On Friday, Sports Illustrated tallies up all of the votes from this year's Model Search competition and decides which model will appear in their 2017 SI Swimsuit Rookie class. The nominee you should consider? Twenty-two-year-old Kyra Santoro from Calabasas, California.
"It's my dream job!" Santoro told Maxim this week via phone. "I'm really excited just to be a part of it." For Santoro, the experience comes with more than just high points, like fans recognizing her individually, rather than just as a part of the class at the Fan Festival. But there were some things she could do without. Like guys hitting on her afterwards.
"There were some guys trying to invite us out after and we were all like 'No, we don't know you guys,'" she explained. "After the fan festival, I got like DMs from people with the photo we took together asking to take me out. Like no, you're a fan of the magazine and you asked for an autograph and then you're going to turn around and be like 'so how about a date?' No!"
The news would no doubt break hearts of her over 750,000 Instagram followers. When asked how fans could potentially slide into her DMs the right way, Santoro's response is even more disheartening. "I would honestly rather have people not know who I am at all," she said. "I don't want you to be a fan of any sort of platform I'm on or anything, because I feel like that's more desirable and harder to find."
"In general if people know that you're a model, they just want to be known as dating a model or taking out a model," she continued "I would rather have someone not care about my job or my occupation and care more about what's coming out of my mouth or what's in my brain." And where guys might find her, if not in a magazine? On a wake board.
"I have been on a wake board every summer since age 8," Santoro said, noting that she also grew up dirtbike riding and skateboarding. Those beginnings have made her an extreme sports fan. And while there's no wakeboarding in the beach town of Tulum, the destination is still the stunner's favorite vacation spot after having partied in Pablo Escobar's old home and enjoyed the city's beachfront hotels and restaurants.
"You really feel like you're in the Bahamas but you're in Mexico," she said of the spot. Read on to find out the best place to hit if you plan on visiting.
Best Place for Dinner: Be Tulum
Best Place for Drinks: Mezzanine
Best Place to Party: La Zebra
Best After-Hours Spot: Gitano
Best Place for Brunch: Cenzontle