kelsey merritt swimsuit
Instagram@kelseymerritt/Sports Illustrated

Thank God Kelsey Merritt didn’t listen to her conservative mother

Just imagine the nightmare we would be living in if Kelsey Merritt listened to her conservative mother. We wouldn’t have Kelsey Merritt in a bikini in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. The 22-year-old half Filipino, half American supermodel was at one time banned from wearing bikinis. Kelsey Merritt revealed to the Daily Mail, her conservative Filipino mother forbade her from showing off too much skin because it made her feel uncomfortable.

Kelsey Merritt mother
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“Honestly, my mom is so conservative that growing up I couldn’t even wear a bikini, I was not allowed,” she said. “I was not allowed to post bikini pictures [on Instagram]..she’s just very concerned.”

Kelsey Merritt swimsuit
Sports Illustrated

The travesty. Good thing she rebelled against her mother and decided to flaunt the two-piece. Eventually, her mother came around and accepted that her daughter would be required to be half naked because that’s what her job required.

‘It took a while to get here to this point where she’s now comfortable that I’m doing this.” Merritt said. “At first…with my first bikini shots [on Instagram] she was like, “Take it down! Take it down!” But I was like, “Look its work, you have to understand this.”‘

Now, Kelsey Merritt has become one of the biggest models in the world. Just last year, she became the first Filipino woman to walk the Victoria Secret Runway show.

Kelsey Merritt sports illustrated
Sports Illustrated
Filipino model
Sports Illustrated

And this year, Kelsey Merritt is rocking that bikini as a rookie model for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. She’s up against other new-comers Jasmine Sanders, Haley Kalil, Camille Kostek, Tara Lynn, Halima Aden, Winnie Harlow, and Olivia Brower, to be the 2019 rookie of the year. You can cast a vote for Kelsey at Sports Illustrated.

Filipino supermodel
Sports Illustrated

Even though there was some friction at first between Kelsey and her mother about her career, Kelsey and her mother are extremely close. “She’s always the most supportive, but still never fails to keep me grounded,” she said. “I wish I could be with you right now Ma, but I hope you can feel the love from across the world.”

Thank goodness.

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