Get to Know 2023 SI Swim Search Finalist Brittney Nicole

Brittney Nicole.<p>Javan Whitaker</p>
Brittney Nicole.

Javan Whitaker

Hometown: Augusta, Ga.
Occupation: Government Contractor/Model
Age: 31

Brittney Nicole is a government contractor and model from Augusta, Ga. The 32-year-old studied psychology at Augusta State before joining the Navy, where she was stationed in Gulfport, Miss.; traveled to various parts of the world including Guam, Spain, Israel and Japan; and worked on projects such as building schools and runways. After completing her contract, Nicole began working for the Navy as a civilian. It was only one year ago that she decided to pursue her modeling as a career. She quickly began to find success, walking in New York Fashion Week and landing the cover for Now Weddings magazine. Her motto is “Life is too short to not go after your dreams. Your dreams are within reach, so go get them.”

Please list five fun facts about yourself.

  1. I’m a bodybuilder.

  2. I auditioned for America’s Next Top Model.

  3. I got lost in Spain for a day.

  4. I once parasailed in Guam.

  5. I go to the park a couple of times a week to picnic or just chill in my hammock.

What inspired you to try out for SI Swim Search?

“I remember seeing Tyra [Banks] on the cover of SI in 1997. I was a kid and innately knew I was meant to do the same. She represented so much to me as a young Black model paving the way for others to come. Watching her throughout the years working with the brand motivated me to pursue the same.”

What would it mean to you to win SI Swim Search?

“I’m just a girl who’s finally chasing her dreams, I’ve found myself again and no matter what stage I’m at in my life, I made a promise to always remain true to who I am. So if I won SI Swim Search at 31 years old, I’d be representing for all the girls who bloomed later in life. The girls who wanted to model or go after their passions when they were younger, but needed some time to grow before stepping into their purpose. Success isn’t linear and life would be boring if we achieved everything right away. You have to live some and enjoy the journey.”

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

“I think the best part about the app is connecting with so many incredible women. I’m apart of a community that supports me, offers advice when I need it, and wants to genuinely see me win. We all want each other to win in life and I think that’s so cool. I’ve learned so much from these women and I have made real friendships and connections. We’re a community that makes feeling “safe” a priority and I love that for us.”

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

“I told the news to my little sister first. I tell her everything. She looks up to me just as much as I look up to her. She is the one who pushed me into doing my SI [Swimsuit] audition video this year. I was going to wait because I felt like I wasn’t ready. But she believes in me so much, she is always encouraging me to be my best. I would not have gotten as far as I did without her. I love her so much.”

What is your favorite SI Swimsuit memory?

“Listening to Halima Aden’s story. She has such an incredible spirit about her and the fact that she can keep her smile and bold confidence despite her adversities says a lot about her character. I resonate with her so much. SI [Swimsuit] does a really great job with selecting women of all walks of life. I’m always in awe listening to their stories. We all come from different places and stages in our lives and yet we still share one common trait, our womanhood and love for one another.”

What advice would you give to your younger self?

“My teenage years were kind of an awkward stage in my life. I grew up in a single parent household and my Dad was raising little girls. We were super close and he sacrificed so much to give us the best childhood. When we were kids, he didn’t know how to do our hair or dress us. So being the older sister, it was really up to me to try to figure things out. I would go on YouTube to learn how to braid my and my sisters’ hair and as you can imagine it didn’t turn out too good. I got teased a lot in middle school for the way my hair looked or for not wearing stylish clothes. I was really struggling with my confidence and that was a tough time for me. We were just doing the best with what we had. But in the end, those moments made me stronger. If I could go back, I would first hug that 11-year-old girl and remind her of how beautiful and strong she is. I would tell her to not feel sad or lonely, and that one day she’s going to be living out a reality she always dreamed of. One day, Sports Illustrated [Swimsuit] will see her for the amazing soul that she is. All she has to do is keep a pure heart and stay motivated. Everything she ever wanted will come her way, she just has to live in her purpose.”

What changes would you like to see in the world?

“Women being protected. Our rights and our lives. It’s an uphill battle for us and we have fought so hard for many years to be seen. I’m apart of an organization called the TAYO Collective, which raises awareness to sex trafficking. It’s handcrafted jewelry made by women survivors in the Philippines. We need to take more action in raising awareness to this issue and protecting our girls. I have sisters and a niece to shield from the harsh realities of this world. It’s up to us to start making changes so that the generations coming wont have to.”