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In this image, Stewart smiles at onlookers as she arrives at federal court in New York City, March 2, 2004. Getty Images/Stephen Chernin


  • Martha Stewart's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover received mixed responses on Twitter
  • Several netizens praised the 81-year-old former TV host, calling her an inspiration
  • Stewart said she did Pilates every other day and stayed away from bread and pasta for months for the shoot

Martha Stewart is getting praise on social media over her Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover.

On Monday, the 81-year-old former TV host was revealed as one of the four cover stars of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit's 2023 issue along with Megan Fox, Kim Petras and Brooks Nader. In her cover shot, Stewart can be seen posing on the beach in a plunging white one-piece suit and billowing, gold jacket.

Some Twitter users criticized Stewart's cover photo, claiming that it was heavily edited.

"Airbrushed and filtered. If you truly wanted to celebrate older women, you would have not done that," one person tweeted, while another claimed that the shot was "obviously Photoshopped to the max."

But many more showered Stewart with praise and described her as inspirational.

"Martha Stewart is living her best life. Just an amazing photoshoot," one person tweeted.

"She looks phenomenal!" another commented. "Hats off to Martha! It's inspirational!" a third Twitter user added.

"I say, go @MarthaStewart! At 81, she's on top of her game and the oldest @SI_Swimsuit cover model ever, inspiring women of all ages to 'look good, feel good.' She's working, creating, thriving, and doing it all with her own sense of humor! She is a trailblazer that we can all learn from. I'd love to be creating at 81, thriving at 81. Looking good, and making a difference. These are life goals for every year of life," Maria Shriver tweeted.

Some also defended Stewart amid claims that her snaps were Photoshopped.

"It's refreshing to see Martha Stewart embrace her age and own it with confidence. Retouching photos is a reality across the board, not just for older models. So, let's not single out Stewart for that," one person tweeted. "Her presence on the cover is a celebration of diversity and a reminder that beauty transcends age. It's inspiring to see her feel comfortable and confident in her skin."

"I hear a lot of people criticizing the cover for 'being touched up.' I guarantee you that the 23-year-olds on the covers are also touched up and airbrushed," another wrote.

When she appeared on "Today" Monday, Stewart opened up about her preparation for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit photoshoot and her reason for doing it.

She told hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb that the magazine approached her to do the cover in November 2022 and that they scheduled a photoshoot at the end of January.

"That was kind of a request that I've never had before," Stewart recalled. "To be on the cover at my age was a challenge. And I think I met the challenge."

Stewart said she prepared for the big day by sticking to diet and exercise. She worked out and never starved herself but avoided carbs.

"I didn't starve myself, but I didn't eat any bread or pasta for a couple of months," Stewart shared. "I went to Pilates every other day and that was great. I'm still going to Pilates every other day 'cause it's so great. And I just, I live a clean life anyway — good diet and good exercise and healthy skincare and all of that stuff."

She told the hosts that her appearance is "a testament for good living." She also credited her mom for her "good" genes.

Stewart said that she was happy with the result of the shoot. She admitted that after seeing the cover for the first time, her impression was: "I like that picture. ... And it turned out okay!"

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Martha Stewart at Macy’s Herald Square on April 5, 2018 in New York City. Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images