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By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - With parents who met while serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, Hannah Ferguson seemed destined for a life in uniform. Instead, the girl from rural Texas ended up as a model who is one of the featured rookies in the iconic Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue that will be released on Tuesday. "My Dad has Sports Illustrated calendars in his shop. I would always flip through them and look at them and daydream about one day being able to do that. I never thought it would come true," she told Reuters in a telephone interview. During their time in the Marines, her father was a sniper and her mother was a drill instructor. Ferguson, 22, said her upbringing in rural San Angelo was strict, with farm animals to feed and chores to be done. She got into modeling when she won a local contest after graduating from high school. "Once I found out I won, I moved to Dallas and started modeling, and six months later, I came to New York," she said. Since then, her job has taken her around the world, with her photo shoot for Sports Illustrated in the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. The assignment also meant that she had to sit through an 18-hour body painting for one of the shoots. Appearing in the pages of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, the magazine's most widely read issue every year, can launch a model's career. To unwind, Ferguson said she likes to bake and go to the gun range. "My parents have been really supportive. Some people have asked, 'It is swimwear and you are showing a lot of skin. How do they feel about that?' "They are happy that I am chasing my dream." (Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Jan Paschal)

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Speaking specifically about the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, she said, "It's amazing. I'm on cloud nine. This is nothing I could prepare for. It's unexpected. I feel like we're in a place right now where people are making space for more diversity on magazine covers. It's a big time for Asian-American people in media. I know I play a big role in representation in body diversity and race diversity, and I love to be a role model and representative of the plus-size Asian community."

CHICAGO- Sports Illustrated has decided to make the annual swimsuit issue available to libraries after ALA President Leslie Burger and others expressed their concerns about a decision by Time Inc., Sports Illustrated's parent company, to not mail the issue to institutional subscribers.

According to Sports Illustrated, 21,000 institutions, which include public, school, academic and special libraries, subscribe to the magazine. "It was a bad decision made within our organization to withhold the issue," said Rick McCabe, an SI spokes person. "We won't be withholding the swimsuit issue in the future." McCabe made his remarks to the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch. 041b061a72


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