James Macari/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED
Yumi Nu, the Japanese-Dutch celebrity, made history by becoming the new cover girl for the legendary swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated. The singer, model, and social media force is the first plus-size Asian model to appear on the cover in the history of the magazine.
Nu shared her thoughts on this achievement via her social media: “Asian culture has been slower to champion body diversity or inclusion and for me one of my biggest missions as a model was to start to change that. This cover marks a huge step in the right direction.”
Yumi Nu’s talents go beyond modeling, in the second half of 2021, she also became a recording artist, and then came another major landmark in her career: she also made history as the first plus-size model on the cover of Vogue Japan.
This is what the 25-year-old said about the importance of representation: “For as long as I could remember, I’ve been telling my agents and any agency I met with that I wanted to be the first plus size model on the cover of Japanese Vogue,” she wrote.
She also added, “Japanese culture values being skinny, dainty and small, so for me to be on the cover of Vogue Japan meant being seen and being honored by a culture that often makes people with bigger bodies like mine feel invisible.”.
The singer is a fashion icon and influencer, with over 100k followers on her Instagram. Her cover is one of four, the other women on the cover are Grammy Award–winning singer Ciara, model/author Maye Musk (yes, Elon Musk’s mother), and the one and only Kim Kardashian. They, alongside Nu, make this one of the most diverse issues in the magazine’s history.
On social media, people applauded the decision to include plus-size women, and Yumi Nu in particular: “Congratulations to you Yumi! You look incredible, confident and proud. It’s about time that Sports Illustrated has finally diversified. Perhaps I’ll buy this issue and I’d hope to have an autographed copy,” wrote one fan.
Another person added: “If I had seen this as a young person my feelings about my body would be so different.”
This is not Yumi Nu’s first time being featured in the magazine, as she already appeared back in July 2021.