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Kate Bock’s Message for Aspiring Models Everywhere

The SI Swimsuit model learned the lesson the hard way.

Kate Bock made a splash in SI Swimsuit in 2013 when she first appeared in the magazine. At that point, however, Bock had already been a professional model for several years. She was discovered at a community swimming pool when she was just 12 years old. She reflects on what the industry was like back when she first started modeling, explaining, “When I started, it was the more super, super boney, skinny chic look that was in,” Bock says. “And that was very hard to accomplish while still eating. For that time, you just didn’t eat. It was the only way to stay skinny. I was also constantly miserable.”

After conversations with her older cousins, Bock realized this way of living was neither realistic nor acceptable. She reflects, “We want to be healthy and lean…but you don’t have to [starve yourself] to get there.” The 29-year-old explains, “I figured [out] the balance of the workout, the sleep, the eating that just works for me.” Bock, who is often seen showing off her fitness routine to her followers, credits this healthy lifestyle for her head being clear, her mood being better as well as looking and feeling her best.

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“The more I share about working out and about health and wellness, I get more feedback of, ‘Oh, it’s really good to see you work for this,’” she says. “For a long time, I got, ‘Oh, you’re a model, you’re just like that.’” With this shift, she has made sure to keep this narrative of health and wellness going. “Promoting that is really important,” she says. “I don’t want girls to go through what I went through. It wasn’t healthy, and I don’t think it’s good for your brain development or for your mental health.”

Bock also credits brands and (most of) the industry for embracing this philosophy shift as well. “It depends on the job and the situation but I really do believe that SI Swimsuit spearheaded this change -- and I'm not just saying this -, but the fact that they put so many different body types and different people in this issue. The response that it got made other brands realize and want to be involved."

With this new wave of body positivity and a confidence that isn’t based solely on appearance, Bock also has a better understanding of what beauty is. “I think beauty can take so many different forms,” she shares. “It can be someone’s smile, someone’s energy. There’s just so many different things that can be beautiful and make you feel a certain way. It can be endless.”