In July 2019, the enduring Sports activities Illustrated Swimsuit franchise held an open casting name in Miami to kick-off its annual Mannequin Search, a singular alternative for recent faces and established fashions alike to show why they’d be a terrific addition to the extremely anticipated 2020 concern. A number of months later, PEOPLE introduced the varied group of 16 finalists and shared their inspiring tales.
However for a fortunate few, the Mannequin Search contest isn’t over simply but — it’s solely simply starting.
Under, meet the highest six finalists —who shall be flown to an unique location to shoot for the 2020 concern in hopes of changing into the ultimate Mannequin Search winner — and watch their candy, emotional reactions to listening to the large information!
HOMETOWN: Calabasas, California
OCCUPATION: Actress, mannequin, age inclusive activist, petite mannequin activist
NUMBER OF BIKINIS OWNED: 17
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR 13-YEAR-OLD SELF: No matter issues you’re having now are solely non permanent and in time shall be nothing however a blur to your future self. Don’t get discouraged if issues don’t work out precisely as you thought they’d, simply carry on going. Oh, and by the way in which, you’re going to kiss some frogs to get your prince and keep in mind if it quacks like a duck it’s a duck!
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO ATTEND THE MODEL SEARCH: I’ve entered the SI Swimsuit Mannequin Search and flown to Miami twice. The primary time I didn’t make it previous the primary spherical. However I didn’t hand over! I felt a burning want to attempt once more and to be a part of a change in the way in which society views ladies over 50.
FIRST SI SWIMSUIT MEMORY: Cheryl Tiegs was the primary SI Swimsuit celebrity I keep in mind when she was sporting a white swimsuit in a waterfall. I keep in mind pondering it should be wonderful to be her. I might nearly hear the waterfall!
HOMETOWN: Southington, Connecticut
OCCUPATION: Mannequin — I give up my company job two months in the past
NUMBER OF BIKINIS OWNED: 20-ish?
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR 13-YEAR-OLD SELF: You might be lovely even with braces — boys simply don’t understand it but! I admittedly spent many nights crying myself to sleep as a pre-teen/teen as a result of none of my crushes favored me whereas all my different mates had been getting boyfriends. I vaguely keep in mind having Natasha Bedingfield’s “Soulmate” on repeat on my iPod.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO ATTEND THE MODEL SEARCH IN MIAMI: A couple of months previous to my first attempt on the 2018 SI Swimsuit Mannequin Search, a good friend and I had been sharing our targets and passions, and I admitted for the primary time to anybody that I had all the time dreamed of changing into an SI Swimsuit mannequin. Not too lengthy after, I noticed the flyer for his or her open casting name. I assumed it was destiny. And I made it so shut final yr that I knew I needed to give it yet one more probability in 2019.
FIRST SI SWIMSUIT MEMORY: The primary time I ever noticed an SI Swimsuit concern was once I was a baby roaming the grocery retailer aisles as my mother shopped. I keep in mind seeing a wonderful lady on the duvet in a two-piece. My first response was to divert my eyes earlier than my mother noticed me taking a look at it. My mother and father raised me a bit strictly, however I’m grateful for it. I don’t suppose I used to be allowed to put on a two-piece till my later teen years! However, once I determined to go to the casting, I requested for my mother and father’ blessing first.
RELATED: Meet the Inspiring 2020 Sports activities Illustrated Swimsuit Mannequin Search Finalists
HOMETOWN: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
NUMBER OF BIKINIS OWNED: I attempted counting and I gave up!
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR 13-YEAR-OLD SELF: Magnificence, the world is yours. All of the issues that you simply thought had been necessary, the choices that you simply made, the chums that you simply frolicked with, the recommendation that you simply listened to, the household talks — they may get you to the place you’re at present. I’m pleased with each nook you determined to show down, as a result of that led me right here. I adore it right here!
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO ATTEND THE MODEL SEARCH IN MIAMI: Final yr I went to the mannequin casting in New York, I ended up not getting it. I knew I needed to attempt once more and happily this yr, I used to be in Miami through the open casting name, so my agent instructed me that I ought to check out once more. In fact, I didn’t suppose twice!
FIRST SI SWIMSUIT MEMORY: I’m certainly not a beginner to understanding concerning the SI Swimsuit franchise. I’ve recognized about SI Swimsuit since I used to be born. My complete household is loopy about sports activities, particularly soccer. My grandfather was a trustworthy SI subscriber, and all the time had the most recent concern. I used to like taking part in in his journal assortment, and he’d be so upset once I tore the pages out of all my favourite fashions. So, to be part of a franchise I used to be so amazed by as a child, is a dream come true. Not just for me, however my household as nicely. I promised them that in the future they’re going to flip the web page, and BOOM…it’s me.
