Olivia Ponton is already a major personality on Instagram. And now, she’s taking those skills to SI Swimsuit as the new social media editor-at-large. The 19-year-old makes her rookie appearance in the 2022 issue. What does Ponton have up her sleeve for her new gig?
“Honestly, I can’t tell you too much,” she said on the red carpet at the SI Swimsuit launch event in New York City on May 19. “But we have a lot of really cool content coming up. They have such potential with the number of beautiful women in the issue. So I’m like, let’s get on this TikTok ride! I am so thankful they’re letting me do it.”
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Ponton, who has a whopping 3.5 million Instagram followers, advises that there are a few key things to keep in mind when growing an audience.
“Definitely have patience and be very consistent,” she says. “Plus, do stuff that you genuinely love because if you gain any traction in doing something that you don’t love, you’ll be stuck doing what you don’t love and then that becomes a very visual pool of doing stuff that doesn’t make you happy. So be yourself, do what you love, and do the work.”
While Ponton herself shares beautiful modeling shots, she’s also posted many real-life snaps without makeup or in an unflattering pose. “Growing up, I looked up to girls, and they didn’t post that stuff, and I think it really hurt my mental health,” she says. “So when I got to this point, I was like, O.K., what would my 14-year-old self wanna see right now? And that’s how I judge my Instagram.”
She adds, “Being named a rookie, I hope it shows other girls that you can do this. You can start in your bedroom at 17 years old and can end up living in New York City. Anything is possible.”