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Kate Upton: Supermodel Deserves Credit for Braving Arctic Elements in SI Shoot

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 03:  Swimsuit model Kate Upton attends the New York Knicks game against the Miami Heat in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs on May 3, 2012 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images)
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images
Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IFebruary 14, 2013

Kate Upton was the only model in the 2013 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue to pose in Antarctica. 

Swimsuit issue editor MJ Day said the shoot took three years to plan because of the arctic elements, and she didn't even know if the photos would be usable, via People.

Fast-forward and Upton is the cover model for the issue for the second year in a row.

That takes skill...and commitment.

I can hear the cries of criticism now. "She doesn't know what hard work is." "She's pampered." "She hardly has to do anything to make millions."

But, the fact of the matter is, she was the only one to go to Antarctica. She also got frostbite along the way, as she noted, and had trouble seeing or hearing momentarily after the shoot. 

Upton told People after she was revealed as the cover model:

It was an accomplishment just to get through the shoot. I didn't even think about the possibility of being the cover until after I thawed out a bit! But now it's like, wow — I actually went down there and was able to accomplish that. I'm part of history, and it's a great feeling.

Day recognized Upton's hard work on the shoot and rewarded it handsomely. Regardless of how you feel about modeling, that's a success story. It's also a success story that Upton was able to land the cover in consecutive years, something only a handful of models have done in the 50 years of the Swimsuit issue's existence.

And, frankly, Upton saved a photo shoot that had every reason to fall apart, and did so overwhelmingly. She not only came out with some great shots, she did so in sub-zero temperatures. How many supermodels can say that?

It's refreshing that there are models out there that still have enthusiasm for shoots even if they aren't in ideal temperatures. That should be applauded, not mocked. In an industry where you are oftentimes treated like a queen, it's nice to see models like Upton go through great lengths to get the job done. It's no wonder why she was named the cover model this year.

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