Sports Illustrated Swimsuit show features plus-sized models

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit made a splash over the weekend with a new “inclusive” runway show featuring women of diverse body types, ages and races.

The magazine, known for its steamy swimsuit issue, showed off a rainbow of plus-sized models, moms and entrepreneurs on the poolside catwalk at the luxury Mondrian Hotel on South Beach Saturday.

Miami-based actress and model Saje Nicole stunned in a string bikini alongside 57-year-old model Kathy Jacobs, who describes herself on Instagram as the “oldest/shortest Sports Illustrated rookie ever.”

Meanwhile, personal chef Chelsea Heath rocked a tan bikini and matching coverup as social media influencer Natalie Mariduena strutted her stuff in a shiny crimson one-piece.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit — which has historically featured thin and busty bikini-clad models on its cover — says it wants the annual event to change the “conversation around beauty”  and boost body positivity.

Saje Nicole posing on the runway at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit show.
Saje Nicole posing on the runway at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit show.
Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images
Kathy Jacobs, a 57-year-old model, walking the runway at the swimsuit fashion show.
Kathy Jacobs, a 57-year-old model, walking the runway at the swimsuit fashion show.
Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

“Sports Illustrated Swimsuit continues to redefine the cultural conversation around beauty by celebrating a diverse group of women who include professional athletes, entrepreneurs, models, mothers, rookies and swim search contestants,” the firm said in a press release.

It added, “Its annual Miami runway show which collectively rounds out this remarkable group of authentic and aspirational women has become the go-to show during swim week in Miami.”

Personal chef Chelsea Heath modeling a swimsuit on the runway.
Personal chef Chelsea Heath modeling a swimsuit on the runway.
Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated
Plus-sized model Amanda Kay waling down the runway.
Plus-sized model Amanda Kay waling down the runway.
Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images

Other showstoppers included Canadian-born plus-size model Amanda Kay, who wore a pink one-piece suit and matching nail polish.

The annual runway show previewed the 2021 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, which hits stands July 19.

In recent years, the company has featured more “inclusive” models but this year’s show may be its most diverse group of women yet.

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