Martha Stewart Is A Cover Model For Sports Illustrated At The Age Of 81

Rosalyn Morris
Published in
5 min readMay 16

image via Twitter

I’m here for it. I think it’s great.

I cannot tell a lie. Ten years ago, I would have probably laughed. I would have said that Sports Illustrated, or maybe even “inclusivity,” had gone way too far, and I’m a huge advocate of inclusivity. Why does a woman who’s old enough to be my grandmother need to be on the cover of a swimsuit magazine catered towards men? Why would she want to be on there? Any time before that, I would have been in disbelief and asked are you serious, because who was putting an 81-year-old woman on the cover of any magazine, let alone in a swimsuit?

However, there’s always growth. There’s always expanding your mind and your mindset.

Or better yet, there’s getting older as a woman and seeing how it feels yourself.

You don’t have to be 81 years old to be told you’re past your prime, and I’m pretty sure the Sports Illustrated “swimsuit edition” has rarely featured models over the age of 29.

And yet, Martha Stewart is the oldest woman ever to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated. When I was growing up, only fashion models were on the cover, and they were all white and thin. Tyra Banks was the first Black Sports Illustrated cover model, and I remember it was a big deal, which then led to controversy over her sharing the cover with a white model. This was in 1996. In 1997, Banks finally got the cover by herself. And though Tyra Banks was known for being one of few Black models who was a household name, being slightly bigger than the waifs who were popular at the time, and going out of her way to show young girls what she really looked like without makeup and airbrushing, she did not skew far at all from acceptable beauty standards. I mean it was Tyra Banks — she is drop-dead gorgeous.

So — I would have never imagined there would be a day when Sports Illustrated would feature an 81-year-old woman on its cover.

Martha Stewart, who was a model in her younger years, looks great on her cover.

young Martha Stewart via Twitter

Rosalyn Morris
Writer for

BA. MA. Author. Freelance writer.