After being named as part of its most diverse open casting call class yet, a 56-year-old model has made her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue debut this week.
Kathy Jacobs was named as one of the final six picks for its 2020 #SISwimSearch in February, and now — as the new issue goes on sale — the California resident’s sultry Turks & Caicos beach shoot has finally been revealed.
‘I’m just so grateful that they took like a chance on me,’ she said. ‘Two things you can’t change about yourself are how old you are and how tall you are.’
Jacobs, who hails from from Calabasas, isn’t actually the magazine’s oldest model — that honor goes to icon Christie Brinkley, who last posed for SI Swim at age 63.
But Kathy is certainly older than the average swimsuit stunner, and was the first to walk the runway for the magazine during the 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Runway Show at Miami Swim Week last July.
In October, the magazine included her in a list of 17 finalists for its swimsuit model search, spotlighting a string of sexy women including plus-size women and a bald model with alopecia.
That was narrowed down to six earlier this year, cementing Kathy’s position in the new issue.
The five-foot-three-inch model hopes her appearance in the issue will help change readers’ views of beauty.
‘That’s the great thing about Sports Illustrated is they just keep reinventing themselves and they keep reinventing what is your view of beauty,’ she said. ‘And they keep showing people that there’s more than one kind of beauty out there.’
Speaking to Access Hollywood, she added: ‘So many of us just feel terrible about ourselves when we hit 50. I hope that other women that are afraid to pursue their dreams take a look at me and say, “Hey, if she did this at 56 years old, I can do this no matter how old I am.”‘
Previously, Jacobs spoke out about trying and failing to make the cut — but not letting it stop her from going after it again.
‘I’ve entered the SI Swimsuit Model Search and flown to Miami twice,’ she said. ‘The first time I didn’t make it past the first round. But I didn’t give up!
‘I felt a burning desire to try again and to be part of a change in the way society views women over 50.’
The longtime model and actress said that ageism ‘impacts all of us,’ but she wants that to stop once and for all.
‘I am doing this to be part of a change in the views on women over 50, not only by society, but by ourselves. It is a boomerang effect, and we as women over 50 need to stand together and realize how amazing, relevant, beautiful and sexy we all are,’ she said.
‘It’s time women of all ages unite and claim our power,’ she said.
When she got the good news that she’d be shooting in Turks & Caicos earlier this year, she wrote on Instagram: ‘Dreams do come true. Never give up, you are not too old. Believe in yourself.’
Jacobs certainly isn’t shy about posing in swimwear or lingerie, and has modeled both before — including in shots with her 22-year-old daughter, Abigail Rose.
The two even starred together in a Third Love underwear campaign.
She’s also been in a Green Day music video and has done campaigns for Beauty Blender, Bissy Swim, and NuMe Professional Styling.
The 2020 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue is online has been on newsstands Tuesday. The cover features a trio of models — Olivia Culpo, Jasmine Sanders, and Kate Bock — who also each have individual covers.