Kate Upton Felt 'Terrible' After First 'SI' Cover

Elle Magazine

Kate Upton Felt 'Terrible' After First 'SI' Cover

Though Kate Upton's infamous 2012 Sports Illustrated cover skyrocketed the 21-year-old blonde bombshell to instant fame, it turns out the unforgettable cover did nothing to boost her ego -- in fact, it did just the opposite.

"After my first Sports Illustrated cover, I felt terrible about myself for a solid month," she surprisingly reveals in a new interview with Elle for its September cover. "Every single guy I met was either married or about to be married, and I felt like I was their bachelor present or something. I'm not a toy, I'm a human. I'm not here to be used. I am a grown woman, and you need to figure your s***out."

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She also laments the "dumb blonde" stereotypes she claims most people associate her with.

"People deal with models like they are children. They think they can pull one over on you," she explains. "It's actually funny. I'm always like, I'm about to pull something on you, and you're so focused on thinking I'm dumb you're not even going to know."

But Upton gets serious when talking about her religious side -- and the sadness she feels when others automatically judge her.

"I was at a photo shoot and I was wearing a cross necklace that my mom bought me, and somebody made a joke like, 'Why are you wearing a cross? Like you would be religious.' And then they took [my necklace] away. I was really affected by that," she says. "The whole thing made me realize that I do want [a cross] with me, at all times."

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But though Upton might have been upset about her first SI cover, it didn't stop her from covering the magazine again in 2013, this time wearing a jacket -- with nothing under it.