The submission 2024 SI Swimsuit rookie Sharina Gutierrez sent to the ’23 Swim Search process was something she’d been manifesting for years. The model, entrepreneur and mother of three had been planning to apply, but when her previous modeling agency failed to send in her materials, she thought all avenues were closed.
Until, of course—with the idea that she would wait another year to apply—she opened her Instagram to an announcement that SI Swimsuit was extending the self-submission deadline another week. She hadn’t even known that self-submission was an option until she had all but given up on the possibility of participating in that year’s open casting call.
Immediately, Gutierrez submitted her application, thinking to herself, “What’s the worst that could happen? They’re going to say no, or they don’t reply—it’s not something I’m not used to,” she explains on the set of her photo shoot in Porto and the North, Portugal.
Two weeks after submitting, when she found out that she had moved on to the next round, it was confirmation that she had done the right thing. “You are doing what you’re supposed to do and you’re listening to that voice that’s guiding you and leading you,” she remarks of her realization at the time. “You’re listening to your intuition.”
She describes SI Swimsuit as a “North Star” in her career. Proceeding through the process and slowly inching closer to her rookie status taught her that she is “worthy enough to be here,” she says.
Despite all the people who told her she couldn’t do it, she prevailed, earning a feature in the franchise’s 60th-anniversary edition. Overcoming the disparaging talk has only given her the fuel and the fire to encourage others to reach for their own dreams.
“At the end of the day, I didn’t have somebody cheering me on,” she says. “If I can change one person’s life and one person’s journey just by belief, I want to do that.”
Read more about Sharina Gutierrez’s 2024 SI Swimsuit rookie photo shoot here.