Paige Spiranac Reflects on Her SI Swimsuit Photo Shoot in Aruba: ‘Such a Life-Changing Moment’
Paige Spiranac is a former pro golfer and social media influencer, and five years ago, she was a one-time SI Swimsuit model.
Spiranac was featured in the 2018 Swimsuit Issue when she posed for photographer James Macari in Aruba. She was just 24 at the time and used the experience as an opportunity to bring awareness to cyberbullying.
We recently caught up with Spiranac, now 29, to reflect on her SI Swimsuit photo shoot, which she calls “one of the most important shoots in my life.”
“I was going through a really hard time where I was still kind of new in social media and [was] transitioning from playing golf professionally to doing media full-time,” Spiranac shares. “[I] was dealing with a ton of other personal issues, and I just felt very stuck.”
Since the experience coincided with a transitional period of her life, Spiranac says the photo shoot was incredibly emotional and she was in tears the entire time.
“Doing that [photo] shoot was incredibly empowering. Having MJ [Day, SI Swimsuit editor-in-chief] there to talk me through it the entire time and build me up, I’ve never been in an environment where I’ve had so many women empower me and lift me up, which is something that we preach all the time, but you don’t really see it in real life,” she states.
Spiranac says her SI Swimsuit feature was a pivotal moment in her career that allowed her to really embrace her sexy side for the first time.
“It was just such a life-changing moment for me… and I carry everything that I’ve done in that shoot to everything that I’m doing now,” she says.
She pointed to several photos that Macari snapped of her on a motorbike in the desert as a few of her favorite images from the photo shoot.
“It was the most confident and powerful and empowered that I have ever felt, and I carry that now,” Spiranac says. “Whatever I do, that’s a big part of me and a badge that I’ll hold forever, being a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model.”