17 Reasons to Thank God for Kate Upton

Maxim's 2018 Hot 100 winner is 27 today.
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Kate Upton is, without a doubt, the very model of a modern, uh, model. The 27-year-old bombshell captured America's heart not through the runway (although her signing to Elite Model Management in 2008 didn't hurt), but through YouTube after the now-infamous video of her dancing to 'Cat Daddy' with Terry Richardson went viral

While YouTube and Instagram are now fertile ground for a new generation of fame-hungry would-be models, Upton was the first to truly parlay her social media stardom into an aura of delight, boosting her visibility as much as her first appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Edition did just months before. With her appearances on magazines from Vogue to the top of our very own Hot 100 list and in a spate of movies, Upton's star burns brighter than ever — and we're just sitting here basking in the glow.

With that, we present a brief tribute to the talented model. We can't wait to see where her career (and the internet) takes her next).

She started her modeling career with a humble (read: adorable) start...

...only to become a queen among models around the globe:

She looks positively stunning when dressed to the nines:

...and even better when she's dressed down...

She loves dogs as much as we do:

Despite her adventures, she always looks her best in bed:

She has eyes to die for:

She can be quite cheeky sometimes:

She looks incredible in black and white:

We can't tell if she's at her best when she's clean...

...or when she's feeling a bit dirty:

She's our favorite Easter bunny:

She looks ravishing by the water...

...and in it, too:

She knows how to deal with silly boys:

Not even gravity can keep her down: