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Yumi Nu Named 2021 Rookie Of The Year: Makes History As 1st SI Asian Plus Size Model

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Yumi Nu is making history. The model and musician is the first Asian plus size model (she is of Japanese and Dutch descent) for Sports Illustrated. She was named 2021’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit’s Rookie of the Year!

We are soo here for plus women making history and breaking down barriers!

Asian curve model Yumi Nu poses for the camera, with her hand on her face, with an olive green two-piece bathing suit.

Who is Yumi Nu?

Yumi Nu is not only an incredibly successful plus size model (with 12 years of plus size modeling experience) signed with Wilhelmina and The Society Management, but she also is an accomplished singer/songwriter with Dim Mak records. Fun fact: her uncle is Steve Aoki!

But Yumi Nu is not stopping there.

She is also coming out with her own clothing line! The ethically sourced plus-size clothing line – named Blueki, will be coming out later this year!

We are really excited to see what the line will look like! You better believe we will share all the deets once we get the scoop!

Asian curve model Yumi Nu poses for the camera, her body is turned to the side, but she is facing the camera with wet tousled hair. the beach and ocean are in the background. She is wearing a white one piece bathing suit

“For Asian American women, there’s a lot of shame in flaunting your body and feeling sexy. And I think for me as a plus-size model, we’ve had to evolve and battle this like, inner voice that hasn’t evolved.

Yumi Nu

The inspiration behind the clothing brand was born from the interactions she had with her fans on Instagram! She realized there were few chic options for the curve world that are ethically and sustainably sourced.

“I’m plus size and Asian. That’s why I’m like, this is important…I want to do as much as I can to show other people that we don’t have to be dainty and little. I can say, I know that in myself, I’m beautiful.”

Yumi Nu

Yumi isn’t the first plus size model to make history with Sports Illustrated. Robyn Lawley became the first plus-size model to be featured in the swimsuit edition six years ago!

In the same year, Ashley Graham was the first plus-size model to grace the Swimsuits for All ad in the issue, as well. Ashley Graham was named the magazine’s Rookie of the Year the next year in 2016.

More plus size representation in ALL SPACES is so important! This is why we are all thrilled for Yumi Nu! It’s so meaningful to see yourself represented, and we love that plus size Asians around the world will be able to see Yumi embrace her curves!

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Written by Mayra Mejia

Mayra Mejia (She/Her) is a fat-positive, queer Salvadoran-American editor, writer, activist, and content creator. Passionate about fostering strong and inclusive body positive spaces, she founded PLUSH DMV, a DC-based fat-positive community.

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