Kathy Jacobs is serving as a reminder that age is just a number after making her debut as a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit rookie for 2021 at 57 years old.
The model and actress was revealed to be a part of the magazine in July 2020 after winning the publication's open casting call, SI Swim Search. On Wednesday, the magazine announced Jacobs as the latest rookie and explained just why she was chosen.
"There has never been a more prolific team player than Kathy! She is constantly making time for others while forging her own career," editor MJ Day wrote about Jacobs. "She is a living proof that we need to stop putting limits on ourselves and celebrate the non-traditional ways we can reach our goals and push ourselves. She wholeheartedly stands for what SI Swimsuit represents and we are thrilled she feels empowered to share her message with us."
Day also shared that Jacobs has "championed the fight against ageism" in addition to lifting up women around her. Jacobs herself explained that empowering other women is a large part of what she stands for.
"Beauty means different things to me. I’ll be 57. There’s tons of things about my body I struggle to love," the latest rookie said in her introduction video. "There’s no wrong way to age, there’s no right way to age. There’s no handbook. And I think that if you want to put other women down, then you’re the problem too. We need to judge each other less because I think everybody has their own definition of beauty."
She even posted to her own social media account, where she goes by the handle @ageisbeauty, where she further explained her philosophy around aging.
"You can get Botox, fillers, plastic surgery, lasers, color your hair etc. and that’s fine! You can do nothing and that’s fine! You can be somewhere in the middle and that’s fine too!" she captioned her post. "I have in the past judged others and now make a conscious effort not to! You can’t too!! Cause you know what... it ant my business!!"
Jacobs additionally thanked Sports Illustrated for "giving me the platform to talk about how amazing women my age and beyond are!" By the looks of her comment section, she's already inspired many women of all ages.
"Love that we are living in an age where we get to decide what 'age' means to us and not give a care what others think — we are in our 20s and 30s for a blip, to continue to self-idealize that as prime is silly and self-harming — love love love your posts," one person wrote.
Another commented, "You are such an inspiration to woman everywhere. For woman over 50 you are showing them how sexy you can still be."
Christie Brinkley remains the oldest woman to be featured in the magazine, appearing on its pages in 2017 when she was 63 years old (while Tyra Banks remains the oldest model to be featured on the issue's cover, in 2019 at age 45). Still, Jacobs owns her role in allowing the publication to "showcase all types of beauty."
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