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 Georgia Gibbs.
Sports Illustrated: What was your reaction to making the Swimsuit issue?
Georgia Gibbs: My reaction was disbelief. I didn’t think it was real. It didn’t set it in until my flight to Aruba. When I got my phone call, I was like “No, this can’t be happening.” When I was on my way to Aruba was when it really hit me.
SI: What was Aruba like?
GG: I’d never been to the Caribbean or South America. Shooting in Aruba was really cool. We got to shoot on Flamingo Beach with a bunch of actual flamingos. It’s like watching TV on the highest saturation. All the people are so beautiful. It’s so tropical. I wanted to stay there forever.
SI: How do you like living in the U.S.?
GG: I’m very much a proud Australian, but America is a second home to me. It’s such a lovely country. I love the people, There’s so much to do and so much to see. It’s become a home away from home for me.
SI: When did you first learn about the Swimsuit issue?
GG: I remember looking at the really old, cool SI covers. It was like the Christie Brinkley area. And I was like wow, this is amazing. They show women in their most celebrated form. I came in for 2016 for the model search. They found me on Instagram; I love Instagram. My mom still messages me, like, you’re going to be in the issue. It still hasn't’t sunk in. I’m from Perth, so I never imagined this would happen.
SI: Do you read the comments on your Instagram?
GG: I definitely read the comments. I should read less of them. It’s not so bad. I’m not sensitive. Most of the time it’s girls being like, "You look amazing." I’m really bad though, I read all of them. I should probably read it less. I had one that was really weird, I had a comment that was like, “If you fly to where I am, I’ll make you a princess.” Then eight other guys were commenting, “She’s my princess, no she’s my princess.” And I was sitting over here being like, "I’m no one’s princess." You get some really weird groups of guys sometimes.
SI: Would you rather have a dragon or be a dragon?
GG: Oh my gosh. It depends. Are me and the dragon friends? Is it like the movie How to Train Your Dragon? Yes? Then I would have a dragon. And we’d be best friends.
SI: If you could have any superpower, what would you choose?
GG: That’s really hard. That’s a good one. This one has me thinking. If I had a superpower, I would like to be invisible? I would mess with people. I’m here but now I’m not. Oh wait, it would be cool to rewind time. Rewinding time would be really cool. I’d love to be in a moment, have that experience, then go back and try it again.
SI: How did you become friends with Kate Wasley?
GG: We became friends through an ex-boyfriend. And we say that’s the best thing that came out of that. I was already modeling when she started and I told her we can stick together. And I was also working on these videos on body issues and stuff. We were laying in bed together one night and I thought, “Why aren’t we doing this together?” And that’s how Any BODY came about. Now I’m living my dream, shooting for SI, and I have my best friend there. SI was always a dream, because they embrace women, and what it means to be sexy, but different as well. It’s a crazy situation how the world works.
SI: Did you play any sports growing up?
GG: I was a dancer. That was my thing. My best moment when I was 16, I was dancing in a group with like 22-year-olds, I was a badass. We were dancing to Beyoncé songs, wearing these little two-pieces, and my dad was like, “Okay that’s enough.” That was the high-point of my career, though, when I was dancing so young but at a high level.
SI: How does your dad feel about your Swim photos?
GG: My dad is a police officer. He’s the ultimate, I joke about it all the time, his dream is for me to live my dream, but I think he secretly hates it. [Laughs] He’s very protective. He’s very supportive. I’m the youngest in my family. He says, I’m sure your SI photos are beautiful, but I’m not going to look at them.
SI: What are your goals for the future?
GG: I want to keep growing Any BODY. I want to grow it from me and Kate to a safe space for all women to come and discuss issues. I want to get other models involved so we can grow and help progress the industry.
See some of Georgia's hottest Instagram photos: