Danielle Herrington becomes third black woman in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover

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For her cover shoot, Danielle wore a teeny pink, thong bikini, showing off her booty and side boob while splashing around in the ocean. Banks then revealed to Herrington she was the cover model like she was on America's Next Top Model.

The black-and-white photo shoot, by Taylor Ballantyne, marks the "evolution" of the iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue amid an ongoing push for women's equality, SI Swim Editor M.J. Day said in a statement to People and other publications.

Taylor Ballantyne
Taylor Ballantyne

"I was just crying so hard because she is the reason I wanted to be a SI model", Herrington exclaims. All those things separately don't guarantee a cover, though. The 25-year-old actress, model, and beauty queen takes part in the glossy's "In Her Own Words" shoot, wearing nothing but phrases like "woman", "love transforms", and "imperfect" painted on her body.

Herrington told ABC News she was crying when she found out she was chosen and immediately called her mother, who has been her biggest support along her modeling journey, to share the good news. Here's everything to know about Danielle! She made an impression during that shoot, and it directly led to her landing this year's cover. She has walked for Philip Plein's New York Fashion Week show last season and this past season. The shy, sickly teen who couldn't book a job was reborn as an in-demand plus-size model who didn't even have to bother with castings, because clients were requesting her.

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Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Aly Raisman is among this year's models, and she picked an empowering message for women. "I hope that we can one day get to a point where everyone realizes that women do not have to be modest to be respected".

The much-talked about Herrington was very vocal about her inspiration, supermodel Tyra Banks, who was the first black woman to hit the front page of the magazine. Well the sea decided otherwise - when the famous model was posing topless on a rock for one of the shots, small wave crawled behind her, gradually gaining strength before ultimately knocking Kate off her feet and right into the water.

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