Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Features Plus-Sized Model Yumi Nu

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James Macari/Sports Illustrated

Joining the ranks of Ashley Graham and Hunter McGrady, the 2022 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue will feature plus-sized model Yumi Nu on its front cover.

Speaking with the New York Post, the 25-year-old half Dutch, half Japanese Nu said that Sports Illustrated surprised her with the cover reveal, praising the magazine for pushing inclusion and body diversity.

“I could not speak. I had full body chills. I was shaking, I was crying. They really got me good,” she said upon learning of the honor.

Nu’s inclusion on the swimsuit cover comes after she was featured in the Vogue‘s September issue last year and in Vogue Japan this past April.

“It’s amazing. I’m on cloud nine. This is nothing I could prepare for. It’s unexpected. I feel like we’re in a place right now where people are making space for more diversity on magazine covers,” Nu said.

“It’s a big time for Asian-American people in media. I know I play a big role in representation in body diversity and race diversity, and I love to be a role model and representative of the plus-size Asian community,” she added.

Nu began modeling at age 12 and turned to singing at age 15 as she wondered if the modeling industry would change to be more inclusive of her body type.

“I wasn’t sure where the [modeling] industry was headed. I think I was a size 10 then, and the only people working were either a size 2 or a size 14,” said.

“I really had my sights set on music, but then the industry left more room for me to be a part of it. Once the trends of inclusion came upon us, it was easier for me to make a living and a career out of it. It was like, ‘Oh, there are so many possibilities, and there are no bounds on what anyone can do now,’ ” she added.

Both plus-sized models Ashley Graham and Hunter McGrady have graced the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Playboy equally broke new ground in 2021 when it featured plus-sized model Hayley Hasselhoff.

The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue will highlight a variety of women, from Kim Kardashian to Ciara, as well as Elon Musk’s mother, Maye Musk. It will also profiled Ladies of the WNBA.

In July of last year, Sports Illustrated also featured transgender model Leyna Bloom on the cover of its swimsuit edition.

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