Australian stunner Georgia Gibbs graces the pages of this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue – and strutting her stuff in front of cameras was a breeze.
The model insisted she felt completely at ease posing in barely-there swimwear while showing off her coveted physique. According to Gibbs, that confidence comes from the publication’s determination to celebrate women of all shapes and sizes.
Fox News spoke with Gibbs about appearing in Sports Illustrated, what her police officer dad thinks of the pics and why she feels empowered now more than ever.
Fox News: How were you discovered as a model?
Georgia Gibbs: I was actually at university, funny enough. I was in the second year of my degree. I always wanted to be a dancer since I was a kid, but people would always make comments to my mom about how I should pursue modeling. I just didn’t think it was for me.
One of my friends actually entered me in a modeling competition, “Australia’s Next Top Model”… I did OK. But some high-end Australian designers thought I was great so maybe there was something to this... I guess that’s what really kick-started my career.
Fox News: When did your relationship with Sports Illustrated begin?
Gibbs: They actually found me on Instagram back in 2016. I suddenly got a call from my agent saying SI found me on Instagram and they wanted to fly me to New York… I went and met with them… I remember walking into their office and being so scared. But I felt like I was part of the family instantly. I remember [SI editor] MJ Day said to me, “You have sunshine. Never lose your sunshine. Never let the industry tarnish your sunshine. Keep being you.” That really made me believe in myself. I figure, if the editor of SI believes in me, then I should probably believe in myself, too (laughs).
Fox News: Were you nervous posing for the magazine?
Gibbs: … I actually for once wasn’t at all worried. And I think that’s because I had so much trust in the team, and I knew that if I wasn’t comfortable with something, they certainly wouldn’t push that boundary.
I was more excited than anything really. I was totally fine with the whole swimsuit thing. And I don’t think it's sunk in yet, if I can be completely honest. Even though I’ve never dreamt of being a model, it’s honestly something I wasn’t expecting. I never thought I would be part of such an iconic magazine. It’s just one of those moments I’ll never forget.
Fox News: Your father is a police officer. How does he feel about the photos?
Gibbs: Honestly, my dad is my best friend. He is the most supportive, incredible man. He’s actually fine with the attention I’m getting and super proud. I think it’s more at work, he’ll be hiding the issue from many of his colleagues (laughs).
Fox News: It’s been reported you sometimes receive strange messages on social media.
Gibbs: I do get some weird messages that can be a little scary or creepy, but honestly, I get so many more women messaging me… And they’ll literally ask me questions about my life. Or I’ll post a photo and they’ll go, “What concealer do you use?” “What’s your favorite toothbrush?” They always want to know beauty tips, workout secrets, or what my day looks like on a plate. Most of my DMs come from women going “Tell me your secrets.” I’m not that exciting, but I’m always happy to share with them (laughs).
Fox News: How do you deal with negative comments?
Gibbs: It’s definitely easier said than done to turn a blind eye to bullying online. I really don’t think it’s that easy. But it’s definitely something we need to focus on and address in this generation. Social media is so prominent and I guess I do get some negative comments online... I do get a lot of criticism of people saying, “How can you be a body positive ambassador when you’re a size two? When you’re perfect? When you’re a model? You don’t have insecurities.” And that’s just crazy because everyone has insecurities. No one is perfect. So yeah, I do get negative messages that hurt, that hit home. But I think the best thing you can do is focus on all the kind things that 99 percent of people are saying and not get caught up in one comment.
But I am pretty bad, I tend to reply to them... For instance, SI has a campaign called “In Her Own Words,” which features us obviously naked with words across our bodies that encompass who we are. I did a post on that and people were like, “How is this empowering when you’re naked?” I did reply to those because I feel like I could change their perception and educate them on why we did that. Sometimes I think it’s great and sometimes silence is the best treatment.
Fox News: Not everyone agrees with SI’s message of female empowerment. What’s your take?
Gibbs: … I actually think it’s really exciting for the magazine. The female body has been an art form since the beginning of time. And I think SI has always celebrated that. I don’t believe a woman should only be respected by just the way she’s dressed. I don’t believe just wearing a swimsuit means you’re doing something wrong.
SI is celebrating beauty with no boundaries. There’s no one form of beauty. They’re celebrating women as an individual person, not just an object. And if you look at “In Her Own Words,” they’re not objectifying them by putting a picture of them naked. It’s about honoring them for who they are. And the words across their bodies makes them who they are. It makes them special. I don’t know how people can call that objectifying because yes, they’re beautiful women posing in bikini and yes, that’s part of their career, but it doesn’t mean they should be any less respected.
Fox News: What are some fun facts our readers should know about you?
Gibbs: I’m actually really clumsy. I will spill coffee on myself daily or walk into things. It’s a running joke within my family that my limbs don’t know what they’re doing half the time. I think I post more things about my dog on social media than myself. And the first time I’ve ever been to the states was because of SI… I miss my family. I’m a homebody and I adore them. I do miss the coffee. I miss the breakfast and I definitely miss the beach for sure. But thankfully America has become my second home.