At just 5’ 6”, 2020 SI Swimsuit cover model Olivia Culpo was one of the shortest Miss USA and Miss Universe winners ever. Comparing herself to the other contestants proved to mess with her own feelings of self-worth. “Why did I let that control so much of my self-worth?” she says, looking back. “I think a lot of insecurities can come from society’s standards or like what you’re told you should believe.” The journey to letting go of society’s standards is one that Culpo now practices daily.
Culpo has worked hard to redefine her own perspective of what true beauty really is. “To truly just embrace who you are is a beautiful thing…beauty to me is love, charisma, energy,” she says. “I think beauty [is represented in] the things in life that remind us of the extra terrestrial - the things that are outside of us as humans.” But she’s also aware that feelings of self-love and acceptance are like emotions that are forever in motion. “The only person standing in my own way is myself so it takes a lot of work, we can all find things that we’re really insecure about,” she continues.
More from SwimLife
To hear how Culpo is exploring the infinite process of loving herself is a testament to how challenging it is for every one of us. “For anyone who doesn’t feel like they’re there yet, it’s because it’s a lifelong journey, something you have to work at every day.”
“I would never say I’ve arrived where I want to be; I love that about life. I love to grow.”