2023 Swim Search Co-Winner Jena Sims Offers Advice to Aspiring Brand Models

The entrepreneur and non-profit CEO will be featured as a rookie in this year’s 60th anniversary SI Swimsuit Issue.
Jena Sims

Jena Sims.

As a co-winner of the 2023 Swim Search open casting call, Jena Sims has some sage wisdom to offer to aspiring SI Swimsuit models. 

During a Q&A-style Instagram story session earlier this week, the 35-year-old model and entrepreneur responded to a fan inquiry when someone noted that their dream is to be featured within the pages of the annual magazine and asked Sims for any tips.

“This is gonna sound so, like, cheesy, but be yourself,” Sims stated. “And if you don’t know who you are, find out and be that. Don’t be what you think they’re looking for. I think I might have made that mistake my first year out, and then I’m like, ‘Nobody is better at being me than me,’ and they saw through that, in a good way, and they chose me. So, figure out who you are and be that person and then, I guess, stay tuned for more of the Swim Search updates, because that’s what I highly recommend doing, is entering through the Swim Search process.”

Sims, a mom of one and a non-profit CEO, is the founder and president of HBBQs, Inc., which puts on the Pageant of Hope™, the most inclusive pageant in the world. She and her husband, pro golfer Brooks Koepka, welcomed a baby boy named Crew last July.

When another one of her 285,000 followers asked if there’s a height requirement to be considered for the magazine, she replied, “They are pioneers for inclusion! Def no height requirement.”

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Cara O’Bleness


Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.