YouTube Star Kate Upton Is Sports Illustrated Bikini Babe

19-year-old shot to cover following 'Dougie' video

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 14, 2012 12:19 AM CST | Updated Feb 14, 2012 5:03 AM CST

(Newser) – Victoria's Secret model and YouTube starlet Kate Upton flashes a wild bikini on this week's cover as Sports Illustrated's much-awaited annual swimsuit babe. Upton, a 19-year-old Floridian, was named the top "rookie" model in last year's Swimsuit Issue by the mag. This time she poses on an Aussie beach in a red-and-brown teeny bikini that makes her feel "sexy but confident," she tells the AP. "In Florida, people walk around in their flip-flops, bikinis, and jean shorts, so I'm very comfortable in a bathing suit," says the 5-foot-11 model. She's a modern girl, who shot to fame thanks in large part to a YouTube video in which she struts her stuff, notes the New York Times.

She racked up 3 millions views on a YouTube video of her doing the "Dougie," a dance popularized by Cali Swag District, and has a 170,000-person Twitter following. The video caught the attention of a model scout, and the rest is bikini history. "Social media now creates its own reality,” says Wayne Sterling, publisher of industry site Models.com. “If you become a YouTube star among teenagers, you have even more recognizability than a TV star. Kate Upton is the perfect example of that." Click to read 10 things you probably didn't know about Kate Upton.

Model Kate Upton flaunts on the cover Sports Illustrated 2012 Swimsuit Issue.
Model Kate Upton flaunts on the cover "Sports Illustrated 2012 Swimsuit Issue."   (AP Photo/Walter Iooss Jr. for Sports Illustrated)
Kate Upton rocks a wild bikini.
Kate Upton rocks a wild bikini.   (AP Photo/Walter Iooss Jr. for Sports Illustrated)
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