Martha Stewart just had two months to prepare for her now-iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover. She increased her Pilates to three times per week, watched what she ate, and gave up alcohol.

“I had my regular facials but maybe more frequently and I also got a spray tan,” Stewart, who is up for three Daytime Emmys this year, tells me during a phone interview on Tuesday. “And I’m not a hairy person, but I got a complete body wax.”

Stewart became the oldest SI swimsuit model at the age of 81. Stewart, a model in her twenties, worked with superstars such as Richard Avedon.

“When I was a model and posing all the time in bathing suits and sporty sexy things, that’s the time I should have been on the cover,” she says before adding with a laugh, “But I wasn’t $75-an-hour model then. I was only a $50- and $60-an-hour model.”

Martha Stewart’s Interview:

Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart’s Swimsuit Cover

Have you ever been invited to appear in a swimsuit issue?

Never. When they called, I asked my daughter, Alexis, if I should do it, and she said, “Cool.” She didn’t say, “Are you crazy?” I thought that was the best response.

What do you think when you read remarks that indicate you must have worked hard to appear this good?

“Well, it’s not true. I’ve had absolutely no plastic surgery whatsoever. I have very healthy, good hair. I drink green juice every day. I take my vitamins. I eat very healthfully. I have very good skin doctors. I’m very careful in the sun. I wear hats and I wear sunblock every single day.”

Martha Stewart Young
Martha Stewart Young

Have you ever considered getting plastic surgery or fillers?

“Every now and then there are certain fillers that I can do for a little line here or there, but I hate Botox. It’s a weird thing for me. I really and truly don’t do a lot.”

Stewart, 81, was initially hesitant, but she explained to Guthrie and Kotb that she agreed to this because she saw her late-life endeavors as an opportunity to “successfully living.”

Martha Stewart
Martha Stewart

“I think all of us should think about good living, successful living, and not ageing,” Stewart added. The entire aging thing is tedious. “Do you understand what I mean?”

Stewart joins actress Megan Fox, Grammy Award-winning singer Kim Petras, and Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Brooks Nader on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2023.