Padma Lakshmi Poses For 'Sports Illustrated' Swimsuit Issue In A Gold Swimsuit

Padma Lakshmi 2019 Emmy Awards
Padma Lakshmi 2019 Emmy Awards

Appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated‘s Swimsuit Issue is considered a major career milestone for many young models and actresses. Past cover stars include Kim Kardashian, Kate Upton, Tyra Banks, and Olivia Culpo. The list goes on and on. And now, former model and Taste the Nation host, Padma Lakshmi recently joined the list of stars who appeared on the Swimsuit Issue of the magazine in a sultry gold bikini. However, at 52 she’s much older than many of the cover stars. While she knows her way around a bikini and looks ageless, Padma admitted that she was not expecting this opportunity at this point in her career.


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Padma Lakshmi Takes Our Breath Away In A Barely-There Gold Bikini For The 2023 ‘Sports Illustrated’ Swimsuit Issue

Despite what she told Page Six, Padma proved she’s aging like fine wine in an ab-baring unforgettable gold bikini, among other looks, for the 2023 issue. She posed in an itty bitty golden bikini woven with an intricate seashell-like design by Toxic Sadie. Padma’s dark hair was parted down the middle and fell past her shoulders for the shoot and she went for a full glam makeup look complete with golden pink eyeshadow, full lashes, and a light pink lip. In one of the photos, the TV host confidently shows off a large scar on her arm, which she apparently got in a bad car accident when she was a teenager. Padma, who got her start as a model in the ’90s, was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica for the shoot.

When Padma was told that she was going to be on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, she thought she was being pranked. “I was like, ‘No, you’re sh*tting me,'” the culinary star said to Page Six. “Literally, I was like, ‘That’s not true, it’s so surreal,’ I thought it would happen one day for me when I was in my 20s and 30s and a model, but it never did, so I really thought that ship had sailed. So it’s almost sweeter happening at this age.” The ship definitely hasn’t sailed Padma!

She then immediately got to work shedding some pounds and sculpting her bod. “Luckily, I was trying to lose the weight from Top Chef, so I was in the gym a lot,” The author explained to Page Six. “But I only had three weeks’ notice.” Padma told the outlet that she refused to do any crash diets to get her bikini body in time for the shoot.

“I can’t do that,” she revealed. “I tried the Atkins diet for four hours one time and I had a wicked headache and was angry. I don’t need to change my body. I just need to be toned and in shape. I’m not a different size now than before I got the call—I’m the same size.” She did, however, work out a lot in preparation. “This was a three-week boot camp of boxing, jumping rope, working out with weights and rowing machines,” she said. “Every day.”

The TV show host recently told Fox News Digital that it was empowering to appear in the magazine at her age. In behind-the-scenes footage from the shoot, she admitted that she “wouldn’t go back to” her twenties if you “paid [her] all the money in the world.”


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Fan Comments

Padma shared three posts of the revealing gold bikini she wore on the cover to her Instagram. The first post, which Sports Illustrated also shared, had the caption, “When we said this year would be filled with epic women who empower, inspire and use their platforms to be both seen and heard, we meant it. As an author, activist, actress, model, philanthropist, and television host, there isn’t anything Padma Lakshmi doesn’t do and now, she’s joining the pages of the SI Swimsuit 2023 issue!”

The magazine’s editor MJ Day also wrote a dedication for the Top Chef host, saying: “Mother, author, activist, TV host, Emmy-nominated producer, philanthropist, and now, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model. Padma’s list of accomplishments is as stunning as she is and it’s an absolute honor to feature her in the 2023 issue.” Her three posts garnered a total of almost 400,000 likes.

Her sultry bikini pics proved to be a hit among her celebrity friends and fans. Mindy Kaling commented, “I fainted,” and Poorna Jagannathan added, “You are divine. Inside and out. But like very very divine on the out—thank you for the representation and general hotness.” Fellow models Paulina Porizkova commented, “You are [fire emoji],” Tyra Banks wrote, “Yep. Still got it. [mic emoji] drop,” and Ashley Graham raved, “Holy Hot Mama!!”

Padma’s loyal fans quickly raced to the comments as well. “Where does all that Top Chef food go!?” one wondered, while another quipped, “Does @si_swimsuit come with a Surgeon General’s warning because I’m dead!” and a third wrote, “Wow just wow, fifties [are] the new twenties!” and “That’s what I mean when I say 50s is empowering us women!”

READ MORE: Anne Hathaway Shimmers In A Sparkly Gold Bikini: ‘Happy New Year’