Danielle Herrington Laces The Cover Of SI’s Swimsuit Issue

    Black Girl Magic in music, sports and fashion has gone from an inspirational phrase and description that captured the groundbreaking success of women of color in the 2016 Rio Summer Olympics to an everyday motto being lived by women of color all over the world in every discipline.

    While the Winter Olympics brings us a record number of athletes of color, 24-year-old African-American model Danielle Herrington is also diversifying fashion and accepted and promoted images of beauty as Herrington was revealed as 2018’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover model on Tuesday. 

    Meet the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue’s 2018 cover model

    Danielle Herrington, 24, is the third African-American model in the magazine’s decades-long history to grace the cover of the annual swimsuit issue.

    She becomes just the third black woman to appear on the cover of the magazine, joining super icons Tyra Banks (1997) and Beyonce (2005).  She went from rookie to cover girl in just one year. Herrington was inspired by Banks’ career and now is being mentored by her childhood idol on the do’s and don’ts of surviving as a supermodel. 

    Like many of the Olympians who come out of nowhere to achieve great acclaim and become world-renowned because of their force performances on the grand stage, Herrington went from rookie to cover girl in just one year.

    The Compton, Calif. native mesmerized as she posed for her first professional shoot in her lifetime in beautiful Fiji. “I remember being told I was going to live in New York,” Danielle said last year after seeing her first photos in the magazine. “Six months later, I’m a Swimsuit model.”

    Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue’s cover model cried when she found out she was chosen

    Danielle Herrington, 24, is the third African-American model in the magazine’s decades-long history to grace the cover of the annual swimsuit issue.

    She was photographed this year wearing a pink bikini at Harbour Island, Bahamas. SI Swimsuit editor MJ Day called Herrington a “natural brand ambassador.” 

    SI shared an Instagram video of Herrington learning from Banks that she was on the 2018 cover. 

    “I can’t even believe I’m saying this. I am the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover model,” Herrington told SI. “I can’t wait for everyone to see it. I’m emotional, but I just want to say thank you to everyone who believed in me. I put in so much work for this, and I’m feeling very accomplished, happy and excited.”

    Danielle Herrington Finds Her Sweet Spot In Fiji | Uncovered | Sports Illustrated Swimsuit

    SI Swimsuit 2017 rookie Danielle Herrington finds her inner sass, makes her stunning debut in Fiji with photographer Yu Tsai.

    Some people are against swimsuit issues and modeling. Some find it objectionable in the midst of the #MeToo movement and the fact that Sports Illustrated’s subscribers are 78 percent male and women are rarely on the cover. However, highlighting Herringtons accomplishments has less to do with her beauty and body than the fact that she broke through in an industry that has kept women of color on the backburner for way too long.

    The willingness of Sports Illustrated to feature a fresh new face shows traditional and misinformed projections of beauty are changing along with a diversifying world with more progressive thinking and approaches to an increasingly diversified customer base. 

    Simply put, Black Girl Magic wins again. 

    JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.