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Get to Know SI Swim Search 2022 Finalist Kelly Crump

The Swim Search finalist uses her platform to inspire positivity and shares vulnerably about her experience with Stage 4 breast cancer.

Name: Kelly Crump
Hometown: Kernersville, N.C.
Occupation: Retail fashion executive/model
Age: 42

Behind the scenes of Kelly Crump in the Dominican Republic being photographed by Yu Tsai.

Behind the scenes of Kelly Crump in the Dominican Republic being photographed by Yu Tsai.

You can catch Kelly Crump live on The Swimfluence Network on Wednesday March 23 at 6 p.m. EST.

What inspired you to try out for SI Swim Search?

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“Actually, this was my second year submitting! Swim Search finalists and winners from the previous years had shown that SI is opening the doors to all types of beauty and body types which inspired me and made me feel comfortable about the submission process. Seeing Kathy Jacobs as a rookie was so cool! The fact that SI also made the submission process interactive and community-focused made me really want to be a part of such an empowering, iconic brand. I could see how SI was changing the narrative and inspiring others and how could you not really want to be a part of that?”

What would it mean to you to win Swim Search?

“It would tick so many boxes in the sense that, yes, of course, it would be a dream come true but it is way more than that. It would mean that I could show others who are dealing with/living with cancer that you can still go after your dreams, and you can work on getting YOU back after treatment(s). It would help others to not feel ashamed of their scars and reconstructions, that you can still be sexy if you want….. Honestly, I could go on and on with a million reasons but at the end of the day it means I could help someone. I could give hope. I could inspire and in turn my pain could turn into a purpose in which I can help others.”

What has been the best part (so far) about being a part of The Swimfluence Network community?

“The fact that it is an actual community of others, who, yes, are there to put themselves forward for Swim Search, but they also have similar interests, goals and many other things in common. The network allows everyone to socialize, chat, encourage and connect in an authentic, non-toxic and non-competitive environment, which means that people support and cheer one another on! I have met and become friends with so many people from the Search, which makes the experience rewarding no matter whether you are chosen or not. I think this makes it a positive experience for most no matter what the outcome!”

How did you prepare for the SI Swim Search photo shoot? 

“Beyond the normal prep of mani, pedi, spray tan, root touch-ups and a facial, I had a few lymphatic drainage massages. More importantly, I ensured I was meditating, doing breathwork and visualizing myself in the shoot. These three things help keep me relatively calm and grounded as I tend to get anxious around big events. I believe in being mentally prepared, which allows you to relax and look great no matter what!”

Who was the first person you told the good news to?

“Well, my husband heard me screaming, ‘Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!’ when I received the call so technically I did not tell him. So the next person I called who was actually awake–it was almost midnight in London–was one of my best girlfriends, Christine, who said, ‘I told you would get it!’”

What is your favorite SI Swimsuit memory?

“Tyra Banks’s first solo cover! I was a teenager in 1997 when at the time the trend was to be super thin. I was an athletic teenager and never saw anyone on the cover of magazines who resembled my body type or curves. Tyra’s cover helped me see that you did not have to look like the current trend to be sexy and beautiful.”

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Stop doubting yourself and really listen to that inner voice/intuition. Intuition never lies, it is just that you are not listening.

What kind of change would you like to see in the world?

“How long do you have? The top of my list is a cure for cancer as the disease will impact one in two of us in our lifetime, which is a sobering statistic and would allow so many to not have to endure the pain, suffering, loss and mental and physical effects of the disease.

Saying kindness might seem generic at first but honestly it is a small, easy thing to do in which it can have a big impact on others. I think in general the world has become less kind over the past years despite so many advances in life and technology. A little kindness can go a long way to make someone’s day, just giving a smile as you pass someone on the street or giving up your seat on the subway for someone who might need it more than you. It is the little random acts of kindness that have seemed to really disappear that I would like to see change.”