Tanaye White Shares How She Went From Corporate Girlboss to SI Swimsuit Model

The mental health advocate was working as an aerospace specialist when she applied for the brand’s first-ever open casting call.
Tanaye White

Tanaye White.

Before she was a three-time SI Swimsuit model, Tanaye White was an aerospace specialist. The mental health advocate broke down her journey from corporate life to actualizing her dream as a model in a recent TikTok series.

“I always dreamed of being one of the glamorous cover models of Sports Illustrated’s magazine, but I had no idea how I’d ever make that dream come true,” she admitted. 

White, who has been featured in three consecutive SI Swimsuit Issues, was working as a lead communications specialist for an aerospace agency in 2018. In the first clip, she stated that one day while chatting with a friend, she shared her modeling aspirations with the franchise for the first time.

“Little did I know, I had just manifested a dream that was about to soon come true,” she stated. “Just a few days after admitting this secret dream of mine, I saw Sports Illustrated post on Instagram for their first-ever open casting call, SI Swim Search.” 

White applied via a video submission and shared she was in “disbelief” when she learned that she made it to the next round of casting.

“By the end of the day, out of 10,000 applicants, I had made it to the top 67... and by the end of the second day, after an emotional journey, my name was called first as they announced the top 16 finalists who would walk in their annual Swim Week show,” she said.

White went on to be named co-winner of the Swim Search in 2020 and became a SI Swimsuit rookie the following year. Check out six incredible photos from her photo shoot in Barbados last year here.

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Cara O’Bleness


Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.