By Mike Bedigan, PA Los Angeles Correspondent
Martha Stewart says she hopes her appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit at the age of 81 inspires people to try new things “no matter what stage of life you are in”.
The US businesswoman and TV personality, who is the oldest woman to be featured on the cover of the annual magazine, said the experience had been the “opportunity of a lifetime”.
Stewart is to star on the cover of the 2023 edition with an accompanying interview by award-winning writer Ryan Murphy.
Sharing a picture of her cover to Instagram, Stewart said: “I am so thrilled to be on the cover of the @SI_Swimsuit issue!
“My motto has always been: ‘when you’re through changing, you’re through’, so I thought, why not be up for this opportunity of a lifetime?
“I hope this cover inspires you to challenge yourself to try new things, no matter what stage of life you are in. Changing, evolving and being fearless – those are all very good things indeed.
“When I heard that I was going to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, I thought, ‘Oh, that’s pretty good, I’m going to be the oldest person I think ever on a cover of Sports Illustrated’,” she told the magazine.
“And I don’t think about age very much, but I thought that this is kind of historic.”
In his article, Murphy, known for hit shows including American Horror Story, Dahmer and Glee, said Stewart was “a lesson in ageless living”.
“Her secret, I think, is that we all kind of want to be her — optimistic, daring, adventurous, capable of turning the most mundane into exuberance,” he wrote.
“She is disciplined. She is curious and demands new experiences for herself. She is an everywoman, with a tinge of snob. Her manners are impeccable, and her laugh is infectious.
“More than that, she has survived everything — scandals, men, changing culture, a pandemic, middle age — and has come out of the other side with her humour intact and our horizons broadened.
“Martha Stewart is kind, she is hilarious, and she’s taught me a lot. More than anything, she is a lesson in ageless living.”
The 2023 edition of Sports Illustrated featuring Stewart will be available from May 18th.
She is joined by fellow cover stars Megan Fox, Brooks Nader and Kim Petras – who is the second trans woman to appear on the magazine’s cover.