Meet The Tunisian 'Sports Illustrated Swimsuit' Model Who Wants To Change Negative Gender Perceptions In The Arab World

Miami, Sports illustrated, SI Swimsuit model search, MJ DAY, Nour Guiga, Tunisian, LA, Los Angeles
Courtesy Instagram/nour_guiga. Photo by Liza Boone
Nour Guiga
“It’s not just about appearance anymore, it’s equally about a woman’s beliefs and actions”

In a bid to change traditional perspectives of the yearly Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, the magazine's annual model search in Miami welcomes women of all sizes, shapes and colours for a chance to be featured.

This year, under the direction of MJ Day, Sports Illustrated's editor, the contest brought together over a thousand women with diverse backgrounds from around the world. Among them was Tunisian, Los Angeles-based model Nour Guiga, who hopes to change negative gender stereotypes that Arab women encounter around the world.

“I’m proud to be the first Arab model selected in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s Sweet 17, as it demonstrates inclusion among women from different backgrounds and helps challenge beliefs around an Arab woman’s potential,” she tells BAZAAR. “SI Swimsuit is empowering women by shattering perceptions of beauty. They are showing women of all sizes, shapes, colours, ethnicities, height, and shining a light not only on their figure, but also on their character. It’s not just about appearance anymore, it’s equally about a woman’s beliefs and actions.”

With the goal of empowering women around the world, the SI Swimsuit contest highlights that beauty comes in all shapes and more importantly, from within.  “It opens doors for women like myself, makes us feel like we are enough.”

Nour grew up with the common belief that being beautiful requires being tall, skinny and having the validation of a modelling agency. “It took me years to learn and discover the multitude of ways one can be beautiful, and most of them have nothing to do with physical appearance,” she shares. “My definition of beauty is confidence, mental strength, bravery, having an opinion on things that matter and speaking up for others. It doesn’t matter what your measurements are or where you’re from - It’s about who you are as a person, what you lend your voice to and what you do.”


Watch: Our former cover star, Saudi model Taleedah Tamer, makes her Haute Couture Debut in Paris

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Miami, Sports illustrated, SI Swimsuit model search, MJ DAY, Nour Guiga, Tunisian, LA, Los Angeles
Courtesy Instagram/nour_guiga. Photo by Liza Boone
Nour Guiga