Camille Kostek may have just landed the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. But it wasn’t long ago that she was being told to change her body if she wanted a chance at a modeling career.
A former NFL cheerleader, Kostek struggled to break into the industry because her figure didn’t fit the mold. She tells Yahoo Lifestyle on the BUILD series stage that constant critique was discouraging.
“At 27 years old, the older I got, they would tell me, ‘Okay well if you’re not going to adjust your measurements, girl, you’re getting older. This is even gonna push you out even more,’” she explains. “I didn’t even aspire to be a model because I didn’t see myself represented, even as simple as the freckles on my skin.”
The one place where Kostek could find women that resembled her was SI, where she saw models with curves like Tyra Banks. But even when Kostek won the publication’s 2018 model search, she didn’t expect to snag a solo cover alongside Banks and Alex Morgan just one year later.
Now, as a covergirl, Kostek feels that her feature can serve as inspiration for others.
“When I see that cover, that makes me feel amazing,” she says. “But it’s for my sisters, it’s for strangers, it’s for fans, it’s for men and women alike of all ages that whatever you want, you can truly have. There’s nothing that gets in the way of passion.”
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