Without a doubt, Sports Illustrated‘s annual Swimsuit Issue is one of the magazine’s most highly anticipated editions each year. Countless iconic models have stripped down and graced the pages of the issue, like Christie Brinkley (who posed alongside her daughters Alexa Ray Joel and Sailor Brinkley Cook last year), Tyra Banks, Ashley Graham, Cheryl Tiegs, Heidi Klum and many more.
Now, for the first time ever, aspiring models have the chance to appear alongside the industry’s biggest names in this year’s issue. In March, SI announced its first open casting call to find the next wave of fresh faces to join the legendary SI Swim brand.
“We decided to hold an open casting call this year because, while we cast the bulk of our models through the traditional avenues of modeling agency submissions, it is very clear to us that there are plenty of exceptionally interesting and beautiful women in the world that exist outside of ‘industry expectations,'” said SI Swimsuit Editor MJ Day.
Sports Illustrated received over 5,000 applications from real women of all shapes and sizes, which was eventually narrowed down to 35 girls, then 15 (that got to model SI‘s debut swimwear line!) and now the final six.
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Get to know the final girls competing for a chance to be featured in the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue below!
- She applied to #SISwimSearch because… “I stepped out of modeling for a few years because I felt that the industry was doing far more ha rm than good on my self-worth and body image. I was trying so hard to be ‘thin enough’ that I really hurt myself in the process. Everything I want to see happen in the modeling world is being spearheaded by SI Swim, and that is why I knew I had to take a chance and try to be a part of their team.”
- In her spare time she… loves to design and sew her own swimsuits.
- She loves to shop at… Free People, Pinky Otto, Steve Edelman and any thrift stores.
- Before modeling she… was an avid basketball player and started on the 2011 Oklahoma State championship team.
- She applied to #SISwimSearch because… “I’m considered an ‘in between’ model with my height and measurements, and I cannot begin to tell you how refreshing it is to apart of this brand that loves me just the way that I am. The personalities of the woman who model for SI makes me want to be a part of the team that much more. I want to be a part of their strong movement of embracing not only what you look like but being who you are.”
- If she looks familiar, it’s because she… was a New England Patriots cheerleader.
- She’s following her passions by… starting a satin bomber jackets brand called TayCKover.
- Her favorite TV show is… E! News.
- She applied to #SISwimSearch because… “Sports Illustrated has launched the careers of so many amazing women in modeling, fashion and entrepreneurship, and has a legacy of beautiful and powerful women. I want to join this legacy.”
- Before modeling she… graduated Summa Cum Laude from St. Cloude State University with a 4.0 GPA.
- When she’s not in front of the camera… she’s cheering on her husband, Matt Kalil, left tackle for the Carolina Panthers.
- Her favorite fast food joints are… Taco Bell and Chick-Fil-A.
- She applied to #SISwimSearch because… “I wanted to see more women like me in the pages of SI Swimsuit and to inspire and motivate them.”
- She stayed active growing up by… doing Tae Kwon Do for 10 years.
- One of her biggest passions is… global warming.
- When she’s not in front of the camera… she loves watching anything on BET and VH1.
- She applied to #SISwimSearch because… “I have dreamed of being in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit since I was a little girl. I u sed to steal my parent’s subscription and aim to have the same brilliant confidence of the women that graced the pages.”
- If she looks familiar, it’s because she… was crowned Miss USA in 2015.
- One of her biggest accomplishments was… helping get the HOPE Act for Alzheimers’s passed in Congress.
- The reality show she’d love to be on is… Dancing With the Stars.
- She applied for #SISwimSearch because… “I want to see more diversity within the Sports Illustrated brand and believe I have what it takes to be strong representative of SI Swimsuit. ”
- In her spare time she… is a classically trained pianist and an avid ping pong player.
- Her ultimate goals are… booking a major athletic campaign and landing a magazine cover.
- You can listen to her on… her podcast “The Thick,” which she wants to start touring around the country.
Who do you think is going to win SI‘s Swim Search? Share your thoughts in the comments below.