57-year-old college administrator starts new career as Sports Illustrated model

Nina Cash, a retired university associate dean from Long Beach, California, with her husband’s motivation and support, submitted a photo to the Sports Illustrated talent search and was chosen from thousands of would-be models.

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She has rapidly shut down the snarky people who say her husband pushed her into posing in a bikini. It was quite the opposite, she said.

She wanted to try modeling and hoped to be an example of body positivity to women old enough to have gray hair. Still, even with all her enthusiasm, she was wavering, getting cold feet. When she was a young girl, she was too shy and insecure to wear a bikini and instead wore a one-piece more suitable for an older woman. That little girl started to reappear in the back of her mind and made Cash feel insecure Fox News reported.

Her husband stepped in to restore her confidence. He gave her a pep talk and later helped out by taking some snapshots.

“No – my husband encouraged me because I wanted to do it. Big difference. He didn’t say, ‘I want you to show everybody that you could wear a bikini at [57]’. He said, ‘Honey, if you want to do it, I support you 125%.’”

She said she’s received encouragement from younger women and men who strongly supported her willingness to model in a bikini. But there are others who mock and make fun of her gray hair.

“Eleanor Roosevelt once said, ‘You can only be offended if you allow yourself to be offended.’ I don’t know those people making the negative comments and I won’t dwell on that… I get a lot of people private messaging me [on social media] saying, ‘Thank you for making it OK to go gray,’ or, ‘Thank you for making it OK for a woman to be an educator or to have advanced degrees and still do something like this,’” Fox News digital reported.

Cash said she also drew inspiration from Kathy Jacobs, who became the oldest woman to pose for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue in 2020 -- and promptly launched a line of skincare products, People Magazine reported.

Cash will be joining the other models, Penny Lane, Brittney Nicole, Jena Sims, Sharina Gutierrez, Berkleigh Wright and Achieng Agutu, in the annual swimsuit issue.

Cash thinks of modeling as her second career after retiring as a college associate Dean in Long Beach, California She had more than three decades of experience in education, training, and workforce development, as well as degrees in human services, negotiation, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding, and a doctorate in educational leadership. She was is the mother of three girls and a former dancer on 1980′s American Bandstand produced by Dick Clark, Fox News said.

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