SI Swimsuit

SI Swimsuit editor in chief MJ Day’s favorite part of open casting is getting to connect with each Swim Search hopeful, sharing stories, listening and lending advice. She was crushed that she hasn’t had the chance to do that in person this year, but here’s the next best thing! Every week MJ will be answering YOUR questions and giving out the best tips, tricks and advice she’s picked up during her long-time career with SI Swim. Have a question for MJ? Email her at dearmj@si.com All questions will be kept anonymous, so don’t hold back!

Dear MJ,

When was it that you found a passion in editorial? I saw you went to the University of Mary Washington (my fiancé’s daughter graduated from there, Go Eagles! 🦅 ) and studied political science. Often times we put so much pressure on 18-21 year olds to already know what they want to do when they grow up. Did you ever imagine you’d be where you are now with SI? Also, if you could give your 30-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be?

xoxo

GO EAGLES!!!! I love that you are familiar with UMW! It’s such a wonderful institution and I credit much of it with getting me to where I am today! I was a rather lackluster political science student there, but it was that experience which took me overseas for the first time to study abroad. After a summer of cultural immersion, I realized life held a lot more opportunity for me than I could have ever imagined. I always had a passion for creating and the arts, even from the earliest days. I grew up in a loving, working-class environment hanging bedsheets in my room as a backdrop and shooting my friends in my grandmother’s accessories from the 50s with a Le Clic (remember those?) camera, but had very little exposure to the professional possibilities that existed in the field.

dear-mj-breastfeeding
MJ breast pumping on set in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands in 2015, juggling professional self and motherhood.

I entered the workforce with no experience or ego and I learned, watched and absorbed information from the talented professionals that surrounded me. I was able to fine-tune my own position in the industry this way. I knew I wanted to work as a creative; I remember that while I was working as an intern at InStyle, I journaled that I wanted to run my own magazine one day. I promise you I wake up every day, pinching myself that I sit where I do today. I worked my butt off for it, I still work my butt off for it, because getting comfortable is never an option if you want to continue to succeed.

dear-mj-model-with-baby
Left: MJ Day with her son on his 1st birthday. Right: Hailey Clauson with MJ's son in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands in 2015.

My 30-year-old self needed a lot of advice. I was a new mom having to leave my baby for weeks at a time while we shot remotely, with a lot of bills to pay, a husband in med school that I was supporting on a barely liveable salary. I was frustrated with my situation and felt undervalued. Advocate for yourself. The job will never love you back, so prioritize yourself and your loved ones. Whatever your line of work is, you are your business. So take care of that. Be rational, realistic and be forgiving to yourself. Set goals while allowing yourself the flexibility to meet them. If you keep working towards those goals, they may look a little different and they will happen when the universe is ready, but you will get there! Also, if you think your 30s are when you are going to be feeling your best and most confident, wait until your 40s!

xx MJ

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DeonnaPurrazzo
DeonnaPurrazzo

I loved reading this! No matter what age, it seems relatable and like advice you can never hear enough! ❤️

Rhonn_14
Rhonn_14

Very inspirational message. To be honest I was like this in my mid 20. Single mom working in the city and I leave my son to my parents so I can help the entire family. I have to balance work and life and being a mother. I’m proud and happy that I made it.

RachelClareWeiss
RachelClareWeiss

I am smiling so big because these are two of the questions I was going to ask you @MJ Day ! I love the photos shown because of the beauty and power they speak. I have the utmost respect for you given your dedication, inspiring heart, and for being YOU. I emphasize more than anything to be YOU. I admired my mom growing up because she always made time for herself, and was truly a "Supermom" when it came to juggling each of her jackets. I admire the same about you and appreciate hearing your story so much!! Thank you for sharing and for opening up this community to all of us beautiful women!!

kimiafs
kimiafs

This is amazing!

