Megan Thee Stallion sizzles on ‘Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’ cover in strappy bikini: ‘I’ve always been comfortable and confident in my own skin’
Megan Thee Stallion is a self-confessed hottie who successfully entered the mainstream with her 2019 hit “Hot Girl Summer” – an anthem of self-love that has inspired millions of people to brazenly embrace their hotness. But with her last appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit‘s 2021 edition, the Texas native is ready to show and tell people how much more there is to her hot-girl identity, while paying tribute to those who paved the way.
“I remember being younger and seeing Tyra Banks on the cover and thinking, ‘I want to be on the cover of… Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition too,” Megan told Yahoo Life. “It was a dream of mine that I made a reality.”
The 26-year-old has manifested many dreams since she began her music career, most notably winning three awards at the 2021 Grammys, including Best New Artist – the first female rapper to do so since Lauryn Hill in 1999. But more important than that. her success, is the impact Megan’s songs have had on women. Especially those who have struggled to gain the confidence she has.
“I’ve always been comfortable and confident in my own skin,” says the “Body” rapper. “I have to give props to the strong women who raised me. My family always made me feel really good about myself. I didn’t realize how lucky I was to have grown up in such an environment.”
In addition to teaching her how to love her curves — something many have praised Megan for — those same women also encouraged Megan to do more with her platform, including to uplift black women by speaking out about sexism and racism. that plagues society. She’s even resisted the stereotypes imposed on her and her public personality by continuing to work toward earning her degree in health administration while releasing hits like “Thot Sh**.”
“I grew up watching women do it all. I saw people like my grandmother, my mother and my aunt get their education while still in fashion, while still showing off their curves and 9-5 have jobs,” she explains. “I don’t think it’s hard for people to believe that women can do it all because we do it in your face every day.”
It is precisely for this reason that Sports Illustrated Swimsuit editor MJ Day selected Megan to star on one of the 2021 issue’s three covers.
“These women haven’t limited themselves to just one thing. They’ve mastered so many different things, they’ve taken on so many different things. Sure, they’re extraordinarily talented in one way or another, but not far behind that award-winning achievements are all these other incredibly important goals and platforms and achievements that they all accomplished,” Day says of all three cover stars – including Naomi Osaka and Leyna Bloom. “Megan Thee Stallion says it all, she’s completely unfiltered and that’s what makes her fantastic. But then she can also address some of the biggest problems we have through her music and in her music videos.”
With her debut on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, in addition to other work with Revlon, Fashion Nova and Calvin Klein, Megan tackles issues surrounding the lack of representation of black women — something she’s been passionate about ever since she saw women like Banks come before her.
“For me, growing up and seeing Tyra on the cover of cover Sports Illustrated Swimsuit was a big problem. She’s a tall, curvy, black woman like me,” she says. “Seeing yourself represented is essential. People come in all shapes, sizes and colors and we should all be celebrated because we are all beautiful.”
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