Yumi Nu is Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s first Asian curve model

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Model and musician Yumi Nu is making history.

The Japanese-Dutch beauty, who happens to be the niece of superstar DJ and producer Steve Aoki, is the first Asian curve model to appear in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, the 2021 edition of which hits newsstands on July 20.

“Secrets out!!! I’m a 2021 @si_swimsuit Rookie! What an incredible honor it is to be in such an inclusive and beautiful magazine that has pushed the envelope since day 1. I’m so proud to be making history as the first Asian curve Sports Illustrated model,” Nu wrote on Instagram Thursday.

She also shared a shot that will appear in the upcoming issue, posing in a green puff-sleeved Agua Bendita bikini top ($110) and tie-front bottom ($90).

In another post, Nu shared a video clip from her shoot and elaborated on the significance of her casting.

“I’ve grown very passionate in recent years in talking about the body shame that Asian women and women in general go through, because it was something that was very difficult for me growing up,” she explained. “I don’t want anyone to go through life with the lie that they aren’t enough as they are. It stops us from living our fullest lives.”

Concluded Nu in all caps, “WE ARE WORTHY!!! WE ARE DESERVING OF GOOD THINGS!!! LETS GO!!!”

On SI Swim’s website, MJ Day said that Nu “possesses the most confidence and appreciation for herself and body that we’ve ever seen.”

Added Day, “She doesn’t hold herself to any traditional beauty standards and is gracefully unapologetic for seeing herself as a powerful, beautiful, sensual woman. She shows up for women in a strong way and is on a mission to end the conversation around limiting women in the industry. Not only is she stunning and an extraordinary model, but she also radiates warmth and the kind of energy that we always want to have around.”

In addition to boasting 12 years of modeling experience, Nu began singing and writing songs at age 12, and has released music for Aoki’s Dim Mak Records. Later this year, she plans to launch an ethically sourced plus-size clothing line called Blueki.

Nu joins Leyna Bloom — who’s similarly making history as Sports Illustrated Swim’s first transgender model of color — along with COVID front-line worker Maggie Rawlins in the 2021 issue. Lais Ribeiro, Tanaye White and Emily DiDonato are among the other bathing beauties you’ll spot in this year’s pages.

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