Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue recently announced four cover stars for their 2022 edition with a subtitle of "Be the Change You Want to See."
Gracing the covers this year are Maye Musk—a fashion and beauty model with 50 years in the industry and, yes, the mother of Elon Musk; Singer Ciara; plus-size model Yumi Nu and reality TV superstar and tabloid target Kim Kardashian.
Releasing Kardashian's cover photo on their Instagram page, Sports Illustrated declared Kardashian was "here to break the internet again".
However, not everyone was thrilled by the idea of Kardashian "breaking the internet."
Critics wasted no time expressing their dissatisfaction with Sports Illustrated''s decision to choose Kardashian as one of their cover stars.
Many expressed choosing Kardashian as one of the cover stars was a reckless decision, feeling she wasn't a good role model for young women and sets unhealthy standards and expectations of beauty.
Particularly after she revealed the unhealthy diet she followed prior to her appearance at this year's Met Gala.
Following all the backlash directed at Kardashian, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue editor- in-chief MJ Day stepped up to defend the decision.
Day told Yahoo Life it was Kardashian's persistence which led to including her as one of 2022's cover stars, feeling that alone made her a role model.
"There's so many points in her life where she could have just crawled under a rock and let the world pass her by and just live a comfortable life."
"But she continues to evolve herself and push on and prove everybody wrong who doesn't want to allow her that permission to be more and do more, and inevitably, she's doing more for all of us by doing that in ways."
"I applaud that with every ounce of my fiber."
Kardashian is perhaps best known for her fairly tumultuous personal life, which includes a leaked sex-tape, a 72-day marriage to basketball star Kris Humphries and a longer lasting but no less notorious marriage to rapper Ye.
Yet Kardashian has remained undeterred in the public eye.
Aside from being a fixture of the tabloids and gossip columns, Kardashian has contributed in building a number of fashion and cosmetic related businesses and now plans to follow the footsteps of her late father, Robert Kardashian, by becoming a lawyer.
Day expressed how the media seems to only choose to promote the more negative aspects of her life, and hopes including her in the 2022 swimsuit issue might change that.
"When you're that famous, there's gonna be a lot of people that say a lot of things about you, but her persistence and her unwillingness to limit herself in all these other ways that doesn't necessarily get as much attention as like what she wears to the Met Gala, unfortunately."
"She just continues to do it, even in light of any type of negativity."
"I just really stand for that, like, I really applaud that."
Day subsequently took to instagram herself, doubling down against all the criticism directed at Kardashian and pleading with readers to have a more open mind.
"Kim Kardashian, no stranger to the world’s judgment, continues to live proudly, authentically and unapologetically through the noise."
"We all deserve the chance to evolve."
"So in this issue I encourage you to see these models as we see them: multi- faceted, multitalented—and sexy, while they’re at it."
Several people commended Day for standing up for Kardashian, as well as the other three cover stars of 2022.
Though as was to be expected, many people remained unconvincned Kardashian was deserving of being on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.
The issue offers a number of notable women and historic firsts which some felt were more deserving of the cover as a better match for the choice of Musk—who at 74 is the oldest working model ever featured—and Yumi Nu—a first for an Asian plus-size model.
Within the 59th annual issue, the first Indigenous First Nations woman, Ashley Callingbull is featured.
Also featured among the 29 women in the issue are WNBA stars Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart, Sudanese refugee and Australia's Next Top Model contestant Duckie Thot, Kamie Crawford and Olivia Ponton.
People made the case for several to be chosen instead of Kardashian.
It doesn't seem, however, Kardashian will be fazed by all the negative attention her cover photo has gained.
Day shared a portion of a note Kardashian penned to be included in the issue, where she openly addressed the abundant criticism she has faced pretty much from the moment she entered the public eye.
"It's easy to say to just ignore the criticism, but another thing you'll learn is that at some point it will click in your head that it's not about you anymore."
"It's about family. It's about helping other people."
"For years you’ll be putting yourself out there."
" But you're going to become a more private person and you're going to come to realize that the way to get your story out there — the actual narrative, the truth — isn't by engaging but by doing."
Sports Illustrated Swimsuitalso posted a brief clip of an interview during her cover shoot, vowing readers would be "blown away" by the full interview.
In the brief clip, Kardashian emphasized she is pleased with all she has accomplished in her life so far and hopes to now put her focus to work towards helping others.
"When you get to a certain place, you're like, what can I do to help other people? "
"I'm good and I've gotten done what I wanted to get done and now it's like how can I serve and what can I do?"
"That is what fulfills me."