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 Veronica Pome'e. This curvaceous beauty is the first Polynesian women to appear in the pages of SI Swimsuit! Veronica is all about using her platform to promote self-love and body positivity. One of the coolest parts of her #SISwimSearch experience? Making it to the Sweet 16 with her best friend Jazzmine Carthon. Talk about a once in a life time opportunity! We caught up with Veronica to chat about everything from walking in New York Fashion Week to her future career goals!
Sports Illustrated: How has becoming an #SISwimSearch finalist impacted your life?
Veronica Pomee: #SISwimSearch opened my eyes to the new possibilities that become available when I commit to my aspirations. People view me differently, and I even view myself differently. I walk with more confidence now. The impact that this experience has blessed me with has allowed me to turn around and share the same blessing by impacting little girls at home who never believed they could do it.
SI: You’ve told us before that many women have reached out to you about body image. Are you surprised to find yourself in the position to give advice to other women?
VP: I'm not surprised, but it is a humbling feeling to be able to ignite that fire of confidence in other women. It's all about having that positive reinforcement and understanding how we've internalized our insecurities. I think most girls just need to be reminded that it's okay to not be perfect.
SI:What does this platform mean to you as the first Polynesian woman to be in the magazine?
VP: I used to joke around about being the first Polynesian to be featured in Sports Illustrated. Initially, I just thought that it would be super cool and fun. But now that I'm here, it feels like there's so much more to it than just being in a bikini on the beach taking beautiful photos. I represent so much more than that and have become the face for great hopes and big dreams.
SI:What’s the reaction from your family been like? Friends?
VP: My parents are supportive but I don't think they really know the magnitude of what's happening, and I like that. I think my parents are proud for the simple fact that I'm uplifting an entire nation, and I am proud of my culture. My friends have always seen greatness in me before I could even see it in myself. Those kinds of people are so important to have around you.
SI:You were a part of #SISwimSearch with one of your best friends, mega babe Jazzmine Carthon. How was it going through part of this journey with her?
VP: Jazz and I prayed together throughout the entire process! The people who are able to share those big life changing moments with you become connected for life. These are memories that we will cherish forever. I think all of us Sweet 16 girls will always share that bond, and I love when friends become family.
SI:What would you say to someone who is considering coming out for an SI Swimsuit open casting call this year?
VP: I would tell them to be bold and have the courage to go for what they believe in. I once read, "If you are not open to the unprecedented, you will repeat history. If you are open to the unprecedented, you will change history." Some things in life you can’t sit and think on for too long, you just have to do!
SI:You walked the Chromat NYFW show this season. What was that experience like?
VP: I love what Becca Mccharenan-Tran represents in the fashion world, and the energy you get from her team and the other models. It is an adrenaline rush!!! I want to always be around strong, inspiring, badass women.
SI:Where do you see yourself in the next two or three years?
VP: In the next few years I see myself breaking more barriers in the fashion and curve worlds. I want to use my platform to raise awareness about issues that are important to me, such as youth empowerment, rising sea levels, and climate change.
See all of Veronica's stunning photos from SI Swimsuit 2019: