The Connecticut mom competing to become Sports Illustrated’s oldest, open-casting swimsuit model told The Post she thinks she’s “already won” after attending a casting call on Friday in Miami.
“It was really cool,” Jodi Harrison-Bauer, 58, said during an interview after the event at the W South Beach hotel, where she was joined by several hundred other aspiring models, most of whom in their early 20s. “I started standing in line at 6 o’ clock this morning, hungry and in the pouring rain. But I met a lot of really wonderful young girls.”
The married mother of two said she posed for photos and was interviewed by magazine reps as part of the “rollercoaster ride” that culminated Friday. Her two daughters have convinced her that her age, combined with her background as a two-time fitness competition champ and owner of a boutique fitness studio in Branford, would wow judges.
“How did I let my kids talk me into this?” Harrison-Bauer joked. “But really, I then said, ‘OK, my purpose is to lend a voice to women who are over 55 and not just to become a Sports Illustrated bikini model, but also a role model.’ ”
The trainer’s daughter, who lives in Miami and accompanied her to the casting call, said she “couldn’t be more proud” of her mother. Some contestants and their loved ones mistook 30-year-old Elyssa Harrison for her mother, she said.
“My mom has always said it doesn’t matter how old you are, you can still be sexy,” she told The Post. “People either get jealous of her or react in a weird way, but I couldn’t be more proud of her and to be a part of her journey, even if it were to end today.”
It’s too early to tell if the two-time World Fitness America and World Fitness Universe champ made the cut, but Harrison-Bauer remains hopeful.
She wouldn’t be the oldest woman to grace the issue — Christie Brinkley was 63 when she wore a bikini for the 2017 edition.
But she’d be the oldest selected from an open-casting.
“I don’t know,” she said when asked if she thought she’d be selected. “They’ll keep talking to women until 5 p.m. today and the way they left it, they said, ‘We’ll call you.’”
But either way, Harrison-Bauer, who got married last month after a divorce 17 years ago, feels like a certified supermodel, she said.
“I already feel like I won,” she told The Post. “It’s been such an amazing experience and journey. I put myself out there and I’m passionate about including women of all ages. I feel like a winner already; being selected would be the icing on the cake.”
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