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Sports Illustrated reveals its swimsuit cover stars, including 1st transgender model

Megan Thee Stallion, Naomi Osaka and Leyna Bloom are this year's cover models.
/ Source: TODAY

Sports Illustrated has revealed the three figures gracing three separate covers of its annual swimsuit issue: model Leyna Bloom, rapper Megan Thee Stallion and tennis superstar Naomi Osaka.

The theme for this year's issue is "Opening Eyes, Speaking Truths and Changing Minds." Bloom is perhaps the issue's most noteworthy star, as she is the magazine's first transgender cover model and the first transgender person of color to appear in its pages, an accomplishment that the magazine's editor-in-chief, MJ Day, said in a press release proves "the more diverse and inclusive a community, the stronger it becomes."

In her cover photo, Bloom appears in a plunging white one-piece and strikes a sultry pose as her beachy hair blows in the wind.

Leyna Bloom is making history with her swimsuit cover.Yu Tsai / Sports Illustrated

Osaka, who recently made headlines for speaking out about mental health after withdrawing from the French Open and sitting out Wimbledon, appears on a second cover in a black asymmetrical one-piece. In the press release, Day revealed why the athlete was a natural fit for the annual issue.

"We celebrate Naomi for her passion, strength and power geared toward consistently breaking barriers when it comes to equality, social justice and mental health," she said.

Naomi Osaka covers another version of SI's 2021 swimsuit issue.Yu Tsai/ Sports Illustrated

In a third version of the swimsuit cover, Megan Thee Stallion wears a nude bikini with cutouts and a metallic bangle. Day called the rapper a "magnetic powerhouse taking the world by storm."

Megan Thee Stallion graces a third cover of the swimsuit issue.James Macari / Sports Illustrated

The swimsuit issue hits newsstands July 22, and Day shared her excitement over the talented and diverse trio of cover stars.

"If there’s one thing that our cover models have in common, it’s that they don’t have one thing in common," the editor said in the release. "They look different, have different upbringings, have different passions and inspirations. But each is a reminder that beauty comes in many forms."

In total, the swimsuit issue will feature 25 women, including former cover models Camille Kostek, Danielle Herrington and Olivia Culpo. Singers Tinashe and Anitta also join the impressive group.