Martha Stewart, Sports Illustrated’s oldest swimsuit model, says ‘aging is so boring’

Martha Stewart poses on the cover of Sports Illustrated in a white swimsuit and gold cover-up.
Martha Stewart poses on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
(Ruven Afanador / Sports Illustrated)

Martha Stewart made history on Monday as the oldest swimsuit model to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated.

The 81-year-old TV host is one of four women to pose for the magazine’s swimsuit edition this year. Rounding out the 2023 cover stars are singer Kim Petras, model Brooks Nader and actor Megan Fox.

After unveiling her Sports Illustrated cover on NBC’s “Today” show, Stewart recalled getting a call from the publication in November telling her she needed to be ready for the swimsuit photo shoot by the end of January.


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“That was a kind of a request that I’ve never had before,” Stewart told “Today” anchors Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie.

“To be on the cover at my age was a challenge. And I think I met the challenge.”

In preparation for the shoot, Stewart said she “didn’t starve” herself but cut bread and pasta out of her diet while attending Pilates classes every other day — an exercise regimen she has maintained “because it’s so great.”

While shooting in the Dominican Republic, the lifestyle influencer and homemaking expert modeled nine bathing suits spanning a variety of styles and colors — from a scarlet one-piece with a plunging neckline to a classic black number with spaghetti straps.

“No tricks” — other than constant validation from the production crew — were employed during the shoot, according to Stewart. Her Sports Illustrated cover photo was shot by photographer Ruven Afanador.

“For me, it is a testament to good living,” Stewart said of her latest accomplishment. “All of us should think about good living, successful living — and not about aging. The whole aging thing is so boring.”

The 23-year-old was just named the last of the 2020 Rookies for the magazine.

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This is far from Stewart’s modeling debut. Long before she became an Emmy-nominated daytime TV personality, Stewart paid her way through college by posing for photos and shooting commercials on the weekends.


“When you’re through changing, you’re through. This is one of my mottos,” Stewart said on “Today.”

“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.”