LAWTON, OK (KAUZ) - A woman from Snyder is one of two Oklahomans who will be in next year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.
On Wednesday the magazine announced Allie Ayers was chosen as a top six finalist in their first-ever open casting call.
Ayers is a middle-sized model, which is in-between straight and plus sized. She said this size is often forgotten about in the industry.
"I never found my space because I was in between the two and I'd either have to gain weight or lose weight if I wanted to model successfully — or at least that's what I was told," Ayers said.
Ayers used to be in the straight size category, but she found herself fighting her body to stay thin enough, something she said she had to stop. Ayers took a break for a while, but started back a few years later.
" I was only going to be a part of the modeling industry if I could change it and make it more pushing of something that let people feel like they can love themselves. I wanted to use the industry to change the industry," Ayers said.
As fate would have it, that's when Sports Illustrated had their first open casting call. Ayers and friends made a video about herself. In the video, she talked about being on Snyder's 2011 state champion basketball team and winning Miss Altus.
"I put that video out there hoping for the best but not expecting anything out of it," she said.
Within minutes of posting the video, she heard from Sports Illustrated. She was one of more than 5,000 applicants, and they narrowed it down from there.
"I did not expect this at all. Every round it feels like I just said I'm glad to make it this far, I'm glad to have made it this far, and to have made it to actually being in the magazine is way more than I ever expected," Ayers said. "Now with several other girls, I get to be one of those bodies that are representing bigger bodies that fashion doesn't typically include. I'm really excited."
Ayers makes her own swimsuits and her next goal is to launch a swimsuit line and continue to model.