Kate Upton Covers Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2012

Kate Upton
Photo courtesy of Facebook
Kate Upton on the new Sports Illustrated.

Sports Illustrated is giving the boys an extra-special Valentine's Day present this year.

As expected, the magazine has tapped model Kate Upton to cover its 2012 Swimsuit Issue, which fittingly (or annoyingly, depending on how you look at it) hits stores February 14.

And though she's starred in sexy shoots for Guess and Victoria's Secret in the past, the 19-year-old blonde takes it up a notch with her Australia-based photo spread featuring what appears to be the skimpiest string bikini (courtesy of Suit Yourself Bikinis by Kathleen Bruening) on the planet.

"This means so much for me personally," Upton tells People. "This has always been my dream."

The Florida-bred beauty, who follows in the footsteps of recent cover stars Brooklyn Decker and Irina Shayk, also models sporty stripes from Gucci and cutesy heart-print bikinis from Vanda Catucci and Tori Praver Swimwear.

"In the beginning you're pretty relaxed, you're not thinking of new poses and it just feels really natural at that point," she says of her shoot with photographer Walter Ioss Jr.

"At Sports Illustrated everyone's so nice and it’s like a family, you don't really think too much into it. I just have a lot of fun and be myself. It just comes so naturally."

Bar Refaeli and Anne V. also appear in the 2012 edition. What are you waiting for, fellas?

For more Kate Upton, visit Sports Illustrated online and pick up the Swimsuit Issue, on sale now.