The 30-year-old singer has been chosen to be one of the four cover stars of Sports Illustrated’s annual issue, along with Megan Fox, Brooks Nader, and Martha Stewart.
In July 2021, actress Leyna Bloom was the first transgender woman to be on the cover. She was also photographed in Dominica for SI this year for its swimsuit issue.
Speaking to the publication about becoming a cover star, Petras called it “iconic”.
“I was so excited when I got the call to be in Sports Illustrated,” she said. “It’s very iconic, and a lot of very iconic people have done it before, so [it was a] big dream come true for me.”
As she highlighted how important it is for the transgender community to be represented, she noted the pressure she’s felt throughout her career.
“It’s definitely a scary time to be transgender in America, but there’s also so much more representation than there’s ever been, and there’s so many things on the bright side,” she told the magazine.
“I do feel a pressure sometimes to represent the trans community with everything I do, because I feel very blessed that I am at this point where I have all these amazing opportunities that I’ve worked really hard for, and feel so happy when I hear from trans people in general that they’re inspired by me.”
The “Unholy” singer also acknowledged that at the end of the day, hers and other people’s choices aren’t always tied into their genders.
“I always try to remember that everything I do is definitely not about being transgender. It’s a part of me, but there are so many other parts of me. And I think that’s really important for me to show that to people,” she said. “No matter what your gender or sexuality or any of that stuff is, it’s about what you make of life and it’s about what’s inside of you, so I hope that can be inspiring to people.”
For the photo shoot, Petras was photographed in Los Angeles and posed in different swimsuits. For the cover, she posed in a pool while wearing a gold beaded bikini paired with long necklaces.
Fans on social media were thrilled by the result.
“Favourite pic of @kimpetras from the Sports Illustrated photoshoot. Looking like a goddess,” one wrote on Twitter, along with a picture of her cover.
“I AM GAGGED,” another atted.@kimpetras looking absolutely f***ing gorgeous for Sports Illustrated.”
Petras also spoke toPeople about the magazine cover and expressed how much she enjoyed modelling with SI.
“It’s super exciting to have my Sports Illustrated cover and album announcement happening at the same time! Yu Tsai and the whole team at Sports Illustrated made me feel really comfortable and like I belonged there. I had the best time and, honestly, it was a huge confidence boost,” she said.