Recap of SI Launch

I have grown up with SI since I was 22.  My 6 years with this iconic brand helped shaped me for this next chapter in my life - becoming a mom.  While I was in Miami last week for the SI Swimsuit magazine launch, I could not help but notice that I am surrounded by inspiring women from all stages of life and so many different backgrounds.  We all have struggles in life and we are at different chapters in our life.  For each of us, the SI brand creates a platform for everyone to share their amazing stories and grow from them instead of letting them define who we are.

Something happened on the second night on our way to the ‘launch’ party.  Two of the girls got locked out of their rooms and were unable to change their clothes.  One of the women was in a panic because we were on a tight schedule with ‘no time spare’.  Tyra Banks jumped right in and took control of the situation.  She suggested they go to the gift store and pull an outfit together.  Tyra's genius message was to make this a pivotal moment, show people that things do not always go as planned, but you have to be savvy and always pull it together.  This is something I admire so much about her.  She is a quick and clever thinker so she can react and come up with a solution.  Seeing her on the cover once again is so inspiring for me because she is breaking the barrier for models where age was an issue in the past, basically your modeling career was over by the time you were 30.  Many girls I know have lied about their age just to maintain their appeal.  She is also breaking the mold for body shape with this cover.  I read Tyra's comments where she thought about dieting and working out to prepare for the photo shoot for the issue, but instead she said that the 'ice cream' was calling to her and she owned every curve on her body.

I remember my first shoot being so nervous and being pretty clueless as to what I was doing.  SI made me feel comfortable just being the goofy girl that I am.  Looking back at my first shoot and the video I see a ‘not so confident’ girl who comes off goofy and slightly awkward.  SI's support allowed me transform into who I was destined to be and not to be like everyone else.  Confidentially, I am still goofy.  It is not a guarantee that you will be invited to the next year edition.  It is unknown who will grace the pages of SI Swimsuit.  When I have received the call for the next year to shoot in another amazing location in this world, I still have the same feeling as the first time, totally nervous.  The thing that I like to do is to challenge myself to be a little better than the year before.  If that means hitting the gym more and cutting out sugar, I will do it, because I want to look and feel my best. It makes me confident.  Confidence is something that comes from within it’s not something that you can fake and it takes time to channel it.  When its 'go time' something comes over my body and I transform into this confident strong woman and it’s the most incredible feeling.

Pregnancy  obviously changes women’s bodies and it’s crazy how even in this process women’s bodies are so different in how they show and carry!  I am already very visibly pregnant while my girlfriend who is a few weeks behind me is barley even showing.  My goal in this journey of pregnancy and in the journey of life in general is always to be in touch with yourself and know when you need the chocolate or the kale.  In my eyes HEALTH is WEALTH.  If you are not healthy in this life and have all the money in the world it doesn’t even out because you cannot enjoy it.  I have learned over the years that eating ice cream isn’t a bad thing, it’s about how much and how often.  I also learned that being stressed over your weight causes you to gain weight which is pretty twisted.  You have to keep your mind relaxed and you have to do what your body is asking from you.  It’s all about being balanced and in this life being perfect is being flawed.  There were times I was heavier and times I was thinner but I was always happy and healthy.  I plan to be brutally honest with myself and let myself know when it’s time to relax and when it’s time to make a change to be the best that I can be inside and out.

SI took the lead in the industry to appreciate each and every one of us from our differences and not our similarities.  To be an SI model you have to be well rounded, meaning you can't just be good at taking pictures, you have to be personable, stand up for something and make the change that this industry has been craving to do for decades.  It’s about connecting all women no matter of their past, what they look like, their color or age, it’s about unifying women who have competed for years instead of banding together for this incredible force for change.  Woman are capable of anything, this is something woman have known forever but now it’s time for the world to know and see that woman have sat back and stayed quiet, but not anymore.  This is a time that is bringing us all together and helping all of us celebrate the best part of being us!  I believe the key to success is having a plan and knowing what you want.  Working towards it every day until it becomes your reality!  As women we have always been leaders and this issue of Si is about breaking the general mold of what beauty looks like.  It doesn’t have to be that tall slim model anymore and SI has been changed this mindset for years now, with the model castings that just took place I learned so much from the women who came out and represented themselves for just being themselves and loving everything that set us apart and makes us individually unique.

Something I want woman to know is that while it is true woman can be anything they want in this life, the secret is to figure out what they want and focus on achieving that goal.  As we are strong and empowered woman - our generation is the key to raising the next generations of independent men and woman as respected equals. Now that I’m becoming a Mom it is my job to raise my children to being open minded and to celebrate everyone.  As a mother-to-be, I am inspired to raise my next generation to be better than mine.  I was always the sex symbol and now that I am becoming a mother its changing, but honestly, I think that’s a common misconception.  Just because you are a Mom doesn’t mean that you lose your looks or can't be sexy!  This last week celebrating with SI I pulled out my looks from companies like 'Fashion Nova', “ballin on a budget” as I like to call it.  I wanted to make sure that I was showing my bump because it is the best accessory ever!  I am proud to become a mother. It is such a beautiful part about womanhood.  We are strong and fearless to let these changes come over us and to create another life.

We should celebrate each other for our differences and in this world, I’ve realized everyone tries to be the same. On Instagram, every girl seems to be taking the same photo in the same position in the same type of clothes - how boring is that!  I suppose that I am also a little guilty of those photos - It’s time for change, time to be an individual to stand out and to make your mark, not follow what everyone else is doing.  Whatever anyone wants to do in life they can and they shouldn’t feel judged or hide because it’s not the “norm”, we are creating the new standard and I’m proud to be a part of this movement.

After all, we are women with many attitudes. Being a strong woman doesn’t mean that you can’t show your femininity, if you wish.  You need to be who you are and who you want to be and then be fearless in that pursuit.  At the end of the day, we all want different things in this life, I know that from a young age I always wanted to become a Mom.  I felt that other girls looked down on this, thinking that it wasn’t enough and that I should want more out of life.  The reality is that we can be whatever we want to be once we decide what 'that' is.  We can be a powerful mother in a career or a stay at home Mom and should not be judged for our decisions because this world needs a variety of different people to make society go around.  Make the commitment to your children.  Help them become the best they can be so they make good decisions in their lives.  What do you want to be?

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