think about good living, successfully living, and not aging. The whole aging thing is so boring. You know what I mean?" Stewart said. "I have a hospital called the Center for Living at Mt. Sinai. I started this hospital with Mt. Sinai and it's all about growing old gracefully. We don't think about aging, we think about successful living and we try to install in people the desire to eat well, exercise well, have friends to have pets — to do all the things that make you happy as you get older. So that's what I'm all about."



Earlier, Stewart has also credited her parents for instilling confidence in her. As for the photo shoot, she reflected on it and said, "It was kind of fun," said Stewart. "I mean, they were prodding me and pinching me and pouring water all over my head! ... There are no tricks. They tell you you look okay. That's nice. They sort of reinforce that it's okay to be doing what you're doing."



Steward said she likes to have different experiences in life and embrace change. "When you're through changing, you're through. That's one of my mottos," Stewart said. "And so change is very good, evolution is very good, trying new things — being fearless is very good. Don't be afraid. Don't be afraid of anything." "I hope [this cover] does give people, women especially, an opportunity to revisit their lives and get with the picture."


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