In the 2023 issue of the iconic magazine, the 81-year-old is the oldest cover star, replacing Maye Musk, who was 74 when she appeared on the cover of the same issue in 2022.
Stewart told Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, “I’m usually motivated by money, but this time I was driven by showing the public that women my age can still look good, feel good, and be good.” For the first time, I should look great.
Stewart’s inclusion in the publication is undoubtedly a big deal – despite previously telling Yahoo Life that posing alone in an apron for a 2022 campaign didn’t bother her.
Holly Thomas, clinical researcher and assistant professor of medicine, tells Yahoo Life that it will be empowering to see someone in their age group on magazine stands, at the grocery store, and anywhere people are looking.
There is no doubt that the magazine has a powerful voice, as Thomas reflects on several “milestone” moments that have challenged exclusionary business models. She recalls, “I remember it was a big deal when they had curvier women in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.”
In a statement to Yahoo Life, she emphasizes, “While the industry wavers on beauty standards, our publication showcases today’s women shaping the future.” She commends Martha Stewart as a legendary female entrepreneur who defied the odds and built an empire.
Stewart herself has expressed her desire to have sex appeal at times. In an interview with Yahoo Life’s Unapologetically series, she explains: “I think people like to look at pretty things, so if you feel pretty and can bare it all, do it.”
“Many older adults find that sex is an important part of their lives. It may help normalize the idea that older women still feel sexy and want to be sexy.”