When the first Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition rolled out in 1964, no one really expected it to become one of the best selling editions each year for decades to come. No one thought that it was going to make the bikini a legitimate piece of apparel either, but history credits SI with helping make that happen, too. For over 50 years, most of the biggest names in modeling have graced the swimsuit edition cover or appeared in the edition. Cindy Crawford, Cheryl Tiegs, Tyra Banks, and Naomi Campbell are just a smattering of the hundreds of women that have made the annual SI Swimsuit Edition release as popular as it is.
According to Groovy History, the annual edition has caused quite a bit of controversy throughout the years. Some have claimed it exploits women and contributes to the moral decay of society. Some have even gone so far as to claim the photos are indecent and should be treated like adult-oriented content that minors cannot have access to. There have even been people that took exception with some of the models because they were athletes and not professional models, such as tennis player Anna Kournikova.
Kate Upton is one of those professional models that some fans have stated they would prefer to see more of. Upton is almost like SI royalty, appearing on the cover three times. She has also been voted the “Sexiest Women Alive” by People Magazine. She is married to Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander, and they are expecting their first child soon, according to the Bay City Observer.
Chrissy Teigen appeared on the 2014 cover and has appeared several times on the interior pages. Her Instagram feed is one of the most fun to follow thanks in large part to her silly photos that balance out the sexy stuff. She also comes up with some seriously funny photo captions, dishes it back at trolls, and sometimes you get to see her hubby John Legend on her feed as well, which is a nice bonus.
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So excited to announce my 7th appearance in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition – I had to count that a million times before I believed it! My @si_swimsuit family, I love you! There is nothing like being a part of this brand and this issue. My shoot was in beautiful Zanzibar and shot by the incomparable @ruvenafanador, who is just as wonderful, kind, serene and lovely as everyone has ever told me. He thinks about every little aspect of a photo, every detail. HMU by @peterbutlerhair and @joannegair I LOVE you and am so lucky you allow me to be in your chairs! @mj_day and @darciebaum and @ja_neyney @hillarydrezner and @karencarpk – you are my family. I am proud to be in the issue but SO proud of all the work you guys put into this every single year. I just love you all. Jesus this is dramatic I know! And to all my fellow @si_swimsuit girls, congrats on a beautiful issue!!! I will see you this week in MIAMI!!!! I can't wait to kiss all your beautiful faces!
Gigi Hadid is at the point of her career where she’s getting her feet wet with the SI Swimsuit Issue, having only made her first appearance in 2014. By the time SI landed her, she was already a brand name with work on campaigns for Tom Ford and Guess. She did land a contract with Maybelline after her swimsuit edition appearance and has been one of the most in-demand models in the world over the past five years. Her Instagram feed is very active and always worth checking out.
Victoria’s Secret angel Lily Aldridge landed a cover shot in her first appearance, albeit shared with Nina Agdal and Chrissy Teigen. She and her husband Caleb Followill, frontman for the Kings of Leon, are expecting their second child, as told to People Magazine. Her Instagram feed stays very busy with shots from gigs she is on, casual stuff around the house, and a lot of workout pics and videos.
Danish sensation, Nina Agdal, was one of three models to grace the cover of the 50 SI Swimsuit Edition. At only 26, she is just hitting her stride in modeling, according to People Magazine. She has a very full schedule doing everything from modeling to working as a brand ambassador, and she’s even been known to lead a fitness class or two. Her Instagram feed keeps it sexy and playful, but also has a fair portion of posts dedicated to healthy eating and living tips.
While there are loads of sexy Sports Illustrated swimsuit models with an online presence, these ladies are special in that they keep their Instagram accounts active and fun to follow. They also tend to share photos of them with their sometimes famous spouses and friends, which is an extra bonus.