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Model Poses for Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue 7 Months Pregnant

The second model to ever pose for the SI Swimsuit issue while visibly expecting, Nicole English hopes her rocky road to motherhood and success will inspire others to never give up on their dreams.
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By Wyndi Kappes, Associate Editor
Published May 17, 2023
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Image: John Parra | Getty Images

Embracing your changing body during pregnancy can be challenging. From stretch marks to swollen ankles, it’s not always easy to feel beautiful or confident when you can’t even see your toes. While many moms shy away from the camera, American model Nicole Williams English enthusiastically seized the opportunity not only to be photographed at seven months pregnant but also to appear in the iconic Sports Illustrated (SI) Swimsuit Issue with her baby in tow.

The second model to ever pose for the SI Swimsuit Issue while visibly expecting, English’s road to modeling success and motherhood wasn’t easy. As a teenager, English idolized SI Swimsuit models like Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum and even had a casting call with the franchise in 2017, but she wasn’t fortunate enough to make it onto SI’s glossy pages.

While waiting for her time to come, English met her partner Larry, and in 2021, they decided to try for a baby. After her first round of IVF yielded 14 eggs but only one viable embryo, the couple took a step back. A year later, they tried again. “The doctor called us, and we were overjoyed to hear that we had six healthy embryos. It was the happiest moment, and I’ll never forget it,” Williams English told Sports Illustrated. Shortly after, she had the embryos implanted and became pregnant with a baby girl. The only catch—Sports Illustrated was now calling.

English was offered her dream job as SI’s 2023 Rookie of the Year just weeks after finding out she was pregnant. Determined to chase her dreams, English discussed her pregnancy with Sports Illustrated and collaborated with the brand to proudly showcase her baby bump during Miami Swim Week.

Just two months before her daughter India was due to arrive, English traveled to Dominica for the 2023 Swimsuit Issue shoot. “The fact that I’m actually a rookie and shooting while pregnant, it’s incredibly gratifying to know that my baby girl is experiencing this journey with me. One day, she will look back and see all these photos and know that she was shooting for SI with her mama,” English fondly recalled.

With two of her biggest dreams realized, English hopes that her photos and story will inspire her daughter and others to persistently pursue their aspirations. “Being able to show my daughter this and tell her the story of how I arrived here, how hard I worked to achieve my dreams, and how this was my ultimate goal is truly special. I want her to chase her dreams relentlessly and never give up.”

To learn more about English’s remarkable journey and view shots from her Sports Illustrated swimsuit shoot, visit Swimsuit.SI.com.

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