Kate Upton has arrived. Again. The curvaceous blond model has landed herself the sizzling June cover of fashion bible Vogue magazine.
Vogue editor Anna Wintour appears to have finally given Upton her seal of approval, because it's the first time she's graced the U.S. cover, appearing previously on international versions of the sartorial codex.
The 20-year-old model, a trained equestrian who got her start in Florida at age 12, has worked her way into our lives through Sports Illustrated swimsuit-edition covers, viral videos, popular TV ads and our daily social media consumption.
And she is beyond thrilled about it.
The girl with a signature mole has amassed more than 935,000 Twitter followers by publication time and is said to be an early user of the site's video-sharing application, Vine.
"It's just me sharing my life," she said of tweeting. "I like it if it's authentic and in the moment and happening."
"I didn't buy the magazines [growing up] that had models on the covers, because I didn't know them. So I think this kind of gives me, as a model, a personality that people can connect with."
Vogue writer Lizzie Widdicombe calls her "goofy, disarming, improbably wholesome." Legendary photographer Mario Testino shot the cover girl in Uruguay.
But with the limelight comes harsh criticism, including claims of her being overweight, average or not that special. But her mischievous smile and buoyant confidence have elevated her to role model for some women.
"The things that they're rejecting are things that I can't change," she said of her critics. "I can't change my bra size. They're natural! I can work out and I can stay healthy and motivated, but I can't change some things. I really just live my life. I love my body. It's what God gave me! I feel confident with myself, and if that inspires other women to feel confident with their bodies, great."
"It's kind of funny to think, Oh, wow, the news is talking about whether I'm fat or not," she added.
She said she has hopes of starting her very own lingerie line and has already begun her fledgling film career.
"Acting I'm very interested in," she said. "I'm American -- more is more!"
Upton moved to Miami around the age of 15 because she had so much modeling work there and said she felt that her new curves, which "all came at once." were embraced by the beachside city.
"In Miami, boobs are fantastic," she said. "I was so proud of them. I was so excited. Are you kidding? I'm in Florida, and I'm constantly in bikinis. I was like, Yes! Killing it! All the girls on the beach are gonna be so jealous!"
The young model said she switched from Elite, a New York modeling agency, to IMG -- she did it with a cold call -- because her goal was to get on the cover of Sports Illustrated and become a celebrity in order to do it.
"I always had career goals. And I figured out a path I wanted to take to accomplish those goals. If that meant calling the best modeling agency in the world, that's what it meant," she said, later adding, "I never set out to be on the runway."
And boy, are we glad she didn't.
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