SI Swimsuit model Kathy Jacobs, the ‘oldest and shortest rookie’ at 57, celebrates her physique at runway show

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Kathy Jacobs, 56, details surprising fan mail from men: ‘It’s super sweet’

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model Kathy Jacobs, 56, details surprising fan mail from men. The star is featured in this year’s sizzling issue available on newsstands now.

Kathy Jacobs made heads turn as the “oldest and shortest rookie” for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. 

At age 57, the model strutted down the runway for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit show over the weekend, which highlighted women of diverse shapes, sizes, ages and backgrounds.

Jacobs joined Natalie Mariduena, Brooks Nader, Katrina Scott, as well as the 13 Swim Search hopefuls selected for the magazine’s annual open casting call, at the Mondrian Hotel South Beach’s Baia Beach Club during PARAISO Miami Beach. SI Swimsuit supermodel Jasmine Sanders opened the runway.

The show also featured a surprise appearance of Haley Kalil, co-winner of the first-ever SI Swimsuit open casting call in 2018.

Kathy Jacobs walks for 2021 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Runway Show during Paraiso Miami Beach at Mondrian South Beach on July 10, 2021 in Miami, Florida. 
(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,” read a statement sent to Fox News on Sunday.

“It’s 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,” the statement added.

PARAISO Miami Beach is the official platform for swim shows, events and brand launches in Miami from July 8 to July 11.

SI Swimsuit, which was first launched in 1964, has become one of the most recognizable and influential pop culture brands. The magazine is known for launching the successful careers of numerous models over the years.

Kathy Jacobs was a petite model in the ’80s before trying out for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit.
(Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated)

“Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has become a new lifestyle brand that champions body confidence and self-expression, and connects with diverse audiences through digital content and signature experiences that nurture the body, soul and spirit,” read the statement.

The magazine’s highly anticipated issue is scheduled to hit newsstands on July 19.

Jacobs, a petite model in the ‘80s, came to an open casting call for SI Swimsuit at age 56. She went on to make her debut as part of the 2020 model search. She will appear in this year’s issue.

On Saturday, Jacobs told Fox News appearing in the magazine has been an empowering experience not just for herself, but for other women.

Kathy Jacobs will appear in the upcoming issue which is slated to hit newsstands on July 19.
(Photo by John Parra/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated)

“I feel like it’s a stamp of approval not just for me, but for all the women my age out there,” said Jacobs. “Being able to represent a lady in my age range is such a huge honor. At our age, we don’t have to hide. I’m honestly so grateful that they let me be in the same magazine with girls who are younger than me, even younger than my own daughter. And yet no one bats an eyelash. You’re treated like everybody else.”

At 5-feet-3-inches, 57-year-old Kathy Jacobs is proudly the "oldest and shortest" Sports Illustrated Swimsuit rookie in the brand’s history.
(Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images)

“Life doesn’t stop when you become a certain age,” she continued. “So I feel like being in this magazine not only helps other women my age but younger girls too. Everyone’s so terrified about getting older. I’ve had so many younger girls message me and say, ‘Thank you so much for doing this because I’m not terrified of getting older anymore. I know my life is not going to end once I reach 30, 40, 50 or 60.’”

“Being in this magazine is really a ripple effect,” noted Jacobs. “It allows people my age to feel beautiful, to feel sexy. It gives us that stamp of approval to feel beautiful and sexy.”

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