Shine On

David Beckham, ELLE UK’s first male cover model

David Beckham has become the first man to grace the cover of Elle UK. (Elle UK/Doug Inglish)ELLE UK has just nabbed a first for their July 2012 cover: a man.

David Beckham has become the glossy's first-ever male cover model.

While fully shirted on the much-hyped cover — and just in time for the London Olympics — the self-described "shy" 37-year-old soccer star is shirtless, soaking wet and emerging from a pool inside the magazine's 11-page swoon-worthy spread.

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ELLE UK's editor-in-chief Lorraine Candy explains the cover choice:

"David Beckham is a national hero… He is an icon and Elle is known for featuring icons on its cover. This is a first for us on the newsstand and I believe he is loved by men and women alike."

"Anyway, who doesn't want to see a picture of one of the world's most handsome men on the front cover of a magazine? It will be a collector's issue," she adds.

Beckham's pop-star-turned-fashion-designer wife, Victoria, is no stranger to ELLE's covers, having been featured om both the U.K. and U.S. versions of the magazine.

In an excerpt of the exclusive ELLE UK interview, Beckham opens up about his almost 13-year marriage to Victoria and how they juggle their demanding careers:

"She comes home and shows me what she's been doing all day and what exciting dresses and bags she's got coming through. And then I say something boring like, 'I got kicked today.' But we listen to each other.  We try to go out at least once a week, just the two of us, a quiet dinner somewhere.  It's not about wearing a nice dress or a nice suit.  It's just going out and chatting and having some time together."

The full feature appears in the July issue of ELLE UK, on sale Wednesday, May 30th.

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ELLE UK isn't the only women's magazine to feature a man on its cover. The June issue of Vogue puts Olympic-medal-winning swimmer Ryan Lochte front and centre on its cover, wedged between soccer player Hope Solo and tennis champ Serena Williams. This makes Lochte the fourth man to cover the iconic fashion magazine, following in the footsteps of Richard Gere, George Clooney and Lebron James.

Men's magazines have featured women on their covers for some time. So far this year, Michelle Williams and Jennifer Aniston have covered GQ, while Sophia Vergara has graced the front of Esquire's April issue. Maybe it's about time women's magazines turned the tables and put men on their covers.

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