Kim Kardashian has hit a milestone in her career she "never thought" was possible.
The reality TV has surprised not only fans but herself by securing one of four cover spots on the 2022 issue launch of Sports Illustrated.
Appearing on the cover in a nude Skims bikini and matching sheer gloves, the mother of four shared the exciting news with posts to her social media accounts where she couldn't contain her excitement and said, "It's such an honour and a dream to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Bucket List goals!"
People Magazine reported the Skims founder said she always thought the cover spot was held for professional models: "I vividly remember Tyra Banks on the cover and women with curves, I remember thinking that was just so cool. But I still thought you had to be a professional model and a runway model.
"It was always really young girls. I don't want to date myself or sound old," she continued. "But in my 40s? That's crazy! I never thought in a million years that I would be shooting one myself."
While the cover includes multiple images showing off the reality star's toned physique, Kardashian also used the opportunity to pen a touching letter to her younger self and explained her journey is a constant evolution to strive to learn and achieve more.
The letter goes on to share a lesson from her time in the spotlight, saying, "it's easy to say to just ignore the criticism" admitting "at some point, it will click in your heart that it's not about you anymore".
The Skims founder went on to admit she has become an increasingly private person throughout her years of fame and has come to realise she shares her story "the actual narrative, the truth" not by engaging "but by doing".
The star later told herself she will find that by May 2022 she is not "content" and is still looking for "that next it" but when she finds it she will do it "to the fullest".
While the reactions to the cover have been mixed, MJ Day, the magazine's editor in chief, has stood by her decision to put the Kardashian sister on the cover.
Day said her choice came down to the similarities between Kardashian and the magazine, saying both had to "break out of the mould the world put us in". She added the reality TV star is "no stranger to the world's judgment, continues to live proudly, authentically and unapologetically through the noise".
After sharing the big news, one eagle-eyed fan recalled a post the star made in 2020 where she joked about her "Sports Illustrated moment", and said, "you manifested it queen".
While others expressed their excitement. One fan said "that's awesome! Congratulations!", another retweeted Kardashian's original tweet and said, "Just too perfect!"
The mother of four also received support from her family. Kylie Jenner commented a heart eye emoji on the star's Instagram post while Khloe Kardashian reposted it to her Instagram story and placed a crown emoji on her sister's head, and Kris Jenner, the famous momager tweeted, "Kim on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition!"
Kardashian is one of four cover models for the 2022 swimsuit edition launch and will join superstar singer Ciara, model and activist Maye Musk and rising model Yumi Nu.
People Magazine reported the 2022 issue will continue to build on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit's platform of diversity and empowerment.