Anne de Paula is in Nevis for Sports Illustrated’s coveted Swimsuit issue.
(Josephine Clough/Sports Illustrated)
Brazilian bombshell Anna de Paula knows a thing or two about heating things.
In 2017, the model won the Sports Illustrated Model Search competition, and she soon found herself posing in body paint for the coveted issue. Fast forward to 2018, Paula is back in the magazine and this time, she leaves little to the imagination by wearing one of the skimpiest swimsuits SI has to offer. But don’t worry — the Paula’s parents are completely fine with snaps.
Fox News spoke with Paula about how it was displayed for Sports Illustrated.
Fox News: Is it true that you originally wanted to be a doctor?
Anne de Paula: Yes, I wanted to be a doctor! I grew up in a family that already employed in the health industry. My mother does X-rays, my father is a nurse. My uncle is a cardiologist. So my family is very involved with helping people.
So growing up, I looked at them and I wanted to be just like them… And I’ve always loved babies. So I always thought that I would help babies come into the world. That is what I had in mind… But then I was involved in football, so that changed my mind. I was really into the sport and I played for my town team, my school. Modeling came last.
Fox News: How did you end up becoming a model?
the Paula: My mother was the one with the idea. Growing up, I was a tomboy and I loved playing football with the boys in the streets. My mother was the one who gave me the high heels and go, “Would you like to shoot? There might be something for you.” I said to her: “Mom, I’m not sure. I don’t even know how to walk in high heels!” But then I have my first photo shoot about 12 [or] 13 and I loved it.
I loved sports, but I also loved this girly version of myself. I was not popular in school. I was not successful with the boys. They have never really looked at me as a girl, because I was always playing with them… So I just started doing more and more photos, until my mother sent me to an agency at 13. So she was the one that made me!
Fox News: What was your experience like shooting for Sports Illustrated?
the Paula: I didn’t even expect to win the Model Search last year, to be honest. I was one of the least-followed models on Instagram for them. So I was not even sure how I would get votes. But then it happened! I don’t think I had so many people who supported me. Everyone was so happy and cheering for me when I got the news. It was a very emotional time… And there was no body paint… (laughs).
It was bikinis. So I felt a little more dressed in this year’s photos. But maybe not, I think the bikinis are actually smaller than the body paint from last year, now that I think about it (laughs). It is actually more revealing with the bikini on than wearing nothing, but body paint. It was a tiny bikini – just like how the Brazilians love.
Fox News: How did your family feel about the photos?
the Paula: My parents love the photos. My mother has a large photo in the house right in the living room of me wearing body paint. So if you go to the house, the largest photo you see is of me kneeling in the sand wearing body paint. My grandpa and grandma? They had many copies of the magazine.
I mean, look, the Brazilians are very open-minded when it comes to the size of a bikini… No one judges. So I feel like I am very happy, because no one has ever said something mean to me about my photos… And SI does very tasteful photos. I am never worried about what is to come, because I know that they are going to take good pictures.
Fox News: Sports Illustrated claims to be about female empowerment. How do you feel about their message?
the Paula: I think it’s great… One of my favorite models of SI is Kathy Ireland. And look at her now, she is a great businesswoman. Same with Christie Brinkley. These women offer so much more than just the beautiful pictures you see… And it is so good to see that we are not afraid to speak out, to let others know that we are human.
We all feel insecure. We all have bad days. Listen, we work in an industry where you need to have to do with the way you look all the time. And it’s not every day that you want to wake up and do your hair or make-up. But when people see your photos, they think that is how you wake up. And that’s not true… I think it is beautiful SI is the embracing of different types, different kinds of beauty.
Fox News: Has Sports Illustrated you more self-confidence?
the Paula: I love the idea that SI celebrates different types of… So it’s nice that I can pursue this dream of modeling, even if I am not the typical form of a you would see on the job.
But the leaf, they celebrate different kinds of beauty. Not everyone likes the same. If they did, life would be boring.
Fox News: What are some fun facts that our readers should know about you?
the Paula: I kick your ass because I do Muay Thai (laughs). I may seem vulnerable, but I’m certainly not… And I love to cook and invent new things in the kitchen. I don’t know whether I’m a great cook, but I definitely like to at least try. And I’m still very passionate about football. It’s been a while [because] I’ve played, because you should have your nails looking nice for this job. But if I had some free time, I would certainly go back to Brazil to play.