HOMETOWN: Umatilla, Florida
NUMBER OF BIKINIS OWNDED: 37
OCCUPATION: Neuroscience Scholar, Oral Maxillofacial Surgical Assistant and Mannequin
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR 13-YEAR-OLD SELF: I might inform her that the world is larger than she realizes, and she or he ought to take each single alternative she will get to see extra of the world and all the attractive range that it holds. I might inform her that her worries aren’t as huge as she thinks, so she ought to be kinder to herself and take in each second of her journey, as a result of it’s a cool one.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO ATTEND THE MODEL SEARCH IN MIAMI: I’ve admired SI Swimsuit’s efforts to indicate the fantastic thing about all ladies, no matter form, measurement, or pores and skin coloration, for years. Once I heard that they had been holding an open casting name, I knew I wanted to be part of it, or I might all the time surprise “what if.” And one in all my targets in life is to by no means need to look again and say, “what if.”
FIRST SI SWIMSUIT MEMORY: My freshman yr of highschool, I keep in mind seeing a 2012 concern of SI Swimsuit within the checkout line on the grocery retailer which had Kate Upton on the duvet in a bikini. I keep in mind pondering she regarded so beautiful, wholesome and she or he regarded joyful.
HOMETOWN: West Chester, Pennsylvania however I dwell in Los Angeles now.
OCCUPATION: I’m an expert dancer, health teacher, dance trainer, mannequin, and public speaker.
NUMBER OF BIKINIS OWNDED: I personal a bikini in each single coloration below the solar.
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR 13-YEAR-OLD SELF: All the time hearken to your intestine. You might be whoever the hell you wish to be. By no means hand over on what you need out of your life. You’ll all the time be okay, it doesn’t matter what. Bear in mind to take a second on a regular basis, to be thankful for all that you simply do have. Particularly the little issues. Your vitality and character shine approach brighter than your exterior appears ever will. Keep true to who you’re at your core, dream hella huge, go on the market and make a change on the planet!
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO ATTEND THE MODEL SEARCH IN MIAMI: I used to be impressed to attend the Mannequin Search in Miami once I lastly had sufficient power and confidence in myself as a bald lady. In 2018, my good friend attended the open name, and I keep in mind pondering to myself, “Wow I can’t try this till my hair grows all the way in which again in. No approach would I ever be picked with these patches not to mention ever really feel courageous sufficient to place myself on the market,” (this was when my hair was rising in however very erratically). Then it had all fallen out once more in April 2019, and I instructed myself, okay I can both proceed to drown on this ache and let it dictate my life, or I can take the facility again and personal this look. Once I noticed interviews of MJ Day talking about there being NO guidelines after which noticed Winnie Harlow, Hunter McGrady and Halima Aden throughout SI Swimsuit, I knew this was my second to be a voice for all the ladies and younger ladies who cry day by day as a result of they simply wish to really feel regular once more.
FIRST SI SWIMSUIT MEMORY: My first SI Swimsuit reminiscence was positively on Thanksgiving Day in all probability once I was about 10 years outdated. We might all the time go to my aunt and uncle’s home to have a good time, and my uncle would all the time name me Christie Brinkley. And I keep in mind being like, “I do know we’ve got the identical identify and all however who’s she? Why does he all the time name me that?” Then the next yr, he had introduced an SI journal together with her on the duvet and I used to be like, “Oh sure! Name me that every one you need, I wanna be like her once I develop up!”
HOMETOWN: Baltimore, Maryland
NUMBER OF BIKINIS OWNED: Over 70.
OCCUPATION: Worldwide mannequin and blogger
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR 13-YEAR-OLD SELF: Embrace your energy and sweetness. Love, confidence and power will take you anyplace you want to be. I’m sure you’ll do nice issues in the future.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO ATTEND THE MODEL SEARCH IN MIAMI: I’ve all the time needed to mannequin for Sports activities Illustrated Swimsuit since I first began modeling nearly 5 years in the past. Inclusion and illustration are necessary for me on the subject of vogue and media. After I began getting jobs, it gave me the vitality to maintain attempting for the larger alternatives. It could be wonderful to see a mannequin like myself within the journal as that might be a primary!
FIRST SI SWIMSUIT MEMORY: Seeing Tyra Banks when googling her pictures once I was youthful. I idolized Tyra and seeing how she was in a position to accomplish a lot and construct an empire all whereas being herself, inspired me to go for what I would like. She’s so attractive, assured, and fearless. I dwell for her covers!