SI Swim Search Model Gabriella Halikas ‘Doesn’t Want to Be Classified Into a Certain Box’

The 2021 Swim Search finalist spoke out about categorizing models by body type.
Ella Halikas

Gabriella Halikas.

Gabriella Halikas is not into labels. The SI Swim Search finalist shared a clip on TikTok from  Cameron Rogers’s Freckled Foodie and Friends podcast in which she chatted with the host about the practice of categorizing models based on their body type.

In the video, Halikas discussed how she’s not particularly fond of the terms “curve model” or “plus-size model.”

“I don’t want to be classified into a certain box. Why do I have to, as a curve woman, always overcompensate for things? If I ever try to say I’m a model, they’ll kind of look up and down and be like, ‘Oh, what do you model? Like what brands?’” she said. “Like, they’re so confused, but the second I’m like, ‘plus size’ or ‘curve model,’ they’re like, ‘Oh, whoa, sick,’ like totally could see that.”

Her Jan. 4 post was captioned as “something i’ve been thinking about for awhile now... why do we always have to over-explain to validate ourselves in this industry? let me know your thoughts 🙏❤️.”

“It’s really frustrating because there’s times where I’m like, why doesn’t my thinner counterpart have to say that she’s a ‘straight size’ model?” she added. “But no, she just says she’s a model because that’s what society has said is a model for decades now.”

Her followers chimed in to the comments section to thank Halikas for speaking up.

“Thank you for sharing. You are gorgeous period,” said one person, while another fan commented, “I know nothing about the industry but I KNOW you can change the game with this!!!”

“Thank you for speaking up for all of us! I feel the same way,” wrote an additional follower, while one individual chimed in to say, “The only box you should be put in is beautiful. That is all❤️.”

This isn’t the first time Halikas has used her platform to speak out and share her thoughts on the modeling industry. Last month, fellow SI Swimsuit model Ashley Graham duetted one of Halikas’s TikTok videos about confidence and mindset—watch it 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.