Martha Stewart just made history as Sports Illustrated’s oldest Swimsuit cover model. The 81-year-old stuns in a collection of photos wearing chic bathing suits and cover-ups. She stopped by Today to discuss what she hopes the cover does for others and how she prepared.
Stewart is pretty good at self-love, often taking “thirst traps” and glam selfies. It was time for her to have someone else behind the camera. “I like that picture,” Stewart says when she sees her Sports Illustrated cover. She says the magazine first approached her in November, asking that she be ready to shoot in February. While this is a lot to ask for any model, it’s an especially big ask for someone over 80, but Stewart accepted the challenge. “Changing is good. Evolution is good. Trying new things is very good. Being fearless is very good. Don’t be afraid of anything,” she says. “When you’re through changing, you’re through. That’s one of my mottos.”
The star is, of course, not new to modeling, she began the career young to help work her way through college, but it had been a while since she’d done a shoot in a swimsuit. “I live a clean life anyway—good diet, good exercise and healthy skin care,” says Stewart, but she upped her regimen to prepare for this cover shoot. “I didn’t eat any bread or pasta for a couple of months and I went to Pilates every other day,” she says. “I’m still going to Pilates every other day because it’s so great.”
Stewart hopes that this cover is “a testament to good living.” She feels “all of us should think about good living and not about aging…The whole aging thing is so boring.” She notes that it’s been a challenging past few years for women. “Taking care of the family, working at home—it’s been tough. I hope [the cover] gives women especially an opportunity to revisit their lives.”