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Megan Thee Stallion, Yumi Nu, and Leyna Bloom Make History on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

Megan Thee Stallion, Yumi Nu, Leyna Bloom Sports Illustrated

Photo Credit: Rob Latour/Shutterstock, Yumi Nu/Instagram, JULIEN DE ROSA/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

The 2021 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue just dropped and it made history in more ways than one.

On Monday, the publication unveiled Megan Thee Stallion as the first female rapper to appear on the cover of a swimsuit issue. They also unveiled two other cover stars, including tennis great Naomi Osaka and trans model Leyna Bloom, who is the first Black and Asian transgender woman to be featured in a swimsuit issue.

Editor in chief MJ Day said in a press release of the choices for cover models:  "If there's one thing that our cover models have in common, it's that they don't have one thing in common. They look different, have different upbringings, have different passions and inspirations. But each is a reminder that beauty comes in many forms."

Prior to Megan Thee Stallion, the magazine has only had one other singer grace the cover: Beyoncé in 2007.

In other historic news about this issue, model Yumi Nu appears within the pages and just became the first Asian curve model to do so.

"I'm so beyond honored to be a part of the SI Swim family and to represent my Asian curve girls," she told People earlier this year, ahead of the issue dropping. "It's such an iconic magazine and I'm still pinching myself that it happened!"

Amid the issue circulating on newsstands and on social media this week, Nu spoke with CBS This Morning about how she defined beauty standards. She spoke candidly about how everything she saw in magazines or on TV was the "opposite" of what she was.

"When I was younger, all I wanted to do was change myself. I wanted to be skinnier and have lighter features," she told the network, before adding that it's important for her to be the representation she didn't have when she was younger.


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