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

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

The mannequin first made a splash within the pages of the journal in 2021 and was featured on this yr’s situation 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 wish to be an instance of that and present that it’s cool and it’s lovely. [On social media] I present my physique, I present my life, I present what I symbolize 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 wish to present that the conventional physique dimension is valued.”

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


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

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

Video: SI Swimsuit mannequin Myla Dalbesio recollects being body-shamed over her dimension

“It’s the very best feeling on the planet as a mannequin to be a part of {a magazine} that accepts and celebrates you for being you,” she mentioned. “I bear 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 social gathering. You wouldn’t comprehend it from wanting on the photographs, however there are like 20-25 individuals standing behind the digital camera simply hollering, encouraging and motivating you. They’re having a bit dance social gathering for you.”

Whereas this wasn’t Mariduena’s first time showing within the journal, her photographs this yr left her shocked, she insisted.


“I used to be in shock,” she mentioned. “I noticed a number of the photographs 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 some of the empowering experiences I’ve ever had. I’m capable of have fun my physique. They’re so inclusive and accepting. They do such an awesome job of together with all ladies and creating such an accepting group that uplifts one another.”

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

Regardless of her achievements, Mariduena mentioned she doesn’t at all times 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 vogue business. Jason Koerner/Getty Pictures

“On these days, I do what I really like,” she mentioned. “I really like meal. I really like visiting my favourite restaurant. I really like my wholesome meals and I really like my junk meals. I feel it’s all about steadiness. I similar to to offer a day for myself. It may be one thing so simple as staying at dwelling and having fun with meal or going to the seashore. I additionally like to lean in on my buddies. I feel it’s vital to have a optimistic, encouraging circle to lean on everytime you’re feeling dangerous. I do know they at all times snap me proper out of it. Being informed, ‘You’re doing so properly, maintain going,’ goes a great distance. I’m so fortunate to have that assist system. I feel it’s crucial.”

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


“I feel 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 properly, you wish to assist them and inspire them. Your phrases, whether or not you’ve got a big following or simply your circle of buddies, they matter. Your phrases have an effect on individuals. There’s no want for hate and negativity. That’s the message I wish to share.”

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

Mariduena mentioned her objective is to collaborate with extra vogue manufacturers and designers in hopes of getting her physique kind seen by others who can determine along with her. She praised how the modeling business has advanced over time and is keen to see what else it could actually do for ladies.

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 Challenge and Debut of Pay With Change at Exhausting Rock Seminole, Could 21, 2022, in Hollywood, Florida. Alexander Tamargo/Getty Pictures for Sports activities Illustrated Swimsuit

“I’m a vogue lady at coronary heart,” she mentioned. “And I hope ladies have 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 objective. I need ladies to really feel that they’ll do it, too, and their goals generally is a risk. It was a risk for me.”

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