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Kathy Jacobs’s Groundbreaking SI Swim Debut Will Give You Major Travel Inspo

Kathy Jacobs was photographed by Yu Tsai in Turks and Caicos. <p>Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated</p>
Kathy Jacobs was photographed by Yu Tsai in Turks and Caicos.

Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated

Swim Search alumna Kathy Jacobs entered the modeling industry several decades ago and has carried her belief that beauty truly transcends age throughout her career. She started as a petite model in the ’80s with Ford Models and applied to SI Swimsuit’s open casting call in 2020.

“I picked out a blue bikini hoping it was the right choice, put it on and got into the line for my photoshoot. I stood there nervous because I really wanted to show that a woman can pose at 55 and look good in a bikini. Haley [Kalil, 2018 co-winner] came over and gave us a posing tip–pretty hands and pretty feet–so I loosened up my knuckles to the best of my ability to prepare for my shoot,” Jacobs recalled. “Once I was in front of the camera, my anxiety melted away, and I was in my comfort zone and was able to pose.”

The now-59 year-old was named co-winner of that year’s Swim Search after posing for photographer Yu Tsai in Turks and Caicos. She returned to the fold the following year as a rookie and was captured in Tampa, Fla., making history as the magazine’s oldest rookie model.

“Just to have people accept me as I am, it helps other women to be able to accept themselves how they are,” she reflected. “I think it’s more impactful for me to win now at 57, I think people see that as inspiring. Even though I’ve experienced and done a lot of things in life, it’s still scary for me to come in as a rookie, but at the same time, you shouldn’t be afraid to fail.”

Below are five phenomenal and powerful photos from the mom of one’s SI Swimsuit photoshoot in Turks and Caicos.

<p>Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated</p><p>Kathy Jacobs was photographed by Yu Tsai in Turks & Caicos. Swimsuit by MAUI GIRL.</p>

Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated

Kathy Jacobs was photographed by Yu Tsai in Turks & Caicos. Swimsuit by MAUI GIRL.

<p>Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated</p><p>Kathy Jacobs was photographed by Yu Tsai in Turks & Caicos. Swimsuit by Rudi Gernreich.</p>

Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated

Kathy Jacobs was photographed by Yu Tsai in Turks & Caicos. Swimsuit by Rudi Gernreich.

<p>Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated</p><p>Kathy Jacobs was photographed by Yu Tsai in Turks & Caicos.</p>

Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated

Kathy Jacobs was photographed by Yu Tsai in Turks & Caicos.

<p>Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated</p><p>Kathy Jacobs was photographed by Yu Tsai in Turks & Caicos. Swimsuit by Sports Illustrated Swim.</p>

Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated

Kathy Jacobs was photographed by Yu Tsai in Turks & Caicos. Swimsuit by Sports Illustrated Swim.

<p>Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated</p><p>Kathy Jacobs was photographed by Yu Tsai in Turks & Caicos. Swimsuit by MAUI GIRL.</p>

Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated

Kathy Jacobs was photographed by Yu Tsai in Turks & Caicos. Swimsuit by MAUI GIRL.

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