Megan Thee Stallion and Leyna Bloom Make History With 'Sports Illustrated Swimsuit' Covers

The rapper and actress join tennis champ Naomi Osaka for three separate 'SI Swim' 2021 issue covers.

It's the perfect summer to make history, and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has chosen the perfect trio to do so. Megan Thee StallionLeyna Bloom and Naomi Osaka grace three separate covers of the 2021 SI Swimsuit issue, marking the first time a rapper and a trans woman have graced a cover.

"If there's one thing that our cover models have in common, it's that they don't have one thing in common," SI Swimsuit editor MJ Day said in a statement to USA Today. "They look different, have different upbringings, have different passions and inspirations. But each is a reminder that beauty comes in many forms." 

"REAL SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SWIMSUIT EDITION COVER MODEL SH*T!!!" Megan captioned an Instagram post on Monday morning, adding: "Thee first female rapper on the cover of @si_swimsuit 😭😭 I want to thank all the strong women in my life who inspired me to love my body and live my best hot girl life. It means the world to me to be on this cover DREAM COME TRUE!! 😛"

Bloom also celebrated her cover with an Instagram post, calling it a "moment heals a lot of pain in the world."

"We deserve this moment; we have waited millions of years to show up as survivors and be seen as full humans filled with wonder," she added. Thanking Day, her agency, the photographer and the casting director, Bloom went on to dedicate her cover to "all ballroom femme queens past, present and future," declaring that the moment allows "us to live and been seen." She shared her hopes that her cover will empower those struggling to be seen and feel valued, asking that they see her as a messenger that will guide them to a future of respect and "appreciation for all women in all forms and from all walks of life."

"I truly believe everything we do and everyone we meet are put in our path for a purpose. There are no accidents," she concluded. "We're all teachers and if you are willing to pay attention to the lessons, trust your positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks, the possibilities are infinite!"

Bloom became the first trans woman of color to grace SI's pages in March -- less than a year after Valentina Sampaio became the first openly trans woman featured in SI. In June, ET spoke with Bloom about her spread, which the model-turned-actress and trans activist revealed she got a call for during a Levi's campaign.

"I immediately heard opera music in the background, like, You have arrived, you belong here. This is your moment. This is what you were born to do," she shared. "I didn't want to just be a beautiful girl with a beautiful body, that's just like, 'Oh, she's hot. Nice rack.' I wanted to have a message. No matter where I go, no matter what I do, no matter what room I go into, my community is there right with me. And MJ, the editor-in-chief of the magazine, saying, 'If people don't like it, they can go somewhere else,' that's all I needed to hear."

In a new interview with ET's Denny Directo, Bloom called her SI cover a "moment in time." 

"Something like that, you just don't expect. I was not expecting that. I'm like, 'I'm fine with just being in the magazine, I'm fine with just being a rookie. Let's work on just being a Rookie of the Year, let's see that potential' And when they surprised me, I knew the world was going to change in that moment," she shared. "I knew this was part of the change that we needed to see for representation everywhere. It's something you don't dream of. You kind of just live." 

"It's so beautiful," Bloom added of the opportunity, before freaking out over her fellow cover stars. "And Megan Thee Stallion and Naomi Osaka also!" 



Latest News