The SI Swimsuit model explains why she's happy the "narrative" in the modeling industry is changing

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Camille Kostek is working on self-love and she's getting some serious support from her boyfriend, NFL star Rob Gronkowski.

The 29-year-old model recently spoke to People (the TV Show!) host Kay Adams to reflect on her 2019 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover and how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers tight end, 32, has helped her with self-acceptance over the course of their relationship. 

Kostek, who has been dating the NFL star since 2015, says Gronkowski plays a big role in her ability to "deal with haters."

"He was there in the beginning of people getting to who I am and trying to dissect who I am and put these preconceived notions out on the internet," she tells Adams of the four-time Super Bowl champ. 

Rob Gronkowski and Camille Kostek
Credit: Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic

The model continues, "It was just really hard for me to be like, 'How could someone think these cruel things about me when they don't even know who I am?' And Rob was like, 'Camille, if I ever let those things get me down, I wouldn't be able to get up out of bed everyday and go to work.' He was like, 'You dust that stuff off.'"

The model says she's in a good place now, but the path to self-love is always evolving.

"I want to radiant confidence and I want to stand up for who I am, but it's not always easy. I deal with stuff behind-the-scenes," she shares. "I would say I am probably the closest to loving myself fully, unapologetically right now, but it's going to continue to grow. It's going to be a long process of healing and growing and loving but it's nice to know you have others there with you.

Swimsuit Issue 2019
Credit: Josephine Clough/SPORTS ILLUSTRATED

One thing that helps her is seeing how things are evolving within the fashion industry, particularly within the pages of SI Swim, which champions diversity. "I'm happy the narrative is starting to change on social media a lot more, especially in the modeling industry of like, these are my stretch marks, this is my cellulite, this is my body," Kostek says. 

During her chat on the show, she opens up about the emotional moment when she saw her SI Swimsuit cover for the first time which didn't edit out her freckles or stretch marks.

"That's who we are," she says about seeing her natural self. "It was one of the best moments of my life. I will remember that forever."