Bret Michaels’ daughter is heating up the pages of this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue with a sizzling spread.
Raine Michaels, a finalist of a model search competition for the publication, traveled to Paradise Island, The Bahamas, to shoot with photographer Yu Tsai in skimpy bikinis. At one point, the 18-year-old went topless for cameras while posing on clear, serene waters.
“I’m so appreciative to SI for this opportunity and thankful to everyone for their continued support," Raine told Fox News. "All of the girls are amazing and we cheer each other on."
“Becoming a #SISwimSearch finalist has changed my life for the better,” Raine told Sports Illustrated. “I have had so many amazing and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities arise from this incredible experience and I also have a forever family in everyone at Sports Illustrated and all my Swim Search girls that I have met along the way.”
Raine, a college freshman studying music at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn., shared that the Poison singer has been “extremely supportive” of her making a splash as a sought-after pinup. She noted that her mother, Kristi Gibson, was also a model.
“As a father, it is awesome to see Raine and [her sister] Jorja carve out their own paths through hard work," the proud papa told Fox News in a statement. “Putting in the work equals real results and I couldn’t be more proud.”
Raine also insisted that she doesn’t feel weird about her father looking at her sexy snaps.
“My parents are protective yet very empowering, telling me I can do whatever I want to do, but also keeping an eye on me since I am and always will be their little girl.”
“Even though I’m modeling in little bikinis I don’t feel that weird with my dad seeing it because I know he is so excited that I am reaching my goals rather than just modeling little bikinis for fun,” Raine explained. “I could not have gotten a more supportive or amazing dad when it comes to modeling bikinis. He wants me to succeed and he doesn’t view it as a sexy picture, but rather as me making my dreams come true, which makes him so proud of me.”
The aspiring model said her following on social media has grown since it was announced she was selected out of 25,000 hopefuls eager to earn a place within the pages of the coveted magazine. And while some critics haven’t been shy of slamming Raine on social media, she isn’t afraid to brush off the negativity all while pursuing her modeling goals.
“As for the haters I am more of a karma person so if someone comments something nasty on my picture, I usually delete it and block them because what’s coming for them will come,” said Raine. “Or I comment something clever yet sophisticated back just to show them I don’t really care and that I’m the bigger person.
Sometimes if I am having a bad day it can get me down when they are all talking about your physical appearance. But then I come to realize they do not know me at all and you never know what someone is going through in their own lives and why they feel the need to take it out on me. So I brush it off and instead read the hundreds of positive and uplifting comments and DMs I receive, which inspire me to keep going.
Back in August 2018, Raine told Fox News Michaels made sure he was there to celebrate her runway debut for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit show in Miami.
“He’s always been extremely supportive of everything that I do,” she explained at the time. “He wants me to succeed in whatever I want to pursue in life. He was so proud. He would call me like every second. He would go, ‘Oh my God, how are you doing? Are you so excited?’ Right before I went on, I was like, ‘Dad, I have to go now.’ And he said, ‘Right, right, but I’m so excited for you! I’m waiting outside, I’ll see you right after!’ I was just like, ‘Oh my goodness, OK.’
“I was talking to some of the girls [in the competition] and they were like, ‘My dad is so mad that I’m going to be walking in a bikini right now,’” Raine continued. “And I’m like, it doesn’t have to be sexualized. It’s something you just want to do. You feel beautiful, you’re body confident and you want to show it. That’s amazing. My dad totally gets that, which is really cool because I know that not all dads do.”
Ultimately, Raine hopes posing for the magazine will lead to a lasting, successful career as a cover girl.
“My mom used to be a model, so it’s always been a thing that I wanted to do,” she explained. “I really look up to my parents and... I wanted to follow in her footsteps and pursue it as well. I got signed to an agency when I was 16, but I haven’t done much because I was pretty young.
“And the way my body is, it’s fit for lingerie and swim. And you can’t do that when you’re 16-17 years old. They didn’t want me to go out and do lingerie when I had just turned 16. But I’ve always wanted to do modeling and get into the entertainment industry… But now I’m here! ...Hopefully, this is my big modeling break.”