Miss USA, Olivia Jordan walks on stage in a swimsuit during the 2015 Miss USA beauty pageant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana July 12, 2015. Fifty-one state titleholders compete in the swimsuit, evening gown and interview categories for the title of Miss USA 2015.
Olivia Jordan is the trade in her tiara for a bikini — and she can’t wait to make her big splash.
The 29-year-old Oklahoma native, who was crowned Miss USA in 2015, is set to appear in this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue for the first time. Jordan was chosen from more than 5,000 candidates and insisted this is her ultimate dream.
Fox News spoke with Jordan about posing for SI and how to participate in parades prepared her for this big moment.
Fox News: How did you get involved with Sports Illustrated?
Olivia Jordan: Sports Illustrated always has a purpose for me before pageants were. This competition came especially through the social media… There was an open call and anyone who have not had the opportunity to be a model for them to try it out.
I have been trying to get my agents submit me for years. People have told me that I am not the right style for them. It came to the point where people told me “you’re too old.” So it was really a wonderful moment to have a bit of control back. I wanted to let Sports Illustrated have to decide whether I was too old or not the right fit for them. And I am so grateful that she told me that those things that were not true.
Fox News: How was the audition?
Jordan: … I have an Instagram video in March, audition in May in New York, was reduced from 5,000 to… I eventually got the call that I was in the last six, that would be in the magazine…. By the time that I’ve actually been to the shoot, it just felt so surreal. I have dreamed about this forever. We have to shoot in Belize and it was a photographer I always wanted to work with.
Fox News: You are going to be included in the February 2018 issue. How did you react to the news?
Jordan: I was so excited. When I was a teenager, I struggled with self-esteem, so I think it’s a very surreal moment just to see how far I have come. I just had so much gratitude. I was not someone who liked their bodies and felt uncomfortable in a bathing suit. I looked at this woman and the kind of confidence that they embodied… I always have the feeling that I am out of my league… It is difficult to fully realize when a life dream has come true. But it really is.
Fox News: You have said before that after Missing the USA, you are afraid that the public failure. Why?
Jordan: Is Miss USA was the first time I’ve ever been in the public eye. It was the first time that I was exposed to online bullies and all these things that everyone in a kind of public position. But it made me really scared.
My fans have such high expectations of what I could do and should do. And I want to continue to make an impression on them, inspiring them in some ways. You don’t want to be pulled apart by people… I think in the public eye made me more self-aware in a number of ways. And in some ways, that is good… But in some ways, I really had to get past that fear.
Fox News: How have pageants prepare you for this moment?
Jordan: Acting has always been my goal and I was modeling to make a living, while I auditioned and attended classes… And if you are a swimwear model, Sports Illustrated is what you are aiming to do. So that was very high on my radar for more than a decade. The parades came about because I was really frustrated I wasn’t getting the types of auditions and roles that I wanted.
The final countdown.⌛️ #BelizeBound #dreamcometrue #siswimsearch #commit @france.and.jesse
I’ve always watched pageants and are interested in them, but Sports Illustrated was a fit for my long-term goals…. Parades, in my mind, were a back-up career… I knew I had to work hard to make that possible. And with a purpose, you have to work hard for those goals to come.
Fox News: In the past, told by casting directors in order to lose weight. How did you cope?
Jordan: When I started modeling, I was 14 and there was a lot of pressure. If you are young, people see the potential of your career. There was a lot of pressure to be able to meet. Very early on, I was told that I could make it, but I would have to lose inches of my hips. But realistically, this is how my body is formed. So it was really not realistic for me to lose weight. And then I had to learn that lesson the hard way. I have really been in a unhealthy patterns. I had to take a step back from the modeling. I decided to get my diploma and go to Boston University.
When I came back from modeling at 21, when I was told the whole time “You’re too old to model.” “You need to lose weigh; you should have several operations.” There was just so much awesome feedback. But the more I have full confidence in myself, the less negative feedback that I got. I think you’re just looking for the right people in the business to work.
Olivia Jordan of Oklahoma is crowned by Miss USA 2014 Nia Sanchez after winning the 2015 Miss USA beauty pageant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana July 12, 2015. Fifty-one state holders in the swimsuit, evening gown and interview categories for the title of Miss USA 2015.
It is really not healthy for me to be a size zero when I’m not. I think I had to do a lot to grow and I had to realize modeling was not all what I can offer in the world… When I started receiving negative feedback, I found it so different than when I was in the 14. At that age, I was like, “Yes, madam, I loss so much weight as you want.” Now it’s like “No, thank you. That is not for me.”
Fox News: It has been said Sports Illustrated celebrates different types.
Jordan: I think that is why I always connected with an SI… Even when I was told at 14 to lose weight and my agent would show me this Vogue cover models, I would literally have to bring in the problems of SI and go, “I think that these more realistic standards”… For me it is always a feast of natural, real bodies. And they are getting better in that more inclusive. I’m so excited about because it’s good for all of us… You don’t have to fight for a version of nice.