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

(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 “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.

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Feb 14, 2012 12:06 PM CST
19? wow, she is truly a magnificent specimen there is absolutely no way of denying that. the thing i love most about her as opposed to a good number of her modeling peers is how real and natural she looks. she is nicely toned and does not look she suffers from an eating disorder like so many of the women in modeling that are considered to be "sexy" or "beautiful" or "irresistible". I would not be at all opposed if she did thicken up those curves just a tiny bit though then she would be a picture of absolute perfection. what a cool, tall drink of water she is! I do absolutely loooove the low rise kini bottoms she is rockin right there, my goodness that looks amazing.
Feb 14, 2012 7:10 AM CST
Her great grandfather invented the washing machine and founded the Whirlpool Corporation. Her uncle is a US Representative from Michigan.
Feb 14, 2012 6:15 AM CST
I was watching Letterman last night and the 10 SI swimsuit models were doing his top 10. When it got to her (she was 2nd to last) I immediately googled her. She is a good choice for the cover and she shall be mine. Stalking begins immediately. And you, my internet peers, shall compliment me on my good taste.