The much-anticipated Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue of 2016 was finally presented to a very anxious global fan base last month. Featuring SI Vet Hailey Clauson, plus-size stunner Ashley Graham, and UFC fighter Ronda Rousey on the cover this year, Kyra Santoro is still one of my favorite top models to be featured in this year’s edition. Not one to hold back on the modeling industry (or anything else you might ask her about), Kyra has almost 1 million followers on Instagram thanks to her daily ultra-sexy photo posts. The model, who told me she secretly suffered the trauma of a unibrow as a child, has certainly grown up to become one of the most beautiful women in the world. I recently had the opportunity to chat with Kyra Santoro about her SI spread,
the ugly side of modeling, dating apps, and the real deal on Photoshop!
Chaunce Hayden: It must be surreal to see yourself inside the pages of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. kyra Santoro: It was my dream job come true. Plus, there’s a
lot of stuff that comes after it, so I’m really excited. In the 90’s, there were 5 supermodels that we all could name. Now it seems like to be a supermodel, you have to make the pages of Sports Illustrated. Would you
Or Victoria’s Secret. Although, I prefer Sports Illustrated to Victoria’s Secret. I think Victoria’s Secret changed their image too much. They used to be into bodies and being sexy and now they
are only interested in skinny, high fashion models. High fashion models are great, don’t get me wrong. I just don’t think they lookas good in underwear. They really changed their look over the last
couple of years. Of course, I’m a swimsuit model so I’m biased. What makes a girl a supermodel besides making it into Victoria’s Secret or Sports Illustrated? I think it’s defined by how big the job is that you’re working for. It really depends on what magazine covers you get, or what makeup, hair, or jewelry campaign you get. Those girls are a different
Can you believe we still talk about Cindy Crawford and Christie Brinkley?
I know! Isn’t that crazy? o you think there’s a model today that will be as popular 25 years from now? I’m not really sure. Maybe Gisele Bundchen. She’s been around for a while. She’s still the highest paid supermodel.
Would you agree that the way to stay in the publiceye and remain on top is to do crazy things that cause
It’s so ridiculous. Your value should come from how hard you work and not some scandal you were involved in. I don’t like putting people on a pedestal for doing something stupid. I don’t understand it. Although I guess I’m not one to talk, because I get jobs off of Instagram. I get jobs just based on how many followers I have on social media.
You currently have almost a million people following you on Instagram. That’s pretty impressive.
It’s pretty crazy. Since Halloween I’ve increased my following by over 350,000. I think it’s somewhere near 750,000 followers now.
Is that due to your Sports Illustrated spread?
Obviously I think Sports Illustrated helped, but I already had a name before Sports Illustrated. People that have been following me have been saying, “Finally they noticed you! Took them long
There are so many beautiful women in the world. What
is it about you that makes you stand out?
I think it’s just the way I brand myself. I don’t brand myself in a negative way. I’m always smiling and I’m always happy. I do crazy sports and I think I come across as more accessible and more
real. Some models don’t seem like they are human or like they’re real people. I put my personality out there. I’d rather be seen as someone with a personality then just another pretty face. Some
agencies brand their models as untouchable and unrelatable.
I don’t know if you heard about this, but several models are suing their agencies because they say they were mistreated and misrepresented.
I really don’t know about it, but I will say I agree. I should have sued the last agency I was with, as far as I’m concerned. They took 11 months to pay me for a job. It’s true that you can wait
as long as a year to be paid. A lot of times your agent doesn’t care about you. You’re just another number to them. Unless, of course, you’re a favorite and making the most money for the
agency. In that case, they will brown nose you. Otherwise, you’re just another number. Nobody cares about your well-being or your health. I have had times where I was so sick and they were
literally trying to get me to go to a casting. I told them I was ill and they responded with, “That’s okay, but we really think you shouldn’t miss this one. We think you should go.” They won’t let
you have a day off. There are all kinds of fees that they take out of your pay as well. Some of the agencies are sneaky. I was just unhappy because I felt like my agency didn’t care about me. They didn’t have my best interests at heart. Talking to them was like speaking to a wall. Those are the people who are supposed to make you money and pay your bills, especially when you’re
traveling. People think your agency pays for all of that. In reality, they take it out of your paycheck.
Of course, now that you’re in Sports Illustrated, those days are over.(Laughs) Yeah! My new agency treats me like I’m family. I’m luckyto be where I’m at now. I’m blessed.