SI Swim mannequin Natalie Mariduena desires to ‘be an instance’ of ‘physique normalcy’

Natalie Mariduena, an SI Swimsuit mannequin who has almost 4 million followers on Instagram alone, is hoping to lift consciousness on “physique normalcy.”

The mannequin first made a splash within the pages of the journal in 2021 and was featured on this 12 months’s difficulty obtainable at newsstands now.

“Within the business, you see fashions who’re very skinny or your see plus-size fashions, however there isn’t this style of modeling that’s proper within the center,” the Chicago native informed Fox Information Digital. “I attempt to champion that for different individuals. I need to be an instance of that and present that it’s cool and it’s stunning. [On social media] I present my physique, I present my life, I present what I characterize and what I worth with no filter. Whether or not it’s a bikini picture or simply a picture of me out on the street in a cute outfit, I need to present that the traditional physique measurement is valued.”

The 25-year-old insisted that she desires to make use of her platform to point out her feminine followers that one doesn’t have to depend on filters and Photoshop to look stunning.

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“I’ve so many followers who’re younger ladies, very impressionable and me for instance for themselves,” she mentioned. “I attempt to join with individuals, whether or not it is by way of DMs or the feedback part. I’m usually informed, ‘I’ve your physique sort — thanks for exhibiting this.’ These persons are exhibiting their appreciation in direction of me and I need to give that love again. As a result of I’ve this platform, I believe it’s extra vital than ever that I present positivity for girls.”

Mariduena praised SI Swimsuit for celebrating totally different physique varieties, in addition to ladies of assorted ages. For the 2022 difficulty, Mariduena was photographed in Belize by veteran photographer Yu Tsai.

“It’s the very best feeling on this planet as a mannequin to be a part of {a magazine} that accepts and celebrates you for being you,” she mentioned. “I keep in mind we ended up capturing round 15 bikinis shiny and early that day, out within the jungle. I’m in waterfalls, I’m laying on rocks, I’m hanging on bridges, standing in rivers … [but] it was like a bit celebration. You wouldn’t realize it from wanting on the pictures, however there are like 20-25 individuals standing behind the digital camera simply hollering, encouraging and motivating you. They’re having a bit dance celebration for you.”

Whereas this wasn’t Mariduena’s first time showing within the journal, her pictures this 12 months left her surprised, she insisted.


“I used to be in shock,” she mentioned. “I noticed among the pictures as we had been taking them, however to see them within the precise journal, it’s such a surreal feeling. It’s so unusual being this small-town lady from Illinois simply having no concept that issues like this had been a risk for her. … And being a part of ‘Sports activities Illustrated’ might be one of the empowering experiences I’ve ever had. I’m in a position to have fun my physique. They’re so inclusive and accepting. They do such an amazing job of together with all ladies and creating such an accepting neighborhood that uplifts one another.”

Natalie Mariduena walks for the 2021 Sports activities Illustrated Swimsuit Runway Present throughout Paraiso Miami Seaside at Mondrian South Seaside, July 10, 2021, in Miami, Florida. John Parra/Getty Photos for Sports activities Illustrated

Regardless of her achievements, Mariduena mentioned she doesn’t all the time get up feeling like a supermodel. Like anybody else, there are days when she may use a much-needed enhance of confidence. And people are the moments when she enjoys disconnecting from social media.

Natalie Mariduena said it's important for all bodies to be represented in the fashion industry. <span class="copyright">Jason Koerner/Getty Images</span>

Natalie Mariduena mentioned it is vital for all our bodies to be represented within the style business. Jason Koerner/Getty Photos

“On these days, I do what I like,” she mentioned. “I like an excellent meal. I like visiting my favourite restaurant. I like my wholesome meals and I like my junk meals. I believe it’s all about steadiness. I identical to to present a day for myself. It may be one thing so simple as staying at residence and having fun with an excellent meal or going to the seashore. I additionally like to lean in on my associates. I believe it’s vital to have a constructive, encouraging circle to lean on everytime you’re feeling unhealthy. I do know they all the time snap me proper out of it. Being informed, ‘You’re doing so effectively, maintain going,’ goes a good distance. I’m so fortunate to have that help system. I believe it’s crucial.”

Mariduena has greater than 8 million followers on her social media platforms. She’s identified for selling “Do Good” initiatives that concentrate on sustainability, feminine empowerment and physique positivity. She mentioned they’re important now greater than ever.


“I believe cyberbullying is so distinguished in social media,” she mentioned. “It’s so vital to unfold positivity and love for different individuals. Even when somebody is doing effectively, you need to help them and encourage them. Your phrases, whether or not you could have a big following or simply your circle of associates, they matter. Your phrases have an effect on individuals. There’s no want for hate and negativity. That’s the message I need to share.”

“Once I was youthful, and I believe that is typical for a lot of ladies in highschool, I all the time felt that I wanted to look a sure method or act a sure strategy to impress social circles,” she continued. “It wasn’t till faculty that I spotted that being totally different, being outdoors the norm, is far cooler. I believe that’s been the large key to my success. I don’t all the time comply with the development if it doesn’t really feel proper to me. I gown nevertheless I would like, which makes me really feel good. I comply with my head and my coronary heart. It appears to be understanding thus far.”

Mariduena mentioned her purpose is to collaborate with extra style manufacturers and designers in hopes of getting her physique sort seen by others who can establish along with her. She praised how the modeling business has developed through the years and is raring to see what else it might probably do for girls.

Natalie Mariduena attends as "Sports Illustrated Swimsuit" celebrates the launch of the 2022 Issue and Debut of Pay With Change at Hard Rock Seminole, May 21, 2022, in Hollywood, Florida. <span class="copyright">Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit</span>

Natalie Mariduena attends as “Sports activities Illustrated Swimsuit” celebrates the launch of the 2022 Concern and Debut of Pay With Change at Laborious Rock Seminole, Could 21, 2022, in Hollywood, Florida. Alexander Tamargo/Getty Photos for Sports activities Illustrated Swimsuit

“I’m a style lady at coronary heart,” she mentioned. “And I hope ladies take a look at me as a supply of relatability. I hope when ladies see me, they’ll see part of themselves and really feel represented. That’s my purpose. I would like ladies to really feel that they’ll do it, too, and their goals is usually a risk. It was a risk for me.”

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