Hot Girl Summer is back in full effect. While celebrating her history-making Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition cover at Hollywood, Florida’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino on Friday, July 23, Megan Thee Stallion wore a crystal-covered, sheer custom Natalia Fedner gown with a high slit — held together by gem-adorned threads — that went all the way up her waist. To cap off the look, Megan, the first female rapper to ever grace the annual cover, paired stilettos (also dripping with gems) with diamond drop earrings and a spiky updo.
After Megan shared more party and behind-the-scenes photos on Instagram, the musician’s famous friends — including stars Lizzo, Lil Baby, Ella Mai, Soulja Boy, Jessie J, Shay Mitchell, Jordin Sparks, Karrueche Tran, and many others — gave their social media seals of approval. “DAMNN,” her boyfriend Pardison Fontaine commented with a drooling emoji. Meanwhile, Normani wrote, “wowwwwwww,” adding a heart-eyes emoji.
“I have always been comfortable and confident in my own skin,” Megan told Sports Illustrated in the cover interview that dropped on July 19. “I have to give props to the strong women who raised me. My family always made me feel really good about myself. I didn’t realize how lucky I was to have grown up in such an environment.”
Still, getting to be a Sports Illustrated cover model came as a surprise. “When I got the call that they wanted me on the cover, I was like, ‘Wha—? Me?’” the rapper told People. She got to join the ranks of icons like Tyra Banks and Beyoncé, both of whom have inspired her. Recalling seeing Banks on the cover, Megan said, “I remember thinking, ‘Wow, this girl looks like me!’ Here is this stunning Black woman owning her curves and it made a big impact.”
The “Body” rapper was one of three celebrities — along with tennis star Naomi Osaka and actor Leyna Bloom — chosen to cover this year’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. The magazine unveiled her cover in a July 19 Instagram post, writing that Megan is “not just at the top of the rap charts, but she’s focused on finishing her degree and showing the world her unfiltered and authentic self.” Posting the cover on her own account, she shared that it was a “DREAM COME TRUE!!” and again credited “the strong women in [her] life” who helped her “love [her] body and live [her] best hot girl life.”
While speaking to Harper’s Bazaar for the magazine’s March 2021 issue, the three-time Grammy winner explained she’s been experimenting with a softer, more natural approach off the red carpet. “I’m realizing that I don’t have to be in full glam every time you see me, because I’m just getting more comfortable with myself and more comfortable with my skin,” she said. “I know that I’m a person that everybody looks to, and they’re like, ‘Oh, Megan, she’s a confident woman. She’s so strong.’ But you have to go through things to become that person.”
Now that’s some real Hot Girl sh*t.