By Jasmine Sanders 

My journey with SI Swimsuit has been nothing but a dream come true. I made my debut in 2019, took home the coveted Rookie of the Year title that same year, and landed on the cover in 2020. Grateful doesn’t even begin to describe the incredible experience. And I’ve wanted to help other women realize that same dream. This year I was finally able to do that, serving as a mentor for the 13 Swim Search finalists at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.

From the second I joined SI Swimsuit, I’ve always felt as if I had gained a family and a group of women who would be nothing but supportive. It is the community not competition mentality. One of the first girls I connected with was Camille Kostek. She welcomed me with open arms. Having her support after only a couple of hours of being together is amazing. I also connected so quickly to Danielle Herrington the moment I met her.

I’ve always wanted to be able to help other women, and this was the perfect opportunity for me to pass along some of the things I’ve learned and have helped me along my journey. Helping the women feel comfortable, confident, beautiful, sexy and approachable while on photo shoots allows those same emotions to translate on the page in the magazine and videos. I was honored to be there for them during such a fun, intense and emotional shoot. After all, this is the moment they have all been waiting for.

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I learned that Allie Ayers is so determined, Chelsea Health is the perfect mix of sweet and sassy, Katie Austin is a bubbly ball of fun, and Summer Wilson is a bonafide sweetheart. And Amanda Kay made the biggest transformation throughout the week.

Honestly, I never thought I would have this many amazing girlfriends. I didn’t go to college, so I never got the chance to be in a dorm or a sorority. I feel I’ve gained a real sisterhood.

It also helped that the entire set was a blast. Any time you work with Yu Tsai, you know he’s always going to bring big energy! He gets in poses with you and gives you feedback so you can create the best images together.

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Even though I was in a mentor’s position, and this was my third appearance in the magazine, I learned something from this shoot. I’m more confident right now than at any time in my life. I feel good in my own skin. I don’t care about the things that used to bother me. I don’t let anything stand in my way. I’ve always been that way, and it shows through my photos that I’m enjoying life and embracing my curves and all the parts that make me me! If someone doesn’t like it, then sorry, but I’m not changing. Feeling this confident allowed for a clear headspace so I could give it all that I’ve got.

Feeling this comfortable in my skin has made me realize that it was time to put something out of my own. That’s why I created my workout program, “The Best” by Jasmine Sanders, with Tone It Up. I wanted to share the things that have really helped me be the best version of myself.

Being a mentor has not only allowed me to support another generation of remarkable women, but the experience also strengthened my self-confidence. With this support system, anything is possible.

For more BTS photos of the 2021 SI Swim Search shoot click here!