Belize is in the headlines once again — this time, as part of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit 2022 4-cover issue, featuring cover model Maye Musk! Sports Illustrated Swimsuit has a storied history of firsts in the industry, and the shoot focused heavily on inclusivity. Maye Musk — supermodel, bestselling international author, and mother of billionaire Elon Musk — appears on the cover, shot in Placencia at the beachfront-elegant Naia Resort & Spa. However, the 74-year-old is not the only one captured by world-famous photographer Yu Tsai in Belize. Within the 59th issue of the magazine that “celebrates 28 powerful women in an inclusive range of backgrounds and body types,” models Jasmine Sanders, Hunter McGrady, Kate Bock, Natalie Mariduena, and Leyna Bloom also appear in breathtaking locales like Belize’s Mountain Pine Ridge Forest Reserve, St. Herman’s Blue Hole National Park, Sleeping Giant Lodge, and more.
“Belizeans are proudly committed to preserving the country’s unique charms and pristine natural landscape. Beyond the natural wonders, archaeological marvels, and adrenaline-inducing adventures, it is truly the warmth of the Belizean people that makes Belize so special. The blending of cultures in Belize has resulted in one of the happiest and most peaceful countries in the region, and has garnered a widespread reputation as one of the world’s friendliest destinations.”
– Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Magazine
Other cover shoot destinations in the 2022 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit series included Barbados, Dominican Republic, and Montenegro. Sports Illustrated Swimsuit unveiled four cover stars for this year’s issue: Maye Musk, Kim Kardashian, Ciara, and Yumi Nu. When SI Swimsuit editor-in-chief MJ Day was asked how she landed on the women featured in this year’s issue, she focused on positive impact.
“I want people to think about women in general and all the different ways that they can affect positive change and they are true representatives of that.”
The 2022 issue, which hits newsstands on May 19, includes many other trailblazing firsts, including showing its first visibly pregnant woman, first chronically ill model, and the publication’s first time showing a woman with a cesarean section scar. The magazine said it wanted women to know that there’s no expiration date on our dreams and models don’t have to check a specific box in order to be beautiful.
In a release, the Belize Tourism Board applauds all local partners of Sports Illustrated for the 2022 Issue of the Swimsuit Magazine, including Naia Resort & Spa and The Belize Collection, along with smaller businesses in the industry, like Splash Dive Center, Wendy’s Restaurant, and Palmetto Grove. Issue models also got an opportunity to see an authentic side of Belize, thanks to the Football Federation of Belize, Belize Under U20 Female Football team, and the K’iinich Ajaw Poktapok Team.
The 2022 Swimsuit Issue is Sports Illustrated’s second cover shoot in Belize, with 2018 being the first.