IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Martha Stewart made history on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Next up ... the moon?

The entrepreneur talks about what's left for her to conquer following her historic Sports Illustrated cover.

Martha Stewart is the newest model to grace the cover Sports Illustrated Swim Issue and at 81, she's just made history as the oldest.

Like most things, the lifestyle guru isn't shy about sharing her feelings on the landmark event and how she hopes people will view her.

"What I hope I exude is 'appealing,'" Stewart says during a sit-down interview with, remarking on the photo shoot.

"Because it says there might be some physical defects in terms of the ‘ideal’ woman, but I have nice legs, I have a good body, I have good skin. I might be a little fat here and there, but who cares? It looks good altogether, the package is good."

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2023 featuring Martha Stewart.
The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2023 featuring Martha Stewart.Ruven Afanador / Sports Illustrated

That's an understatement, given the "package" pretty much breaks the internet every time she fearlessly puts it on display, whether it be in one of her sultry "thirst-trip" Instagram posts or posing in an apron (and nothing else) for a Keurig coffee ad.

It's also what landed the entrepreneur on the cover of the Sports Illustrated annual swimsuit issue, alongside Megan Fox, Kim Petras and Brooks Nader.

"I hope this is inspirational to women in general and also to men, because everybody really should be living successfully and living well," she says.

Stewart also says that it's all about mindset and if you tell yourself you're too old to try new things, then it ends up being a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Instead, she believes "there's every opportunity to make yourself feel and look better than you think you could."

"It's not about successful aging," Stewart explains. "It's about successful living."

By all accounts, Stewart is redefining what it means to age in a culture obsessed with being young. She chalks her success up to clean living and her state of mind.

"If I look good when I get up, that's my objective," she says. "Without makeup, without my hair being done, if I look good, my skin looks clear, my eyes look nice, I don't have bags under my eyes and I feel OK, then it's all right."

Having begun her career as a fashion model before shifting her focus to building a lifestyle empire, Stewart is no stranger to being in front of the camera.

Even so, for many women — regardless of age — being photographed in a swimsuit is daunting.

Yet when Sports Illustrated approached her last fall about doing the cover shoot, Stewart had no problem saying yes. "I didn't really hesitate. I thought it was a good challenge, a good opportunity to show another dimension," she says.

Did she have any trepidation about being a cover model?

"I wasn't nervous at all, I just wanted to make sure I looked good," she says. "The camera does not lie."

To prepare for the shoot, Stewart said she didn't "starve" herself, but cut out bread and pasta for a couple of months and "went to Pilates every other day," during an appearance on TODAY with Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie.

Then, to get just the right shot, Stewart says she was photographed wearing nine different swimsuits. She told Hoda and Savannah “they were prodding me and pinching me and pouring water over my head.”

When it came to her wardrobe, Stewart tells that she had a few requests.

“I did say to the editors, ‘I don’t want to wear any old-lady bathing suits.'"

"I did say to the editors, 'I don't want to wear any old-lady bathing suits. I don't want little bows and stuff here and there, and cover-ups. I did not go for that look. I went for a nice, healthy, energized and, if you want to call it 'sexy,' sort of sexy look," she says.

The result is nothing short of iconic. Stewart hopes the covers will inspire others to focus less on age-related obstacles and more on possibilities.

"There shouldn't be any limits. Set your limits higher than you think. Embrace the past but absolutely look towards the future and reimagine what you can do," Stewart says.

"I don't act my age and I don't want to even think about my age," she explains. "Most of my friends are much younger than I am and that's not because I choose them. They just are my friends because we have the same interests."

Of this latest milestone, Stewart says that her objective is to encourage people to continue evolving and realize that "you can look great pretty much at any age if you put your mind to it."

As far as her own evolution is concerned, Stewart is shooting for the stars. Literally.

"I haven't gone to the moon yet," Stewart says when asked if there's anything left that she'd still like to conquer.

Would she really go?

"They've already approached me to go on the little, short trips, but maybe."