Olivia Ponton Said SI Swim Gave Her Confidence to Pursue Her Dreams and ‘Catapulted’ Her Career

The two-time brand model and TikTok influencer gushed about her experience with the magazine.
Olivia Ponton

Olivia Ponton.

Two-time SI Swimsuit model Olivia Ponton will be forever grateful to the brand, and the feeling is totally mutual. The TikTok star made her debut with the magazine in Montenegro for the ’22 issue, and returned to the fold for this year’s photoshoot with Amanda Pratt in Dominica

However, she didn’t first interact with the brand as a model. Ponton wanted to get her foot in the door, so the Florida native lent her creativity and social media skills to help build the SI Swimsuit social platforms for a while before being cast as a rookie.

“Through being a part of Sports Illustrated, I have been able to shoot with amazing photographers, travel to really cool places, and be a part of a really special community of women. I first started working with them when I was 18-years-old through TikTok, so I feel extremely honored that I was the first woman who they tapped into from that world,” the now 21-year-old gushed in a recent interview with Galore. “At that young of age, it gave me the confidence boost to chase what I wanted and that is really what catapulted the start of my career. Shooting with their team has given me the confidence to chase my dreams. I am so thankful to be a part of the Sports Illustrated family.”

The content creator, who has amassed a following of 3.1 million on Instagram and 7.8 million on TikTok, isn’t super calculated or curated with what she puts out there, and that’s seemingly her secret to success. Ponton, who identifies as pansexual, likes to share every part of her life—the good, the bad and the messy—and has become not only a fashion and travel influencer, but also an inspiration to the young LGBTQ+ community.

She added that growing up, she “idolized” and aspired to be like fellow SI Swimsuit model and Victoria’s Secret Angel Josephine Skriver. However, it was another brand star that really cemented her love for social media and helped her recognize it was a career she could pursue.

“In my current position, I admire Emily Ratajkowski. She is a powerhouse model, business owner, author and an amazing mom,” Ponton shared. “She is very authentic online and I love how she uses her platforms to show that it is not all perfection and broadcasts her sense of humor. She handles everything with such grace and is someone I look up to.”

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Ananya Panchal


Ananya Panchal is a NYC-based Lifestyle & Trending News writer at SI Swimsuit. Before joining the Swim team, the Boston University Alum worked for culture & entertainment beats at Bustle, The San Francisco Chronicle and the TODAY Show. When Ananya is not writing or doom-scrolling on social media, she can be found playing sudoku, rewatching One Tree Hill or trying new restaurants. She's also a coffee and chocolate (separately) enthusiast.