Rookie of the Year voting begins next week! Before you cast your vote, spend some time getting to know the 12 members of our incredible rookie class. Next up is Anne de Paula.
SI Swimsuit: How did you hear about the Swimsuit issue?
Anne de Paula: My mom. They had a Brazilian model in the cover back in the 70s or something. I was 13 when I started modeling. I was looking up stuff online; I knew what a model was but not what was coming. I saved all these photos from the Swimsuit issue. My mom knew most of the modeling stuff, so she was showing me the Swimsuit issue. That’s how I heard about it, and that was everything I wanted to do.
SI: How different is Rio from New York City?
ADP: It's very different, but that's why I like it. I grew up by the beach, and it's warm all the time and you don’t wear many clothes. It doesn’t have all these big buildings. Rio is totally different. I feel alive a little bit more in New York, but I still love going home to recharge.
SI: What’s your best memory of being a soccer player?
ADP: I was a goalkeeper for five or six years. That was everything I wanted to do. I started playing when I was 8, 9 years old. Because my father never had a boy he was always pushing me to play soccer. I grew up as a tomboy. I was in the field playing with the boys. I grew up around the favelas. I would go into the favelas playing with the boys, and I would be the only girl. Those are my best memories. I played for my school team, and then for my city team. Because I started modeling at 13, I had to stop. How can I have pretty hands and still play soccer? It’s been a while since I played. But if I had a couple weeks off, I would start again.
SI: How important is it to you to be in this issue?
ADP: It’s something I really wanted when I started modeling. It’s amazing to finally say I’m able to be an SI model. It’s a long way to get to do what you want to do. You have to put your whole self into it, you have to focus. When I started modeling, I would show people SI photos that I wanted to recreate on the beach in Rio. I wasn’t expecting it all. Being able to share it with my family, they all knew how much I wanted this. When SI told me, my mind blew up. Last year, my mom would ask strangers to vote for me for the model search. My mom would go to the gym and tell her friends to vote. When I was finally able to tell her I was an SI model, it was a huge deal. My hard work had paid off.
SI: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done on a shoot?
ADP: I don’t think I’ve done anything too crazy. I’m crazy, so I normally try to do something myself. If it seems possible, I’ll try it. Body paint is actually pretty crazy, but the whole experience is amazing. I had paint on, no clothes, but nobody figured out it was body paint. I was walking naked, and people walking by didn’t realize. That was a fun experience. That wasn’t exactly a nude beach, but I was nude.
SI: If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
ADP: I want to be able to fly; that’s a good one. If I had the superpower of flying, or the courage of flying, because the idea of flying is amazing. Or if I could teleport myself! Like I could zap myself to the Maldives, and then come back here at night. I’m sure you’d like that one, too. You would go somewhere this weekend. If I can fly, I’m not sure I’d want to fly from New York to Brazil. So I’m going to stick to teleporting.
SI: Do you read the comments on your Instagram?
ADP: Yes. All of them. I don’t care if they’re good or bad. But I want to see what people are saying. If you’re online, you’re there. You have to expect love or hate. It’s not great, but you have to work with what you look like. People have different tastes and different ideas of beauty. I read them all, and there are some really nice ones, so I want to respond them. Some of the really nice ones want to make you keep posting more. If I follow someone I really appreciate, I comment and like their stuff, too.
SI: What’s the funniest thing you’ve read in the comments?
ADP: Guys have some really crazy ones. Every time they just make some stuff up. Guys will try to flirt with you any way they can, because they think you might go for it. If somebody hits me up, they say something like, “How did you fall from heaven?” They try. They think it’s going to work. If you make me laugh, it might work. Guys try in the comments, but they try a little bit more in the DMs. Some of these guys have a lot of free time on their hands.
SI: What goals do you still want to accomplish?
ADP: I have a goal first of leading my town and helping my family and friends lead a better life. The reason I left my country is not because I don’t love it, but the opportunities are here. But I do everything for the people I love. I want to buy my family my house. My biggest goal is to make the people I love happy, and give them everything I can. In business, after modeling, I want to invest and start a business. I could start my own brand or my own clothing line, I would love to be able to share with people the things I love.
See all of Anne's gorgeous photos from SI Swimsuit 2017 model search: