What It’s Like to Try Out for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

For many models, claiming glossy page space in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition is a big deal. The cover’s a surefire career-maker (reference Chrissy Teigen’s CV after her 2014 cover), and inside real estate is no less major for pushing beauties into the next stratosphere. New Zealand beauty Teresa Moore is one of the women currently being considered for a rookie spot in the mag and, as you’d expect, it’s a nerve-racking dream come true.

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IFN: How does one get cast in Sports Illustrated? Did your agent submit your pictures?

Teresa Moore: I think what happens is my agent puts me on the big giant list of all the girls that go in for it, and then Sports Illustrated goes back to the agencies and says, “these are the girls we like, send them in.” I went in for a meeting about three months ago and then they invited me back, which is when I did the interview and the game and video and things. Then it’s an exciting mystery! They put the link with the video and my bio and a bunch of images of the swimwear work I’ve done on their website and Facebook and Instagram. It’s an amazing, exciting moment.

IFN: Your social media must have blown up afterward.

TM: It was a Friday and my booker was out so he didn’t tell me it was coming out that day. I was shooting for another job and all of a sudden I looked at my phone and I see my Twitter is going crazy. There are all these people following me and re-tweeting the tweet. I was like, “What’s going on?” and then saw that Sports Illustrated had tweeted with the picture. They did the Instagram post the following Tuesday and it was the same response: I got thousands of followers from that. There’s been lots and lots of interaction and people writing comments. It’s exciting that we live in an age where it’s so interactive. Immediately, you get great feedback.

IFN: When will you find out if you’ve been cast?

TM: I know they have a lot more shoots they’re still doing, and I think they’ve picked one rookie so far. I’ll probably hear in the next few weeks, and there should be six or eight rookies picked. It’s all quite a mystical process.

IFN: How does the SI casting experience differ than typical castings? Are there way more men involved with the process?

TM: MJ [Day] is the editor, so she’s the most important person, and her assistant is a woman. In the modeling industry it’s mostly women and gay men who are in charge or the editors, and this felt almost exactly the same. The one thing about Sports Illustrated is that you’re more a personality for them. They’re really interested that you’re someone who can make good conversation, has an interesting story to tell. They care about where you’re from and the experiences you’ve had, whereas with a general modeling casting they care more what you look like and that you fit the clothes. With SI, they really want to know that you can represent yourself as a brand.

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IFN: Do you bring your own bikini when you go in?

TM: I brought bikinis. You should always be prepared and bring what you have, but sometimes they want you to try on their bikinis. That’s usually more for a fashion brand that’s shooting their own. One of my fans on Instagram has been designing me all these bikinis which is really adorable—she has this swimsuit line [Love Triangle], she wanted to send me stuff, and it worked out great! I wore some to Sports Illustrated, and I think two of her pieces are on their website now.

IFN: What’s your eating plan like the night before, the morning of?

TM: If I have a swim casting, the night before I make sure my dinner doesn’t have too much salt in it. Even though I love Asian food, I avoid it or over-salting my food because it can make you puffy for no reason. As far as the morning, I’m really into my NutriBullet and doing a spinach, orange, ginger smoothie. They’re really delicious, and it’s quite filling and light at the same time.

IFN: Workout-wise, what’s your prep?

TM: I definitely work out a little bit heavier a couple days before, but I know that Sports Illustrated prefers a curvier model so I don’t hold back on eating. I did a lot of pilates workouts, so less cardio, more toning, and especially things like ab workouts and squats. Before you go in, I use a nice body oil to make my skin glow. There’s one called Echovie that’s really lovely.

IFN: Personal q: Do you have to wax the day before you go in? A full week?

TM: Actually, waxing is relatively impossible for me because I don’t have a regular schedule [of shooting swim and lingerie.] I’ll do the quick shave and get ready to go.

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