This 53-Year-Old Grandma Is A Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model

Photos of model Paulina Porizkova.@paulinaporizko via Instagram

In 2019 we are seeing some strides in the realm of beauty and aging. Getting older – or more mature – is something that is celebrated, respected, and in some ways, honored.

Women who seem to defy time and space when comparing their numerical age with their looks exist, and many are modest and cavalier about it. Although the jury is still out on how aging is tackled through representation in the media, we see some examples with women like Paulina Porizkova.

The 53-year-old has a history with modeling for Sports Illustrated, and this May, she will be the cover model for its 2019 swimsuit issue. More than 35 years after her first time working for the magazine at age 17, she will be posing in bikinis and – in one shot – nothing but a G-string.

This year, Porizkova will be the oldest modeled featured in the issue, and she considers it an honor. But in a recent interview with People, she admitted she was both excited and anxious about the shoot:

“It was at once thrilling and disconcerting. Although I am militant about ageing women still being sexy and beautiful, I don’t always feel that way. (It didn’t help that the shoot fell to right after Christmas, when I had been gorging on cookies for a month and not had time to work out). But refusing was out of the question. I was honored to be invited to break a barrier. I would just have to suck it up, or IN, rather, and hope for a photographer who knew his light.”

She also mentioned that though last year’s issue included herself and other women in the nude with political and social messages written on their bodies, it was easier for her to pose in that one because of the empowerment theme.

For this round, it is more about being sensual for a woman her age.

“Posing in a bikini on a beach, that IS titillation. And something far harder and more complex for a woman of nearly 54, who is being told by society her sexuality and sensuality has expired. I think it takes enormous bravery to be an unaltered 50-something woman: cellulite, wrinkles and sags, and still pose as though she deserves to be looked at, to be desired. I was incredibly honored to have a go at it. And totally intimidated.”

Photos for this year’s swimsuit issue were shot in January in Kenya, and Porizkova enjoyed every moment of it. Below you can see her at work and learn what she had to say about the magic of photography when it comes to professional modeling.

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I hope we all understand that a photoshoot is in part a magic trick. You have been made up by the best people in the business; had hair added and blown and sprayed and makeup expertly applied so it looks perfectly natural and you are just the best version of yourself. You have tried on a hundred bathing suits and bikinis, and only the most flattering have been selected.A great photographer will know exactly where to put you for the best light, and make you feel confident by telling you how beautiful you are – on repeat. Your body shines with a fake tan and bronzers. And then you can shoot endless frames to only capture one single moment on camera. And that perfect moment will be taken to an artist who will make sure any tiny flaws are erased. None of us look like we do in photos – in real life. (for photos of what I look like with no make up and no magic, check out the fitting photos.)Here are the magicians responsible: @mj_day the brain of the project, and selector of the most flattering suits, @yutsai88 the eyes of the project, a photographer of incredible charm and charisma besides being a master of light, @tracymurphymua spectacular effects master, making me look perfectly natural but so much better, @jrugg8 for that amazing head of hair and a spectacularly bad photo of the two of us 😜. #sexydoesnothaveanexpirationdate

A post shared by Paulina Porizkova (@paulinaporizkov) on

For women, the topic of body image and aging is either a touchy one or something that is embraced with open arms. At times, Porizkova admits that she has struggled with aging just because she’s been in the beauty industry the majority of her life.

Now, she is focusing on her two sons and grandchildren, health, and being ageless. Sounds good to us!

Can you relate to Porizkova’s comments on women, aging, and sensuality? Are you in awe over her photo shoot? How do you feel about aging and beauty?