West Ranch High School graduate Mady Dewey has become a featured model in the Sports Illustrated 2023 issue after winning the 2022 SI Swimsuit Swim Search title and debuting in the 2022 issue.
Swim Search is the annual casting call held by SI, which provides opportunities for both aspiring and established models in the hopes of being featured in the next edition of the annual swimsuit issue.
Dewey is a Santa Clarita native who graduated from West Ranch High School in 2014 and moved on to attend Chapman University.
She began her career in big tech at Google right after she graduated from Chapman in 2018.
According to an article by SI Swimsuit, she found passion in creating content on the side, but during the pandemic she began to feel the toll of social media.
She felt that social media was causing a negative shift with her mental health and body image.
In the pursuit of change, she left big tech and created Herd alongside Ali Howard.
Herd is a photo-sharing platform designed to create a pressure-free environment for GenZ women and non-binary people. The app currently has over 85,000 users.
“From age 14 until about two years ago, I was in a toxic relationship with my body and with food, feeling like I was never small enough,” Dewey said to Jordi Lippe-McGraw in an interview for SI Swimsuit. “I was never able to enjoy food without some level of guilt. I felt like I needed to fit into a body that just wasn’t my own. In addition, I was constantly comparing myself to other people I saw online.”
Alongside being the CEO of Herd, Dewey currently works as a product marketing manager at Discord.
Making her way to Sports Illustrated was a longtime dream of Dewey’s.
“In 2012 when Kate Upton was on the cover, I remember sitting with my mom (a long-time SI fan) obsessing over how powerful she looked on the cover,” said Dewey in an article published by People. “It’s been a dream of mine to be in SI ever since.”
However, after struggling with her mental health, she almost didn’t make the decision to apply.
“I almost went through the process two years ago,” said Dewey to Lippe-McGraw in an interview for SI Swimsuit. “I filmed the video but never submitted it. I was living alone in Seattle during the pandemic, and my relationship with food consumed so much of my brain. I hit rock bottom.”
“I’ve been a fan of SI Swimsuit since I was 14 years old, but I never thought that it was something that I would be able to do until I saw Camille Kostek. Seeing her go through the Swim Search process with a similar body type to mine changed everything. And I loved how she spoke about how she had never had the opportunity to model before, but it had always been a dream for her. It’s very similar to my story.”
Dewey made her SI Swimsuit debut as a finalist for SI’s 2022 Swim Search in the 2022 issue.
The other finalists were Ashley Byrd, Gigi Robinson, Kelly Crump, Lotta Hintsa, Manju, Sarafina El-Badry Nance, Hillory Fields, Victoria Vesce, Nicole Petrie, Michelle Fuente Steffen, Drew Dorsey and Ashley Callingbull.
Dewey was photographed by Yu Tsai in the Dominican Republic.
“Today was more than just my first swim shoot, it was pure magic,” wrote Dewey in an Instagram post. “I applied to @si_swimsuit swim search this year because I wanted to show women that you go after all your dreams despite society trying to put us in some silly little one-dimensional box. Embracing your beauty doesn’t make you any less smart, less capable of being a leader or less ‘professional.’”
After Dewey walked the runway in SI’s Miami Swim Week in 2022, she was declared the winner of the 2022 Swim Search. Dewey was set for a destination feature in the 2023 issue.
“I felt as I was getting older, becoming more confident in who I was and my body as it is, and going on my own journey with self-love that it was now time to put myself out there,” said Dewey to Lippe-McGraw in an interview for SI Swimsuit. “I felt I could be a good representation of what SI Swimsuit stands for, which is women just owning exactly who they are.”
Dewey’s Puerto Rico photo shoot appeared in the 2023 SI Swimsuit issue alongside models including: Megan Fox, Kim Petras, Martha Stewart, Brooks Nadar, Ellie Thumann, Angel Reese, Camille Kostek, Christen Harper, Duckie Thot, Georgina Burke, Hailey Clauson, Jasmine Sanders, Jennifer Atilémile, Kamie Crawford, Katie Austin, Lauren Chan, Leyna Bloom, Lorena Durán, Madisin Rian, Marquita Pring, Melissa Wood-Tepperberg, Nicole Williams English, Olivia Dunne, Olivia Ponton, Padma Lakshmi, Sixtine and Yumi Nu.
“My Rookie shoot was one of the most special days of my life,” wrote Dewey in an Instagram post. “It represents the power of letting go of fear and failure, and going after the dreams that ignite your soul. It shows years of work on self-love and body acceptance. It’s a reminder of the beauty in being multi-dimensional, embracing all of the sides of who you are and letting them shine brighter together.”
“To be a part of SI Swim, a brand made up of powerhouse women, is the biggest honor. The team’s commitment to empowering women of all backgrounds has truly changed my life, and I will be forever grateful!”