The search is on for the next Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue models, and one in particular is using it as an opportunity to take on ageism in the modeling industry. Kathy Jacobs is a 55-year-old model who has been working as a model for around three decades. In addition to her recent work posing for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, Jacobs has worked with brands such as Thirdlove, Beauty Blender, Soiji, and also appeared in a Miley Cyrus music video.
"I was a petite model in the 80s for FORD Models–I was fighting for inclusiveness in the modeling industry over 30 years ago," she told Sports Illustrated in an interview. "I recently contacted my old agent, who is now with Icon Focus (models over 40), and she said clients only want tall models. So the modeling industry is now becoming more inclusive for older models...but only if they are tall."
As for why she wanted to be part of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model search, Jacobs said, “ I am going to use my powers for good. I do not take the responsibility of this position lightly. I genuinely appreciate the platform, power, and presence that I have been given by SI! I am doing this to be part of a change in the views on women over 50, not only by society, but by ourselves."
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"It is a boomerang effect, and we as women over 50 need to stand together and realize how amazing, relevant, beautiful and sexy we all are," she added. "It's time women of all ages unite and claim our power! Ageism impacts all of us, and women of all ages coming together and stopping it now helps prevent future generations from ever experiencing it!”
She later commented on the idea that her being a 55-year-old swimsuit model is considered unusual by saying, "It's kinda funny to me that doing what I am doing at 55 is so out of the norm. I feel so young inside and I bet a lot of women can relate to me on that level. Now I am just hoping to be the oldest member of the Final 6 in #SISwimSearch history."
"The message I want to yell out from the rooftops to women of all ages is: DO EVERYTHING OR NOTHING TO YOURSELF TO FEEL GREAT ABOUT YOURSELF AND DON'T APOLOGIZE FOR HAVING OR NOT HAVING SOMETHING DONE. Love yourself. Feel great about yourself," Jacobs concluded.