A former NFL cheerleader, Kostek struggled to break into the industry because her figure didn’t fit the mold. She tells Yahoo! on the BUILD series stage constant critique is discouraging.
“At 27 years old, the older I got, they would tell me, ‘Okay well if you’re not going to adjust your measurements, girl, you’re getting older. This is even gonna push you out even more,’” she explains. “I didn’t even aspire to be a model because I didn’t see myself represented, even as simple as the freckles on my skin.”
One place Kostek could find women who resemble her is SI, where she saw models with curves like Tyra Banks. But even when Kostek won the publication’s 2018 model search, she didn’t expect to snag a solo cover alongside Banks and Alex Morgan just one year later.
Now, as a covergirl, Kostek feels that her feature can serve as inspiration for others.
“When I see the cover, that makes me feel amazing,” she says. “But it’s for my sisters, it’s for strangers, it’s for fans, it’s for men and women alike of all ages. Whatever you want, you can truly have. There’s nothing that gets in the way of passion.”