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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has officially named its cover models for 2022.
“The journey we’ve been on – to break out of the mold the world put us in – may sound familiar,” said SI Swimsuit editor-in-chief MJ Day in a statement. “It’s certainly familiar to the women we’ve chosen to be our cover models: Maye, Ciara, Yumi, Kim. Of course, Kim, no stranger to the world’s judgment, continues to live proudly, authentically and unapologetically through the noise.”
While Kardashian, 41, has appeared on countless magazine covers, this is her first appearance in SI Swimsuit. The mother of four wrote a letter to her younger self about the personal growth she’s experienced.
“It’s easy to say to just ignore the criticism, but another thing you’ll learn is that at some point it will click in your head that it’s not about you anymore,” she wrote, as quoted by People magazine. “It’s about family. It’s about helping other people. For years you’ll be putting yourself out there… But you’re going to become a more private person and you’re going to come to realize that the way to get your story out there – the actual narrative, the truth – isn’t by engaging but by doing.”
“But know this. When you get here, to May 2022, you’re not going to be content,” the reality TV star shared. “You’re still going to be looking for that next ‘it’… And when you find it, you’re going to do it – we’re going to do it – like we always do: to the fullest.”
Maye, 74, began her modeling career more than 50 years ago. She became CoverGirl’s oldest spokesmodel at age 69. Most recently, the Canadian/South African star wrote a memoir where she detailed raising three children titled “A Woman Makes a Plan: Advice for a Lifetime of Adventure, Beauty, and Success.”
“At 74, Maye continues to work every day to inspire those around her,” said Day.
Ciara, a mom of three, has made her mark as an entertainer over the years. The 36-year-old has sold more than 23 million records worldwide. In 2014, she and her husband, Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson, founded the Why Not You Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to combat poverty through education and empowerment for youth.
Nu, a Japanese and Dutch recording artist, made her SI Swim debut in 2021.
“In her first year of being in the spotlight, Yumi is coming into who she is and taking on the responsibility of what she stands for,” said Day.
Nu also made history in 2021 for being the magazine’s first Asian curve model.
“I’m so beyond honored to be a part of the SI Swim family and to represent my Asian curve girls,” the star told People magazine at the time.
“The fact that SI Swimsuit has the platform that they have and they choose to focus their power on inclusivity means so much to me,” Nu shared. “Women of all ages, sizes and colors are represented, and it was one of the first big publications to do that. I can see their heart is authentic in making the world a more diverse place. It’s been amazing to see that ripple effect on the industry and mainstream media.”
The original swimsuit issue ran in 1964. It has been a launching pad for models such as Kathy Ireland, Christie Brinkley, Elle Macpherson, Kate Upton and Ashley Graham.
Over the years the issue has tried to stay fresh, with painted bikinis, plus-sized models, unedited photos, tiny swimsuits, amputee models, older models and the addition of professional athletes and celebrities in relationships.
This year’s issue will include 28 women, including WNBA stars Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart, newcomer Duckie Thot, former cover girl Camille Kostek, as well as 2021’s Rookie of the Year Katrina Scott, who was photographed when she was six and a half months pregnant. Kate Bock will also mark a decade of appearances in this year’s issue.
The magazine hits newsstands on May 19.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.