Alexandria Chere
Alexandria Chere

I love how genuine an open @MJ Day is and how she never gave up. As women we have battles that we face everyday in the work world as well as in our everyday lives. MJ shows us that success isn't about greatness. It's about consistency. Consistent hard work will lead to greatness and MJ is proof of that! 

ayeshaadamo
ayeshaadamo

Love reading this @MJ Day ! Great advice, and so true what you've said about hitting your 40s :)

Monroe 45
Monroe 45

You are a true beauty and you really care about not only your work . Your family life as well. I’ve been bullied my whole life, even now as an adult. I have several reasons why I would be an amazing addition to your family. Im always told very glamorous, not sure if that works against me or not? I want to impress you and S.I. Family, it’s not a dream it’s my goal. Do you ever bring your son on set? He sure reminds me of his fast our babies grow. Mine is now 23🌷Every woman has a story and a reason to be on your magazine. I’m 45, single mom, business owner, I’m not one to beg or please pick me. I’m just me, you know your intuition what’s a good fit for you and the S.I. Family! Looks and body aren’t everything as we know. If we don’t have a good heart and we only care about number 1, it’s not real then is it? With all my heart and soul and the universe what’s meant to be will be. MJ DAY I hope your heart says Kirsten Monroe 💗 have a lovely evening 🌸😘

Aestrada
Aestrada

I enjoyed reading this very much! It’s so refreshing and reassuring to hear your words of wisdom. Thank you for sharing with us!

FJLau
FJLau

Aloha MJ 🌺
Ok, I can totally hear the sound of the breast pump lol. Been through it twice and boy it really hurt at times...being an X-Flight Attendant pumping in tight quarters was no fun, but we do what we have to for our child(ren) & Ohana. I truly appreciate your read as it reminds me to remain focused, keep smiling and even at “43” my chances are just as good as the person next or surrounding me. Kindness is love. Mahalo kindly oxox

AprilLambert
AprilLambert

This is unbelievably touching and yet so realistic that it stands hairs up on my whole body! I feel such a connection to this story and this family! God bless @Mjday for the inspiration and boost in motivation xo

Maya Dove
Maya Dove

This is so cool, no words! Thanks @MJ Day ❤️

Dannii Marie
Dannii Marie

@MJ Day SOOOO INSPIRING. Im in love with the honesty and energy here. Thank you so much for sharing. You are proof that working hard, creating your goals and following dreams equals success. ❤️❤️❤️

Kellyjpj
Kellyjpj

That is such a great story. Where did you study abroad? Does your son have red hair? I have two gingers 😊❤

Miafiorenzi
Miafiorenzi

Absolutely incredible!! Such an inspiration and motivating career path!

dietitianillustrated
dietitianillustrated

Amazing!! So inspiring and motivational. Thank you for sharing this Q&A!

Robinlynnmcfadden
Robinlynnmcfadden

What an inspirational story and thank you for sharing. You have that grit and determination that drove you to catch your dream. It also brought back memories of that dreaded breast pump in the bathroom at work!

Rish
Rish

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Jschopp226
Jschopp226

This is so fantastic MJ! I’m also a political science major who after graduating realized my true passion for creating. Such great advice, thank you for sharing your story.

Tro
Tro

Wow, I appreciate you being vulnerable to tell us a piece of your story! Thank you for the inspiration!

Troi
Troi

Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing a piece of your story with us! Very inspiring.

Barbarella Piccoli
Barbarella Piccoli

i love this so much!!

Chelsonhealth
Chelsonhealth

THIS!! It is all a journey, not a destination! Enjoy each part of it and be kind to yourself always. God has a plan!

torikerlin
torikerlin

This was so inspiring to read. I feel we can all relate in some way to MJ's story. I hope to one day have the balance she has with prioritizing family and her own dreams and career.

morgansheets
morgansheets

Loved the opportunity to read this part of MJ's story and hear her advice. Thank you so much for sharing these pieces of you with us!

