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 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.

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