Determined to be a role model on her daughter, Saje Nicole boldly entered the modeling industry. She's made a splash in additional ways than one, recently being featured within the coveted 2022 Sports Illustrated Swim Issue. The historic issue showcases three Black women around the cover the first time – Megan Thee Stallion, Naomi Osaka, and Leyna Bloom! Saje is honored to become a part of such a trailblazing issue. She would like to continue to inspire conversations around diversity in the industry and pave the way for other curve models. You may also see Saje within the new Amazon Prime series, Making The Cut.
Cliché: What was behind your decision to leave nursing school to pursue modeling?
Saje Nicole: I believed that since i loved seeing people happy and healthy, that a nursing career would be ideal for me. But once I started the classes, I started to understand that nursing just wasn't my passion, and there are lots of different ways to help people be at liberty and healthy. I needed to go after my dreams. Especially, since i tell my daughter that they can do anything, so I want to be the best example on her. I made the decision to pursue modeling and that i haven't looked back.
How do you deal with the lack of diversity in the market? Exactly how should we work to be sure that the modeling industry has equal opportunities for women of color?
The insufficient diversity in the market has been a topic for many, a long time. It's not up to now that brands are starting to really listen. I believe as consumers, we just have to hold brands accountable. Not canceling – because that doesn't help anyone, but being open and honest about what causes us to be feel represented. We are in a time where brands want to do better and help shift the culture. I'm pleased to observe that they are so open to this new change. There isn't one sort of beauty a treadmill body type. The greater we continue to push the narrative forward, the quicker we are capable of getting real and lasting change.
Tell us about your new show, Making The Cut.
Being part of Making The Cut has truly been such an honor and dream become a reality. Not only did I recieve to utilize amazing designers, but I'm on the show that I'm is a fan of! We filmed this during the pandemic, so the fact they could pull this off under extremely strict health guidelines is so impressive! I am unable to wait to determine all of those other episodes, the designs are EPIC!
How would you describe your relationship to body positivity? How has that relationship changed and developed with time?
My relationship with body positivity is one that's always changing and evolving. I allow my body room to grow and alter. Whatever that could seem like. However, it wasn't always that way. Paying attention to images in media or certain influencers can really have a toll on your perception of beauty. So my technique is to eat well, exercise daily, remain in an excellent mental space, and focus mainly on my small health. Everything else will follow after that.
Any tips on improving body confidence?
Oh yes!!!! My advice would be to love your skin, your curves, your frame, as well as your flaws too. I believe it's all regulated the imperfections that really make you beautiful. It can make you unique. It enables you to definitely stay at home. I have stretchmarks on my small hips and buttocks, I have a small fupa, I have hip dips, and finally I've size 10 feet! When we spend all day criticizing ourselves, we'd be miserable. Let's celebrate every single part instead.
What maybe it was like being featured within the 2022 Sports Illustrated Swim Issue?
It has truly been an aspiration become a reality!!! I've researched towards the women of Sports Illustrated Swim since i have would be a child. The exotic locations they traveled to, the women and their stories, the bikinis, the level of sophistication. All what we know to be Sports Illustrated Swim today. So, to determine myself in the magazine is absolutely surreal! I'm still in shock and it hasn't fully sunk in yet. I'm certain it will in the coming weeks.
What does it mean to you to achieve the opportunity to be involved in an element that showcases a lot of powerful Black women?
It means the planet to me. Before issue, the only Black ladies were on the cover were Tyra Banks and Danielle Herrington, who're both great and delightful women, but the magazine has been in circulation since 1964. To be a part of this legendary triple cover issue makes me feel so happy, represented, and seen. Thank you, Sports Illustrated Swim!
In what ways would you like to inspire others?
I wish to represent an idea. An idea it does not matter in which you were born, your past, or even your current circumstances, you can do whatever you desire. I'm an immigrant that came here at the age of three, had to learn English in ESOL class, and whose dad passed away at eight. If I can do it, I want those who follow my story to understand they are able to do it too. We all have different dreams, and we all need to unapologetically go after them.
Do you have any advice for aspiring curve models available?
My advice to any or all models is to keep a clear head on which you want, your message, and do not take no to have an answer. In the age of social media, you may create your personal audience, spread your own message, and launch your own products. There are so many avenues you are able to take. Just be sure you're doing what's best for you.