Prior to the runway show in Miami, the model shared a cheeky video in which she struts down the runway in a cropped football jersey and peach bikini bottoms. She strikes a pose at the end and grabs her booty.
In the caption, she shared a message about how she made it to the cover, writing “Trust timing, own who you are and know when you’re told you can’t do something ( like ever walk as a runway model) KNOW THAT YOU DAMN CAN.”
Her fans flooded the post with comments, many referencing her famous boyfriend, retired New England Patriots star Rob Gronkowski.
“That jersey should have 87 on it,” one wrote, referencing Gronk’s jersey number.
Another wrote, “Is it wrong that I watched this 87 times?”
Others focused their compliments on Kostek, with comments like, “Absolutely beautiful, Camille!”
The model, dancer and aspiring broadcast journalist also shared images from the show on her Instagram stories, sharing her excitement over winning the cover on the magazine’s annual swimsuit issue.
And rightfully so. Less than a year after she was discovered at the annual SI Swim Model Search casting, Kostek landed her debut cover as a rookie.
Back in May, the model shared with People that the SI cover has always been a goal for her, even though she didn’t feel she saw her body type reflected in the media.
“I remember being a young girl and looking at these billboards, and you didn’t really see that many curvy women as you do now. There’s been such a wave of inclusivity and Sports Illustrated is definitely leading that shift. They have always been that magazine that I’ve been able to relate to. It wasn’t until I read SI Swim that I was like, ‘Wow, I love my freckles, I like my thighs, I like my curves.’ They’re showcasing these confident, sexy women in a way that I had never seen before. This has been a lifetime dream. I’ve always wanted it, but I just didn’t know how to get it,” she said.
The body inclusivity advocate also told Yahoo Lifestyle on the BUILD series stage that constant critique of her body when she was building a career as a model was discouraging.
“At 27 years old, the older I got, they would tell me, ‘OK 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.”
Kostek hopes that her feature can inspire 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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