Maye Musk is breaking barriers with her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover.
The 74-year-old mother of Elon Musk joins Kim Kardashian, singer Ciara and model Yumi Nu as the cover stars of the 2022 issue.
“My first reaction was, I could never dream up something like that because why would anyone have a 74-year-old on their cover, especially in a swimsuit,” Musk told People. “I do think it’s going to make women feel more comfortable in their seventies when they swim, as well as women in their 20s and 30s.”
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For the model, it was a conversation about how people perceive their bodies when they hit the beach.
“When women go to the beach, we’re kind of shy about our bodies, but men will walk around, looking terrible, and they don’t care,” she continued. “I think we have to not care that much!”
Musk dons an orange and beige ruffled Maygel Coronel swimsuit with gold palm tree earrings for the cover.
Recounting the experience of shooting for the cover, she said it was a “lovely” time.
“Everybody was polite, kind, considerate, caring, so I felt very comfortable in my swimsuit,” she said. “Once you’ve done your first shot, you’re fine with all the others because they give you so much confidence about looking good in a swimsuit.”
The author has always been open and outspoken about the way society deals with aging women.
In her 2019 memoir A Woman Makes a Plan: Advice for a Lifetime of Adventure, Beauty, and Success, she spoke on the negative energy surrounding aging and her hopes to change perceptions.
“I went through different stages of my life where I was rejected, insulted, disappointed and it just takes away your confidence,” Musk added. “Then you just have to get over it. So here, I’m 74, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, and I don’t care, and nobody’s insulting me because — you don’t want to insult a grandmother. The point is, people are really good to me at this stage, but why should it take so long?”
Her daughter Tosca wrote an essay titled he Unstoppable Force for the issue as well.
“My whole life, I’ve seen my mom do everything. As a result I think I’ll always expect her to be able to do everything,” Tosca said. “Sometimes I wonder whether it’s time I start limiting those expectations, as she gets older. But then I look at her again, still unstoppable, and I think, not yet.”
MJ Day, Editor in Chief of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, said this issue celebrates evolving, multi-layered individuals.
“We all deserve the chance to evolve. So in this issue, we encourage readers to see these models as we see them: multifaceted, multitalented—and sexy while they’re at it,” she said. “The world may label them one way, but we want to focus our lens on all the ways they see themselves and how they own who they are. No matter your age, whether you’re a new mom, partner, sister, entertainer, athlete, entrepreneur, advocate, student, mentor, role model, leader or dreamer—or all of the above—we want to celebrate these women, their evolution and the many dimensions of who they are.”
The 2022 Issue of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit is available on newsstands May 19.