The SI Swimsuit Issue Validated Internet Stardom In A Huge Way This Year

The very excellent 2013 SI Swimsuit Issue came out today.

The one big takeaway: some of the biggest names in the issue started as Internet stars.

The biggest example of this is Kate Upton, who was a little-known model before this video of her doing the Dougie at a Clippers game in 2010 went viral:

Another star model from this year’s issue is Katherine Webb — Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron’s girlfriend skyrocketed to fame after Brent Musburger gushed about her during the National Championship Game.

Katherine Webb

Photo: YouTube

Webb didn’t get the travel the world like some of the more entrenched models. But she is a big part of the marketing campaign for the issue, appearing on Letterman last night.

Three of the four athletes that SI chose for the issue were Internet stars as well.

Aussie hurdler Michelle Jenneke got Internet famous when a video of her dancing before a race went viral.

michelle jenneke gif

Here she is shooting for the issue:

Michelle Jenneke

Photo: SI Video Screengrab

In addition, field hockey players Ellen Hoog and Eva de Goede were a part of the gold-medal winning Dutch team that was all over the Internet during the Olympics because of their good looks.

dutch field hockey article

Photo: Yahoo!

Here they are shooting for the issue:

dutch field hockey girls posing

Photo: Sports Illustrated screenshot

This could just be a one-year coincidence, but it’s undeniable that the way fame works is changing.

Sports Illustrated doesn’t have to take unknown models from the fashion world and turn them into stars. It can dive into the depths of the Internet and find pre-existing stars who have gone viral before.

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