I love hearing where more of your heart, values , and mindset. Makes me appreciate and want to work with you even more!!

brynnbeaudoin
brynnbeaudoin

I am always asked what SI model I look up to the most, but it’s truly the SI team and the behind the scenes that inspires me the most. If I never model for SI, I hope I work for your team in another way! I graduate in one month if you’re hiring 🤓

ksmallcanyon
ksmallcanyon

"If you keep working towards those goals, they may look a little different and they will happen when the universe is ready, but you will get there!" 🙌🏽🙌🏽
Thank you for sharing–your work ethic and inclusivity is so admirable!!

DanielleDiLorenzo
DanielleDiLorenzo

Such an inspiration!! Love and adore you so much MJ thank you for creating this incredible platform!!!♥️♥️♥️

Kristen Louelle
Kristen Louelle

"If you keep working towards those goals, they may look a little different and they will happen when the universe is ready, but you will get there!"

I couldn't love this more. Never giving up. Family first. And everything unfolds exactly how it should <3

CieraRay
CieraRay

This post just inspired me to keep going! Thank you @MJ Day and shout out to All of my Mama's out there! I am a Autism Mama, and creating tiny humans, is our super power!

PriscillaDelCastillo
PriscillaDelCastillo

Truly so inspirational

Venanta
Venanta

I love this. Thank you MJ for your encouragement. I love how your strength shines through so beautifully in this ❤️

oliviapodes
oliviapodes

@MJ Day you are one of the biggest role models. Everyone has a journey and a dream. You are here helping women accomplishing and making their dreams come true. You’re the perfect real life fairy god mother

Jade Kircus
Jade Kircus

Love love love this!!!! Wow. Definitely love how you speak about starting off and being a momma... 💕 you are such an inspiration to women around the world... we can do it all! Xo

Brooke_Mallon
Brooke_Mallon

So empowering to hear about you having such a successful career while being a mother. Beautiful Share.

FedeG.
FedeG.

@MJ Day You're AMAZING!!!
nothing is impossible if you truly believe in it!!!
I will always have your sentence in my head : you are your Business..in love

jessierinbeyer
jessierinbeyer

Love this advice so much! "Advocate for yourself"... always!! Thanks for sharing :)

Judy B
Judy B

I was a poli sci major married to a med student too! Those days were tough especially having to move around so much during his training but it definitely made me stronger having to be able to adjust to new environments and stressful situations that prepared me for having twins at 29 weeks during his training. I guess it's true that God wont give us more than we can handle! Thanks for all your hard work changing perceptions of women. It means a lot especially when you reach your 50s! I can't wait to see what your future holds!

Nadia_Udelnova
Nadia_Udelnova

I am touched by your message and your story MJ! Thank you for opening your heart to all of us, telling your success story, sharing a piece of yourself with us! This is very touching, and I, or rather we all who are here in this community, really appreciate your special attitude towards us! Your interest in our stories, in our life .. And the fact that no one should pay for all the competitions for anything, that is, everyone has a chance, even those who have extremely limited finances.. Thank you very much for that! For giving a chance to each of us, regardless of age, race, physique, skin color and parameters!
After I learned your story, you became a role model for me, but I think for all of us!! You achieved your goal, despite all the difficulties that were on your way!! Thank you very much for this motivation, for this example, for the fact that everything is possible in life, the main thing is not to give up, work, strive and go forward!! Your advice is very important for all of us both in this competition and in life in general!!

Gretchen Schwartz
Gretchen Schwartz

Thank you MJ for choosing this questions and sharing with us so much of your personal story. This movement is such a reflection of your values, beliefs and hard work. I feel grateful to be part of this platform and community as it has been an amazing experience so far. There is so much wisdom to share as a women in your 40's and it would be exciting to represent this age group. I believe there is no age limit to being sexy, confident and beautiful.

ashleyhughes
ashleyhughes

This is SO inspiring for someone just beginning their career! I think no matter what path you take: model, marketer, med school student, mom, etc., there's a desire every day to do better and work harder. Conversely, there's no easy path in life. The struggle is what makes the strong and successful and you, MJ, are an example of that. Always a great role model and source of encouragement. I hope you know how positively you impact others. Xo

RuthyM
RuthyM

Thank you @MJ Day for helping to change the industries and worlds perception of what beauty is. You made it known that beauty does not come in a mold. We emowered women have broken that mold.

