Fleshy SI swimsuit model Natalie Mariduena sees herself as an ‘example’ of ‘body normalcy’

While woke influencers have attempted to do away with stigmatizing language encouraging others to “live their truths” one swimsuit model is bucking the trend in hopes of promoting “body normalcy.”

Until recent years, Sports Illustrated has thrived on the business model that sex sells to promote its annual swimsuit edition. To counter the often “very thin” women typically featured in such issues, woke marketing shifted in another direction to push plus-size models and then an array of other underrepresented groups and identities straying away from the original intent of selling magazines with images of widely accepted objective beauties.

However, as the new progressive direction strove to check off other outliers in fashion, model Natalie Mariduena,25, contended those “right in the middle” weren’t celebrated. “In the industry, you see models who are very thin or you see plus-size models, but there isn’t this genre of modeling that’s right in the middle,” she told Fox News Digital.

“I try to champion that for other people,” the model explained to the outlet now that she has appeared for a second year in a row in Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition. “I want to be an example of that and show that it’s cool and it’s beautiful. [On social media] I show my body, I show my life, I show what I represent and what I value with no filter. Whether it’s a bikini image are just an image of me out in the street in a cute outfit, I want to show that the normal body size is valued.”

This positive message for regular women has been a part of the campaign from the magazine that also included their first ever C-section scar with model Kelly Hughes who said besides “generic” negative remarks, she had “gotten an overwhelming number of positive comments from both men and women.”

Mariduena went on to express, “I have so many followers who are young women, very impressionable and looking at me as an example for themselves. I try to connect with people, whether it’s through DMs or the comments section. I’m often told, ‘I have your body type–thank you for showing this.’ These people are showing their appreciation towards me and I want to give that love back.”

“Because I have this platform, I think it’s more important than ever that I provide positivity for women,” she went on.

 

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“It’s the best feeling in the world as a model to be part of a magazine that accepts and celebrates you for being you,” the model told Fox News. As has been a theme with the new direction for Sports Illustrated, Mariduena’s modeling in the swimsuit issue did receive some negative feedback.

For for Mariduena, the fact that there were detractors seemed to encourage her to further promote the positive message of “body normalcy.”

“I think cyberbullying is so prominent in social media. It’s so important to spread positivity and love for other people. Even when someone is doing well,” she explained, “you want to support them and motivate them. Your words, whether you have a large following or just your circle of friends, they matter. Your words affect people. There’s no need for hate and negativity. That’s the message I want to share.”

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