Padma Lakshmi Returns to Modeling Roots with “Sports Illustrated” Debut

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Padma Lakshmi Returns to Modeling Roots with “Sports Illustrated” Debut featured image
Instagram: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit

We’re so used to seeing Padma Lakshmi telling Top Chef contestants to pack up their knives and go, we almost forgot the 52-year-old stunner once had a full-blown modeling career. Her feature in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s 2023 issue brings her full circle with a sizzling debut.


The Taste the Nation host adds swimsuit model to her list of accomplishments, which include author, host, activist and producer. Shot by Yu Tsai in Dominica, the reveal was met with resoundingly positive feedback. “I fainted,” wrote Mindy Kaling.

For many followers, having Lakshmi featured in the iconic publication is a major move for inclusion. “And if the importance is lost on anyone, we grew up never seeing South Asian women on magazines let alone in a bikini,” wrote a follower. “Padma is a multi-hyphenate, enormously talented philanthropist who shows us that a woman can be many things.”

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