“Model breastfeeds her baby on the catwalk!” “Breastfeeding model causes uproar”—that was Mara Martin (@_maramartin_) on the Sports Illustrated runway making headlines by doing something that felt entirely natural to her, and inadvertently creating a new brand of sexy. The moment went viral, and martin’s career has never been the same since.
I was a featured extra in Burn Notice shot right here in Miami. I remember how excited my family was back home in Michigan. They even had a viewing party for my small little role.
Most memorable moment (so far) in your modeling career?
Definitely working with Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. Being picked out of thousands and thousands of girls to walk in their runway show was such an honor.
Growing up I always wanted to become a model and have a family. So to say I’m living my dream would be accurate! But in a fantasyland I would like to be a Radio City Rockette by day, while holding the title of Miss Universe and working at NASA, all while being a sideline reporter for the NBA. A girl can dream!
What is something you can never overinvest in?
Investing in yourself and your ideas will always lead to great opportunities.
Most prized possession?
I hate to admit it, but it’s definitely my phone. I have over 123,000 photos... Yes, you read that right; I have that many photos.
Describe yourself in three words:
Empathetic, driven, always laughing
Biggest surprise you’ve ever had?
Definitely going viral. I had just walked the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit show and went home on cloud nine. Then I woke up and was on every major news station. From TMZ, E! News, Good Morning America, you name it, we were on it! We ended up hitting over 50 billion impressions worldwide. I’ll never forget the day my brother, who works for the U.S. Navy, called me saying he even saw me on the TV while he was stationed in Bahrain!
Do you have a favorite exercise?
Chasing my 2-year-old around always does the trick.
Advice to all the models who are currently pregnant or just gave birth?
Certainly there must be a lot of pressure on them. Take your time and don’t compare your journey with anyone else’s. Some women want to work while pregnant; others want to take time off after the baby is born. All of these options are OK as long as you do what’s best for you and your family. No one else’s opinion matters but your own. Also, your body will go through many changes while pregnant and postpartum, and it’s always incredible when you realize how amazing your body is. Be kind to yourself. You are making a human being. Appreciate your body for all that it can do and is doing instead of just what it looks like! You will do many great things in life, but becoming a mother will by far be the best.
What’s next for you in your career?
I’m currently writing my first book. I have spent the last two years writing it and I’m hoping to publish in 2021. I can’t wait to be done with it and feel the accomplishment of finishing such a major project.
Words you live by?
In the great words of Michael Jordan, ‘Some people want it to happen, some wish it would happen, others make it happen. You have to expect things of yourself before you can do them.’
Photography by: Courtesy of Mara Martin