Introducing Padma Lakshmi, 2023 SI Swimsuit Model

The TV host, author and mom makes her debut in the annual publication later this month.
Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica.

Padma Lakshmi is a successful author, television host and philanthropist. Renowned for her work on Bravo’s Top Chef and Hulu’s Taste the Nation, the mom and former model—who spent most of her 20s working in the modeling industry in Europe—is getting back to her roots when she makes her debut in the 2023 SI Swimsuit Issue later this month.

She traveled to Dominica with photographer Yu Tsai for her debut photo shoot with the franchise. Lakshmi, 52, told SI Swimsuit she felt comfortable on set with the Swim Team from the very beginning. Additionally, she hopes her feature with the franchise will inspire other women.

“I want everybody to see this pictorial and understand that sometimes a whole new phase that’s even more exciting than anything you’ve ever experienced before can happen well over 40,” she stated.

Lakshmi, who is mom to a 13-year-old daughter, Krishna, added that she learned a very important life lesson as a young woman in the modeling industry: that it’s important to “feel beautiful no matter what.”

“I love where I am in my life and know my body is not perfect by any means, but I feel beautiful. I feel like I have a very lucky, fruitful, productive life,” Lakshmi said. “My thighs may have been leaner, and my boobs were probably slightly higher in earlier parts of my life, but I have never felt better about myself. I hope they see a full woman in all my facets and nuances and some contradictions. I wouldn’t go back to my 20s if you paid me all the money in the world.”

Meet Padma Lakshmi—read the 2023 SI Swimsuit model’s full feature profile here.

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Cara O’Bleness


Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.