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Leyna Bloom becomes first trans woman of color on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit

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    Sports Illustrated introduced Filipino American model Leyna Bloom as the first trans woman of color as the cover star for its August swimsuit issue.

    The first: Bloom took to her Instagram on Monday to share the history-making news to her more than 411,000 followers and offer a glimpse of the cover photo taken by photographer Yu Tsai, Vogue reported.


    View this post on Instagram


    A post shared by Leyna Bloom (@leynabloom)

    • “We all know that the world [right now] is in this compassionate space of transformation,” Bloom told Vogue. “Any woman of color being on the cover of this magazine means that the world is evolving, and I’m part of that evolution process. This moment represents that we’re going into the future, and this is what the future looks like.”
    • Bloom, who is Black and Filipino, describes how being on the cover of Sports Illustrated is like the “Olympics of modeling.”
    • Her dream of becoming a cover star for the magazine came after meeting with Sports Illustrated’s Editor-in-Chief MJ Day in the summer last year.
    • They talked about topics that are not related to the magazine, including “space, motherhood, the power of bodies, activism, issues within our bodies that we’ve grown to appreciate and accept.”
    • Tsai and Bloom shot the pictures at the Don CeSar hotel in St. Pete’s Beach, Fla.
    • Mere Abrams, co-founder of the non-binary underwear company Urbody, hopes Bloom’s feature on the magazine would inspire other mainstream fashion brands to “start paying attention to their responsibility in trans liberation and gender freedom,” The Guardian reported.

    More details: Other models included on the cover issue of the 2021 edition of Sports Illustrated include American rapper Megan Thee Stallion and tennis champion Naomi Osaka. Osaka will represent Japan at the Tokyo Games this month.

    • The theme of the Swimsuit Issue is “Opening eyes, speaking truths and changing minds.”

    Featured Image via @si_swimsuit

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