Rikki_swimsuit
Rikki_swimsuit

YOU ROCK! I love that you were given the opportunity to be an editor for SI with no experience! You seem like a go getter like myself! Great things happen to great people! Look forward to meeting you soon! 😉

DebbiSwim2020
DebbiSwim2020

MJ, your story is so inspiring! I am sure that you just LOVE your job at SI! I am thrilled to just have entered the competition!

TaylorCole
TaylorCole

This was a great read. I started out as a poly sci major and eventually switched to Public Relations. After graduating I found myself saying women need more advocates and someone who can be there for them. That's when I started on my journey for Nursing school. I eventually would like to become a Midwife to help women all across the board. Thanks for being such an inspiration!

hamasehs
hamasehs

@MJ Day Your story is so inspiring. I used to wishfully think of achieving a certain ~specific~ goal that is slowly starting to develop into a thought I may entertain. I am a young lawyer in the making. I am beautiful, healthy, and smart. And I talked my way into the most amazing job a person in my position could have. With that on my success list, I feel like I can do anything. I want to start to do ~certain~ professional goal as an internationalist and attorney. I want to become an icon. I want to have insight into my personal development and get interviewed on podcasts for it. But sometimes I don’t know if the risks I want to take are too big. Did you ever have moments when you felt you were in over your head? Are there moments looking back now that you realize a certain dream you had was yes, in fact, unattainable?

Aubreyana
Aubreyana

Profound! And YES I’m in my thirty’s and after reading this I’m event more confident moving forward! Thank You!

Theamberlyn
Theamberlyn

Thank you MJ for pushing for us all! I love that you are so involved in the community and share your time to help people achieve their dreams. It's always a good reminder to make sure we stay kind and forgiving to ourselves and that if we go for what we want the universe will help along the way, thanks!

KimberLeigh
KimberLeigh

I love all the inspirational advice. "...because getting comfortable is never an option if you want to continue to succeed." This reminds me of the saying: "if you want something bad enough, youll find a way, if not, youll find an excuse." I love your advocacy for "its never too late to follow your dreams." It gives us all hope that life isnt over when you turn 30, 40, 50, etc. Thank you for continuing to break molds and stigmas, to shatter stereotypes and "standards" and make sure everyone feels included and represented!

Leslie333
Leslie333

What an inspirational story🙏. This was heart warming to read so we can get to know who you are and how you got where you are today. You followed your dream and made it happen!! You are doing what you LOVE. And no one except for other mothers can truly understand how challenging this is to accomplish when you have a young child. I'm so happy for you! Thank you for sharing this with us. Wish I could hug you! 🤗💜

Meya.Miller
Meya.Miller

Growing up my mother was a model, she very much educated me to love my BEAUTIFUL BLACK SKIN. As you see me for who i am you, you also see me for who I am not. SELF LOVE. No... one is not capable In SELF LOVE.... YOU ARE THE CREATOR OF YOUR OWN BODY ! I AM HERE AND I AM READY TO OWN IT. MJ your one of my biggest inspirations so far with your passion and creativity of Love, you empower me to stand up for myself and to believe in myself. To make history and to tell my story .Your perception of beauty still continues to uplift women today and to not tear them down. The first issue I seen was in 2018 of Danielle Herrington, she empowered me to try out for Swimsearch. Tyra also empowered me to show out for sports illustrated she inspired me to embrace the moment. I want to inspired girls just like me to go after your dreams. When there's passion there's hope. With the right team and support anything is possible #OWN IT #SMIZE #TYRATAUGHTME #DANIELLE #MJ #hayley #swimsearchsisters #kathy


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