Upton: ‘I’m not a toy, I’m a human’

Um, hello, I’m writing down here. All the way down. There you go.

Kate Upton says she felt terrible about herself on account of that photo, and if Kate Upton feels terrible about herself because of that photo then what hope is there for anyone else?

"After my first Sports Illustrated cover, I felt terrible about myself for a solid month," she told Elle Magazine. "Every single guy I met was either married or about to be married, and I felt like I was their bachelor present or something. I’m not a toy, I’m a human. I’m not here to be used. I am a grown woman, and you need to figure your s**t out."

Upton was 20 at the time of her first SI cover, and that is a tender age to present yourself to the World Wide Web for evaluation. Alas, Kate Upton is a model. She puts her body on the Web to be looked at, and in exchange she receives lots of money. On the other hand, that doesn’t make it any easier to handle and it doesn’t make the objectification any less painful.

“I was at a photo shoot and I was wearing a cross necklace that my mom bought me, and somebody made a joke like, ‘Why are you wearing a cross? Like you would be religious.’ And then they took it away. I was really affected by that,” Upton said.

This is all a little like a standup comic complaining that the laughter is too loud while simultaneously obsessing over the one person in the room with their arms crossed. The trouble for someone in Upton’s position isn’t that she’s wrong, it’s that the audience she’s speaking to only knows her as the girl in the pictures or the girl who . . . makes out with a patty melt.

The audience doesn’t know anything about Kate Upton, daughter of Jeff and Shelly Upton from Melbourne, Fla., who rode horses in high school. They just see a girl who can really stretch the spandex on the cover of a glossy magazine like, say, GQ:

And, Upton admits, that has its perks.

"I really do like my body," she said, "and growing up in Florida, it was always a good thing if you could fill out a bikini."