Kate Upton feels proud to feature in a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue that celebrates ''empowerment, body diversity, and strong, beautiful women''.

The 25-year-old star appears in this year's edition of the iconic magazine, and Kate has taken to her Instagram account to praise the issue and the influence of MJ Day, the Editor.

She wrote: ''So proud to be part of this @si_swimsuit issue full of empowerment, body diversity, and strong, beautiful women. Thank you @mj_day for another amazing year!! #SISwim 2018 (sic)''

Kate is already a veteran of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, having appeared on the front cover in 2012, 2013, and 2017.

But the blonde beauty recently revealed she was left ''laughing in the face of death'' when she was swept off a rock by a huge wave while shooting for Sports Illustrated in Aruba.

Kate explained that she was posing on a rock, wearing only a heavy tulle skirt, when the large wave crashed into her and knocked her off her perch.

Kate said: ''I really saw the vision for the photo, but as I climbed on the rock I did look down and was like 'this is going to end badly'.

''It didn't look that large from my point of view, but it must have hit the rock just right. This skirt whenever it's wet with all the tools it is very heavy and it dragged me down.

''I felt like I was laughing in the face of death. Looking back, that probably should have been a moment when we photoshopped me on there.''