What comes to mind when you think of a Sports Illustrated swimwear fashion show? Maybe perfectly proportioned supermodels parading their gear across the stage, right? Her tight yet sensual bodies, her perfect skin, her immaculate face, just her beautiful little self…
This may be what they’ve touted in the past, but this year’s runway show took a turn — for the better and for the inclusive.
The 2021 runway show took place July 10 at the Mondrian Hotel in South Beach and will feature models Jasmine Sanders, Natalie Maridwina, Brooks Nader, Katrina Scott and Kathy Jacobs, as well as several Sports Illustrated Swim Search finalists. In addition, finalists include a diverse group of athletes, models, entrepreneurs, students, moms and more.
“Their annual Miami Runway Show, which focuses on this incredible group of authentic and ambitious women, has become the show of choice during Miami Swimming Week,” Sports Illustrated said in a statement.
There were models with curves – like the related real curves and extra skin. There was cellulite! There was even a model in a wheelchair, which wouldn’t have happened a few years ago. Best? Confidence radiated from the faces of the models, who trotted down the aisles like heroes. It was great to see.
“The Sports Illustrated swimsuit franchise is about empowerment and is a platform that supports diversity, inclusion and positive change,” the company said in a statement. “As our audience evolves, as the conversation evolves about beauty, height, race and gender reassignment, we’re working even harder to celebrate unique beauty and raise awareness of inspiring stories that would otherwise be unspeakable.”
We have to give Sports Illustrated some credit. In recent years, they’ve definitely tried to break with the stereotypical supermodel they once were. Last year, model Valentina Sampaio made her debut as the first transgender woman in a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. In 2016, the first plus-size model, Ashley Graham, appeared on the cover.
Check out some great models from this year’s fashion show in the post below!
What do you think of this selection of models was for this year’s runway show? How do you think Sports Illustrated has gotten more inclusive over the years? What would you like to see in next year’s show that perhaps you didn’t see this year and that could make it even better?