The ladies of #SISwimSearch and heating up the pages of this year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. The final six women of the model search competition traveled down to Paradise Island, The Bahamas, to shoot with photographer Yu Tsai, and the results are going to blow you away.
Say hello to Brooks Nader. This Southern belle is originally from Baton Rouge, where she grew up rooting for her favorite LSU Tigers. Before becoming a full-time model, Brooks was in college studying finance. Now you can catch this brunette beauty in New York City working out at Gotham Gym and pursuing her dreams! We caught up with Brooks to discuss everything from her advice for other #SISwimSearch hopefuls to her biggest goal as a model!
Sports Illustrated:How has becoming an #SISwimSearch finalist impacted your life?
Brooks Nader: Because of swim search, I’ve had the opportunity to interact with dozens of models, photographers, makeup artists, and other professionals in my industry that I otherwise would have never known! Everyone involved in swim search are such professionals and have brought light to every aspect of my life! I’ve also met hundreds if not thousands of new people over social media who have opened up to me about similar struggles we share!
SI:Did you ever think you’d make it this far in the #SISwimSearch competition?
BN: Normally confidence is not a problem for me but when I saw all the beautiful girls that tried out and really got to know them as people, I knew it wouldn't be easy! I never dreamed I would make it this far!
SI:How does it feel to think back to standing in line at our open call in Miami last July?
BN: It is still mind blowing to me that I’ve made it this far, but I have grown tremendously through the process and feel I’ve learned so much about myself through the process and really found my voice and confidence! I still remember my Mom being an angel and waiting patiently in the lobby of the hotel throughout the long day cheering me on! When I came out with the "Sweet 16" ticket at the end, we both burst into happy tears and jumped up and down!:)
SI:Where do you see yourself in two or three years?
BN: I see myself doing what I love, modeling, traveling, giving back to my community and enjoying the relationships I hold so dear: relationships with my family, friends and all the wonderful people in the modeling industry that I have the privilege of working with, including my incredible SI Swimsuit fam!
SI:What is your biggest goal as a model?
BN: Of course I hope to be an SI Swimsuit regular and maybe even venture into the fashion industry more and break the standard of what a "runway model" is known as! After being told many times that I could never do runway, it was so liberating to strut my stuff on the runway in Miami with SI Swimsuit! I hope to be a versatile model who can do both fashion and commercial work!
SI:What do you want to use your platform in SI Swimsuit to do?
BN: I want to inspire and encourage young women like my three little sisters to embrace and own who they are and go for it all in life! SI inspires us and gives us all permission to own our bodies and our personalities and gifts and to let them shine before the watching world.
SI: What would you tell someone who is thinking about going to an SI Swimsuit open casting call this year?
BN: DO IT! I actually get this question a lot via Instagram. "Should I do it?" "Is it worth it?" Are questions I often get and I encourage everyone to GO FOR IT! I was actually on the fence days before my flight to Miami but thought "why not? Might as well have a weekend in Miami and at least try!" And it worked out! If anything, you will make lifelong friends that you meet through the competition! Just be you, own it, and enjoy every minute of it! Oh, and don't forget to BREATHE (I forgot to do this throughout the weekend) and smile!
SI:What does your family back in Louisiana think of all this? Growing up in Baton Rouge did you ever think you would be on the pages of SI Swimsuit?
BN: My family is over the moon excited about this! None of us ever imagined it would be possible for the little girl from Louisiana to grace the pages of such an iconic magazine! My 3 little sisters are especially proud, them and all their friends are now cult followers of SI Swimsuit!
See all of Brooks' stellar photos from SI Swimsuit 2019: