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Who Is Kathy Jacobs? Meet The 56-Year-Old 'Sports Illustrated' Swimsuit Model

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Who Is Kathy Jacobs? Meet The 56-Year-Old 'Sports Illustrated' Swimsuit Model

It's time for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit Issue once again and this year, the tradition lives on with a pretty untraditional model: A 56-year-old who modeled when she was younger and is now getting back into the groove. 

As one of the finalists of the magazine's open call for models called Swim Search, Kathy Jacobs has now officially been featured in Sports Illustrated for the very first time. 

Who is Kathy Jacobs, the 56-year-old Sports Illustrated swimsuit model?

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Jacobs started out as a model but then changed career paths.

In the '80s, Jacobs was signed with Ford Models, but her modeling career ultimately didn't last. Instead, she has become a baker, making appearances on The Today Show and The Rachael Ray Show, and she's also started her own line of makeup products, Beauty Batters, and participated in brand deals on Instagram. But now, she's making a return to modeling and it looks like she might already be more successful than ever.

She wants to break down barriers In the modeling world.

In a recent interview, Jacobs said that she wants to show people that anyone of any age — or height — can be a model, even if they're in their 50s and 5'3" like she is. 

“There aren’t any petite women on the runway and the average height of a woman in the US is 5' 4". Clients still only want tall girls," she said. “I am not just saying women over 55 matter, but petite girls matter. It’s huge that I got this far being 56 and short.” 

She already has a pretty impressive Instagram following. 


A post shared by Kathy Jacobs (@ageisbeauty) on Jun 18, 2020 at 7:22am PDT

On Instagram, Jacobs has over 68,000 followers, so she's no newcomer to a bit of fame. She uses her account to share photos of her baked goods, her adventures while staying at home during the pandemic (including making face masks with whatever she finds around the house) and including posts about fitness and how she stays in such good shape. 

She wants women to know age is just a number.

In her Sports Illustrated bio, Jacobs shared that she entered the contest because she wants to show other women that all that matters is how you feel inside, and for Jacobs, that means feeling young. 

"The message I want to yell out from the rooftops to women of all ages is: DO EVERYTHING OR NOTHING TO YOURSELF TO FEEL GREAT ABOUT YOURSELF AND DON'T APOLOGIZE FOR HAVING OR NOT HAVING SOMETHING DONE. Love yourself. Feel great about yoursef," she said.  

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She's close with her daughter, Abigail. 

Jacobs and her 23-year-old daughter, Abigail — who is off to med school at NYU in the fall — are incredibly close, even posing for some of Jacobs' brand deals together on Instagram. As far as her Instagram feed goes, it looks like this mother/daughter duo is pretty unstoppable.

She was nervous to return to modeling at first. 

Since It had been so long since Jacobs' last stab at modeling, she admitted she was nervous for the Sports Illustrated shoot, especially since she'd be surrounded by models younger than her. But in the end, she had a blast.

“I had some apprehension coming into the shoot, I felt a lot of pressure from myself to do a good job and definitely felt really nervous," she admitted. "On the other hand, I just really wanted to show what a 56-year-old is capable of — that we are unstoppable." 

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Nicole Pomarico is an entertainment and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in Cosmo, Us Weekly, Refinery29, and more.