In October 2010, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit editor MJ Day had invited me to show up to a model’s body painting, even though the issue wouldn’t be out for four months. I couldn’t say anything about who she was and MJ only allowed me to tweet body parts.
But I knew this 18-year-old girl was a star. She had the personality – a childish laugh, a great sense of humor – and the non-traditional body that SI loved.
Sports Illustrated has made a name by steering away from the skinny model craze and pushing more towards women of more normal proportions.
What stood out to me? Confidence. She knew what she wanted and she was going to get it.
She told me her dream had always been to be in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and she came to IMG to represent her because she they had faith that she could crack the issue at 18, young by the issue’s standards. That she did.
And today, she’s on the cover at 19, the youngest cover model SI has had since Paulina Porizkova graced the front of the issue in 1984.
In the past, Sports Illustrated models had to pay their dues to get the cover. Only after years of appearing in the issue could they have that honor.Page 1 of 2 | Next Page