MANILA, Philippines — Body love and diversity are in the forefront of Sports Illustrated Magazine’s 2022 Swim Search.

The chosen 14 beauty finalists are competing for a single spot in the magazine’s next Swimsuit Issue, where they’ll appear alongside some of the world’s supermodels.

Sports Illustrated said all the finalists “inspire action throughout their communities,” with fans taking to Twitter to reveal how impressed they were with the line-up.

“The diversity here is AMAZING,” one reader cooed.

But one critic moaned that the magazine is attempting to be “woke,” writing: “The Swimsuit Issue is 100% woke again this year. Who is the readership of Sports Illustrated? Are regular guys like ‘bring on the ’empowering changemakers!’”

The magazine has picked 14 finalists, with varying backgrounds.

Michelle Steffan from Argentina is a curvy beauty who trained as a lawyer before leaving her lucrative legal career to pursue modeling full time. The stunner told People that Ashley Graham’s 2016 Swimsuit Issue cover was eye-opening for her.

Other candidates include physicist and astronaut Manju Bangalore, 42-year-old breast cancer survivor Kelly Crump, and intensive care unit (ICU) nurse Hillory Fields.

Gigi Robinson, 23, is an American content creator who suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS) — a rare illness that affects the connective tissue in the body.

The lineup can only inspire more women to embrace their selves completely, flaws and all. A truly empowering message this Women’s Month.





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