Gabriella Halikas Gets Honest About How She Discovered Self-Confidence

The model shared an empowering message alongside a clip of herself walking the runway during Miami Swim Week.
Gabriella Halikas

Gabriella Halikas.

If you’re ever in need of a confidence boost, look no further than Gabriella Halikas’s social media content. The 2021 Swim Search finalist and model is always encouraging her followers to embrace themselves just as they are, and as the self-proclaimed “CEO of confidence,” you can’t help but embrace a similarly self-assured attitude.

However, the 26-year-old revealed on Instagram earlier this week that she wasn’t always so confident. She shared that throughout middle and high school, she felt incredibly uncomfortable in swimwear. Discovering her confidence years later, she noted, changed everything.

“when i found my self-confidence my sophomore year of college, my entire life changed,” Halikas wrote alongside footage of herself walking the runway during Miami Swim Week. “i was ready to start living. i was ready to chase my dreams of becoming a model and content creator. i didn’t let my size hold me back, but rather launch me forward into a space i can now help others unlock their own confidence & potential😭🙏🏼.”

She went on to suggest that each of her 215,000 followers on the platform look themselves in the mirror and state three things they love about themselves in order to boost their own confidence.

“remind yourself daily how powerful, beautiful, and unique you are,” she added. “you deserve to feel this level of confidence and beauty!!!!!❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥❤️‍🔥.”

Plenty of Halikas’s fans piped up in the comments section to thank her for using her platform to share such a positive message.

“I’ve never had a role model, until I found you,” one person wrote.

“beautiful!! 💙🤍 Your confidence is giving me confidence finally at 50 😬,” someone else added. “better late than never and I’m ready to live.. 🙌🏼 thank you🙏🏼.”

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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.