‘Sports Illustrated’ Swimsuit Issue to Feature 56-Year-Old, Plus Sized, and Bald Finalists

Sports Illustrated
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated

Sports Illustrated has introduced its next slate of finalist models for its upcoming swimsuit issue, and a plus-sized model, a 56-year-old model, and a bald fitness trainer will be among them.

The magazine introduced the six finalists that the magazine touted as its most diverse ever. The finalists were winnowed down from seventeen hopefuls unveiled last October, the Daily Mail reported.

Before this year’s winner is announced, the magazine is set to send the finalists to a photo-shoot conducted in the Turks & Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory southeast of the Bahamas.

The finalists include Philadelphia native Christie Valdiserri, a 25-year-old fitness instructor and dancer whose personal style includes are bald head.

“I was inspired to attend the Model Search in Miami when I finally had enough strength and confidence in myself as a bald woman,” Valdiserri recently said.

Valdiserri added that she wanted to “educate the next generation that beauty comes from who you are, not from what you look like.”

Kathy Jacobs from Calabasas, California, is also a member of the group, but at 56 and silver-haired, is an even more unconventional finalist for the magazine’s most glamorous photo-shoot.

“I’ve entered the SI Swimsuit Model Search and flown to Miami twice,” Jacobs said. “The first time I didn’t make it past the first round. But I didn’t give up! I felt a burning desire to try again and to be part of a change in the way society views women over 50.

“I am doing this to be part of a change in the views on women over 50, not only by society but by ourselves. It is a boomerang effect, and we as women over 50 need to stand together and realize how amazing, relevant, beautiful, and sexy we all are.,” Jacobs added.

Brielle Anyea, 24, is yet another interesting member of the finalists. As a plus-sized model with 113,000 Instagram followers, Anyea insists that she hopes to represent “inclusion” in the magazine’s swimsuit model competition.

“I hope every chocolate chubby girl and every thick queen around the world sees this and know that anything is possible,” Anyea continued.

“Your skin, size, shape, condition, beauty will not determine your destiny. Your will-power, faith, and determination will,” she said.

“Confidence is your weapon. Your heart is your map for life. Self-love is your power. Go for your dreams and never stop chasing,” Anyea concluded.

The other finalists include Florida model Clarissa Bowers, Connecticut resident Tanaye White, and the youngest finalist at 20 years of age, Jamea Lynne Byrd of Philly.

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