She’s a 25-year-old, bikini-clad influencer with 8 million social media followers and the potential to grow to at least 80 million. Because her cause is to put the “normal body” on a pedestal.
“In the industry, you see models who are very thin or models who are plus size, but there’s nothing in between,” Natalie Mariduena, who already gained fame with her swimsuit photos for Sports Illustrated in 2021, told Fox News.
Born in a small town in Illinois, USA, a young woman has set out to represent exactly those in the middle, and for this purpose she has the appropriate body. “I want to be an example of that and show that it’s cool and beautiful. On social media, I show my body and my life and what I’m about,” she explains.
All this is without filters – the other part of normality.
Her photos are on the street, in a swimsuit or with more clothes and show that the “normal size” is also valued. With them, she also shows that you don’t need to rely on filters and Photoshop to look beautiful.
Among her followers are many young women. “I’m often told – I have the same body as you, thanks for showing it to us,” she explains.
“It’s important to show your true self. Even the most beautiful women in the world feel insecure about some things, and hiding them will never get over them. I love my body and I’m not afraid to show it,” Natalie told Los Angeles magazine.
For her, stretch marks, freckles and other imperfections are a part of the body, not something to be ashamed of, and this should be shown to young girls as they grow up to have confidence.
So she uses her accounts to inspire her followers to reject stereotypical norms, unrealistic expectations of appearance, and photoshop.
As a child, she, like most girls, wanted to look and act a certain way to “fit in”. Then she gets fed up and realizes that successful people follow their own path, not someone else’s. In college, she realizes that being outside the norm is much cooler, and she says that’s the key to success – she doesn’t follow trends unless she likes them.
Her goal is to work with more fashion brands and designers so that her body type can be shown more and more people can identify with it.
“I’m a fashion girl at heart. I hope women look to me as a source of reliability, to feel represented and that their dreams can come true, like mine did,” says Natalie.
Natalie’s journey to social media success began in 2017 when her childhood friend and YouTube star David Dobrik invited her to move in with him in Los Angeles and become his assistant.
His videos often feature her as well, and that’s how she slowly gets to the poll among Sports Illustrated fans, who choose her for photos for the swimsuit magazine.
“I still can’t accept the fact that this is reality and not a dream,” she says.
“It’s probably one of the most fascinating things I’ve ever experienced, it was a celebration of my body,” says Mariduena.
She also has days when she doesn’t feel like a supermodel and doesn’t share them on social media. Then do what you like.
“I love good food, I love both healthy and junk food, and I think it’s a matter of balance – you have to take a day for yourself, stay at home and enjoy a nice meal or go to the beach,” she muses.
But he usually thinks otherwise. “I see a confident, sexy woman who loves every centimeter of her body and isn’t afraid to show it,” Nathalie Mariduena says about herself.