As we put the finishing touches on the 2015 SI Swimsuit issue and get ready for the big Nashville launch, we find ourselves reminiscing about the girls who made 2014 so special. With an all-time high 12 rookies, our anniversary edition was certainly a book for the ages.
So join us as we take a look back at our rock star 2014 rookies, because, quite simply, our murder-mystery-loving and want-to-be-doctor newbies were nothing short of spectacular.
"The first time I saw the 'Blurred Lines' video I was like, Wow, I am so naked! I do think it's important that people critique what is popular in our culture. But I think that this video is really about women celebrating their bodies and enjoying themselves, and not apologizing for it. Which is why it's so fun and why both women and men enjoy it."
"When I was seven, I used to watch Forensic Files, which is the gruesome and gnarly stuff with real dead bodies. My mom would walk in and be like 'Eh, let's turn this off.' And I would be like, 'I can't! I need to find out why they did it!' She eventually gave up because I was so obsessed. As a kid you should be watching the Disney Channel, not the Investigation Discovery Channel."
"I didn't know my mom [Laura Lyons] was a Playboy Playmate until I was 12. She didn't keep it from me, but it wasn't something she brought up at dinner. I found my mom's Playboy in my dad's studio and was like, Oh, my God! But I was so proud of her."
"I wanted to be a gym teacher and coach a team on the side. I'm from the East Coast so I love field hockey. I played in middle school. Since I was modeling, they told me not to mess with field hockey because I would always get bruises."
"I always wanted to be a doctor, and when I was 16 I got my certification as a nurse's assistant. My first job was at a residential assisted living place. I've always had a very natural way of communicating with older people. I feel like I was meant to do it. Yes, the first guy I ever saw naked was an 86-year-old man—but it's all about caring for people."
VALERIE VAN DER GRAAF
"The ride to the location was very, very bumpy. I was with a Brazilian driver who didn't speak English. We actually went through the water in the Jeep and I almost got sick. It went on for ages. We didn't stop. Up and down and into the water and out of the water. I was like, Oh, my God, we're going to get stuck, and I'm gonna die. But I can laugh about it now."
"I'm a brown belt in karate, which I started when I was six and did for nine years. I did one year of ballet and I was like, Nah, I want to punch things. I had one more year until I was a black belt, but I was getting really fed up with it. I was starting to become a girl."
"I live in New York City in an apartment with two of my sisters: Lauren, who is a modern dancer, and Leanne, who is an artist. A model, a dancer and an artist—people have said that we should have our own reality show called Hannah and Her Sisters."
"I'm pretty quiet, but I'm actually pretty crazy. In a good way—making jokes, being goofy. I'm a good listener I think. When my friends want to talk to me I always know what to tell them, and I can keep secrets."
"I started boxing a year ago. I didn't think I'd like it, but I love it. Unfortunately, it's mostly shadowboxing. Sometimes you get the urge to hit someone, but that means that they would hit you back. In my line of work, it's not a good idea to be punched in the face."
"I grew up in Johannesburg, but my family spent a lot of time out of the city, in the bush, so I love and am comfortable around pretty much any type of animal: zebras, giraffes, elephants, spiders, insects. I even had a close call with a rhino once, when I was about 12. There's only one thing I can't deal with: snakes. Snakes are my worst."