Trans woman of colour tops Sports Illustrated swim issue

Sports Illustrated magazine plans to break new ground and feature its first trans woman of colour in the 2021 Swimsuit issue.

U.S. model Leyna Bloom says beauty norms need to be challenged

Leyna Bloom is Sports Illustrated's first trans woman of colour to grace the cover of the sports magazine's 2021 Swimsuit edition. (Stephane Mahe/Reuters)

Model Leyna Bloom is the first trans woman of colour to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit issue.

The publication released a sneak peek at the July issue online this week.

Chicago-born Bloom, who is Black and Asian-American, said it's a historic moment for the evolution of social norms about beauty.

"This is a magazine that says we are allowed to be beautiful in all our shapes and sizes, and that should be loved because we're not often seen in that way," she told ABC's Nightline.

The U.S. monthly magazine publishes sports news and analysis throughout the year, as well as the swimsuit edition that showcases women modelling in next to nothing in international locales. The edition, known as Swimsuit, is a "multimedia powerhouse reaching more than 70 million consumers," according to the magazine's website.

Bloom, 27, was also the first openly trans woman of colour to appear in Vogue India in October 2017.

Last year, Sports Illustrated featured its first transgender woman model in the swimsuit edition, Brazil's Valentina Sampaio, known as the groundbreaking Victoria Secret model.

Former models who have appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition include Tyra Banks, Christie Brinkley, Elle MacPherson, Kathy Ireland, Heidi Klum and Ashley Graham.

CBC News, ABC Nightline