Natalie Mariduena first graced the photos of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit magazine in 2021, she returned for 2022 and says hopes to raise awareness about “body normalcy.”
According to the NY Post, Mariduena praised SI for including women of different backgrounds and sizes in this year’s edition but says she’s finding magazines are showing one extreme or the other. “In the industry, you see models who are very thin or your see plus-size models, but there isn’t this genre of modeling that’s right in the middle.”
The 25-year-old Chicago native boosts over four million followers on Instagram and has been a professional model for a while.
“I show what I represent and what I value with no filter. Whether it’s a bikini image or just an image of me out in the street in a cute outfit, I want to show that the normal body size is valued.”
Mariduena is known for doing ‘good work’ initiatives like combatting cyberbullying. She feels that openly speaking about being a normal-sized woman in an industry where the most well-paid and known models have bodies that the majority of the population will never achieve will help push back against the bullies.
“I’m a fashion girl at heart,” she said. “And I hope women look at me as a source of relatability. I hope when women see me, they can see a part of themselves and feel represented.”
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