The new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue is out today and it features Yumi Nu, the first Asian American plus size model to be featured in the annual issue.
“It’s such an iconic magazine and I’m still pinching myself that it happened!” she told People.
Born in New Jersey, she is of both Japanese and Dutch descent.
She grew up seeing the typical images of what represented beauty in the media. It had a lasting impression.
“I never thought Sports Illustrated would be a possibility for someone like me,” she said to CBS This Morning. “When I was younger, all I wanted to do was change myself. I wanted to be skinnier and have lighter features.”
The model is also a song writer and told People she is about to debut her first song.
She has also used her platform to speak out about anti-Asian violence.
“Our society’s view of Asians in the model minority myth lens has silenced us for many years. In this time of anti-Asian violence, it’s so important now more than ever for Asian people to be heard and supported. The division and racism in our world has gotten so bad; we’ve grown so far from love and connection. I want to create a space for people to feel heard and safe. That’s my purpose on this earth.”
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