Olivia Brower, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s newest pinup, has never been prouder of her curves.
The 24-year-old joins models Camille Kostek, Haley Kalil, Tara Lynn, Jasmine Sanders, Winne Harlow and Kesley Merritt as the magazine’s official rookies for 2019. The California-born beauty headed to The Bahamas where she unveiled her sizzling shape while rocking skimpy swimsuits.
Brower, along with 31 other Sports Illustrated stars, recently headed to Miami for “SI Swimsuit on Location,” a two-day ticketed exhibition which gave fans the opportunity to explore one-of-a-kind installations and photo experiences, among others. The magazine’s stars all celebrated at Mynt and Myn-Tu, the newly opened Japanese-French concept restaurant by Romain Zago next to the lounge. It was there where they candidly shared their experiences posing in the sizzling issue.
But Brower, who originally kicked off her modeling career when she was just 16, insisted there’s more to the honor of posing for Sports Illustrated than just wearing bikinis. She recently spoke to Fox News about what it was really like shooting for this year’s issue, how she came to love her body, the message she has for critics and how she stays in camera-ready shape all year long.
Fox News: What was it like shooting for this year’s issue?
Olivia Brower: For me, it was just a really exciting and wonderful experience. I got to go to The Bahamas, which is absolutely stunning. The water is the clearest you’ve ever seen – just pure aquamarine. There’s white sand – it was all just wonderful. I’m still on a high from it.
Fox News: What was your reaction when you saw the photos for the first time?
Brower: I flew into New York the day they released the magazine. I immediately went to two different convenient stores just trying to find an issue. I finally found one and I remember the store clerk being so confused because I just started screaming *laughs*. All I kept saying was “Oh my God!” This is in print and it’s there forever. It was such a surreal moment. And then, of course, I immediately called my mom. She did not answer *laughs*. But my family has been so wonderful and supportive.
Fox News: How important has it been to be part of an issue celebrating diversity?
Brower: It’s very important to me because I feel body diversity and including every body type is so important. I think in this industry, there are a lot of times when people criticize you if your body is not looking a certain way. But I think every body is beautiful. To be part of a magazine that celebrates that and embraces that is just so wonderful.
Fox News: Some are going to say this magazine just has women wearing skimpy swimsuits. What’s your response?
Brower: I don’t think they’ve really opened up the magazine and seen the women that are on there or the message they’re trying to send. Although these are women wearing bathing suits, it’s so much more than that. It’s so much more to other young girls and women who look at this magazine and see this diversity of bodies. We have someone like Hunter [McGrady], who I absolutely adore and am really obsessed with. She’s beautiful and proudly embraces her curves. That means so much to many different people who can identify with her.
Fox News: How do you cope with the pressures of having to look a certain way or be a certain size in order to make it in the modeling industry?
Brower: You know, for me, I don’t really feel those pressures anymore. I think now I’ve grown enough where I can look in the mirror and am able to say, “I am healthy and beautiful for me.” I learned that comparing myself is not going to get me anywhere. And it’s not a healthy state of mind. I really hope that other women reading and looking at the magazine can see that. Just being yourself and being healthy is what makes you beautiful. Everybody has their own unique look and personality. And to embrace that is just such a wonderful thing. That’s where I am right now. I work out every day, I eat healthily, but I don’t work out in the mindset where I’m thinking “I have to lose 10 pounds right now.” No — I want to be healthy and just feel great.
Fox News: With your confidence, how do you deal with not so great days?
Brower: Not so great days come and go. I’ve learned that the opinions of other people don’t really mess me up as much. But when I do have those days, I just don’t think about it too much. I try not to give it that power of affecting me so much. Before it used to cripple me, I used to be so sad from it. Now I learned that I’m happy with me. I feel beautiful and healthy. I don’t need that other person’s opinion.
Fox News: When did you realize that you were willing to proudly accept your body?
Brower: I remember one day saying to myself, “Why am I feeling so low?” I looked in the mirror and I’m as healthy as I’ve ever been. I have a wonderful circle of people around me… I just felt ridiculous for thinking that way. Our bodies are so much more than just one photo.
Fox News: What’s your secret to feeling confident in a swimsuit?
Brower: I get a spray tan *laughs*. But leading up to a shoot like Sports Illustrated, I go to the gym and work out with a personal trainer. My goal is not to lose weight, but rather build that little extra sense of confidence. When I work out, I would also do hot yoga. After class, I just feel so refreshed and it really just helped clear my mind. That’s what I do to get ready — mentally prepare myself…. I also go to a really good spa for a nice scrub and a chance to sit in the sauna just to get that really glowy skin. That’s when I feel beautiful and prepared for a shoot like this one.
Fox News: What do you hope to accomplish next?
Brower: I feel like now things are only getting started for me… I guess you’ll just have to stay tuned!