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She then proceeded to make three consecutive appearances with the issue. In 2021, her fourth brand feature brought her to the beaches of Hollywood, Fla., for a vibrant series of poses with photographer James Macari.
Though she had been in that same boat three times before, the now 31-year-old still experience some nerves at the start. “Everyone knows the first shot is always where all the nerves start coming. That’s where that imposter syndrome’s in your head,” she explained while on set.
In classic vibrant Kalil fashion, she had a very unique and enthusiastic way of dealing with the pre-photoshoot anxiety. “You just have to [say], ‘Nope ... goodbye.’ Channel your Cindy Crawfords, your Heidi Klums, your Elle Macphersons, and you just have to serve it.”
As a self-proclaimed nerd who never planned on pursuing modeling, Kalil definitely knew a thing or two about channeling the energy of the great supermodels on set. But it also taught her that she could do it all—as can everyone else.
“I went from being a non-model lab nerd to being a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model. Because guess what? You can do both,” she encouraged. “You can be a model... and you can also be a scientist, you can be a doctor, you can be a teacher, you can do whatever you want to do. ... You can be smart and beautiful.”
She certainly is, and Kalil proved it yet again in 2021. Here are a few of our favorites from her trip to Florida.
Now through Nov. 1, 100% of SI Swimsuit’s portion of proceeds from cover prints purchased here will be donated to the Maui Strong Fund, which is helping to support the people and places of Maui affected by the recent wildfires.