Kate Upton: My 'Dream' Cover for Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue

Kate Upton Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue
Walter Iooss Jr./Sports Illustrated

updated 02/13/2012 AT 07:15 PM EST

originally published 02/13/2012 AT 08:30 PM EST

Guys, the wait's over.

Here's an early look at the steamy Kate Upton Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover, which goes on sale Tuesday.

Upton, a 19-year-old Florida-bred model who follows in the footsteps of bikini-baring bombshells like Brooklyn Decker, has modeled for Victoria's Secret and posed for racy Guess? ads when she was the face of the clothing line.

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

Upton says the cover image was among the first taken during the photo shoot in Sydney, Australia.

"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. "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."
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