Kate Upton on first Sports Illustrated cover: I felt 'terrible,' like a 'bachelor present'


Kate Upton became a worldwide phenomenon after her first Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in Feb. 2012. But that instant fame wasn't exactly what the 21-year-old wanted, as she went from being known as a hot model to a sex symbol overnight.

"After my first Sports Illustrated cover, I felt terrible about myself for a solid month," she tells the September issue of Elle. "Every single guy I met was either married or about to be married, and I felt like I was their bachelor present or something."

She adds, 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 sh** out."

Because of her blonde bombshell status, Upton says people frequently misjudge her -- especially professionally. She admits people treat her like a "dumb blonde" and act like she's a child, and she gets pleasure knowing that she's smarter than they think she is.

She's also not a bad girl like her sexy persona might have many think. "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 says. "The whole thing made me realize that I do want [a cross] with me, at all times." She later decided to get a cross tattooed on the inside of her finger.

Photo/Video credit: Elle