Instead of starting our morning with the regular cup of to-go coffee, Modelinia sat down with Genevieve Morton at her favorite coffee shop, Bourbon Coffee. The beauty - who is currently mixing castings with studying communications in college - was a beacon of light on the otherwise grey and rainy day and bounded in full of life. Between chatting about her recent Tweet from Bruno Mars and discussing her love of modeling, we caught up on the topic of nicknames, her cooking hobby, and her political plans for the future.
We hear you have a nickname that everyone’s become obsessed with using. What’s the story behind that?
It was so long ago that people would call me Little Miss Sunshine. I was doing an interview in London and I was sitting with my friend. They gave me a list of 60 questions and one of the questions I was a little unsure about. You know when you have different groups of friends, you have different nicknames? It so happened that day I was sitting with the girl who always used to call me that. She said, just write that. So I did! Now everyone is obsessed with calling me that and I hate it! You can call me Gen. Some people call me Genny-Bean, not that I like it, but they do. Just Gen I guess.
What has been the highlight of your recent stay in New York?
I’ve really enjoyed training with my new personal trainer. That’s really been the highlight of my trip. The trainer that I’m with now, Justin [Gelband], has a completely new way of training me. Because of all my flying, my back was killing me, so he’s actually been able to strengthen my core which is a miracle because I feel so fit and fantastic now! Every exercise we do is balancing, which requires that you engage your core. He’s doing micro movements that are really slow so instead of doing lunges or pushups, we engaged all the muscles and it lengthens me out.
Who are some of your close friends from Sports Illustrated Swimsuit?
Dominique [Piek] and I have a lot in common - we have the same manager and we’re both from South Africa, so I’ve known her for some time. I really love Damaris [Lewis.] She shot with me when I was a rookie and she was the best teacher. I sounds dumb but I was so nervous and so scared that by the time I got home I had this huge ulcer, I was so nervous! My boyfriend forced me to go to the doctor. She made me feel so great and so secure and things I didn’t know what was happening, she coached me through it. Any rookie should hope to get Damaris on their shoot as the more experienced, big sister. I get on really well with Kate Upton - she’s really fun and we like to be silly together. Chrissy Teigen is fun to hang around with because she always makes funny comments.
What was your favorite part of this year’s SI?
I really liked my location this year. My first year location was really difficult to shoot in - on the plane. It seems really simple, but when you’re balancing on one foot on a plane and you’re a million feet above the ground and you feel like you’re gonna fall off and it’s so cold because there’s snow on the mountains and the photographer is miles away so it’s really difficult to get your body looking good. So when I was able to shoot with Walter Iooss this year, and shoot in Fiji which was really warm, was very exciting to me. I really loved the colors of the bikinis because I think the coral color was really good for my skin tone. We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas for the launch and they gave us the biggest beds ever - I stretched out like a star fish!
Cooking is a huge hobby of yours, right?
I really like cooking! I’m like obsessed with food. What I like is experimenting with healthy food. I don’t understand why people eat so much cream and cheese. You see adverts and you see people lifting up this piece of fish and it’s all cheese. I don’t know why people think that looks good - that makes me feel sick. I think I might start doing some food blogging. I really love cooking fish - it’s quite hard to cook because people always over cook it, so I like finding new ways to make it taste delicious. I discovered how to make mussels; I blanche them in white wine. I like making salmon and sol; that’s my favorite. I always go to Whole Foods because it’s around the corner from where I live. I like the way it’s set up and it’s easy to find things. I find the stores in America aren’t set up the way they are in South Africa. When you walk into a store in South Africa, you know the order of the aisles. Also, you have different names for things. For example, a zucchini in South Africa is a baby marrow, and an eggplant in South Africa is called a brinjal. My trainer has me doing the blood type diet. It’s really hard to do because they keep telling me I must eat tofu, which tastes like scrambled eggs, which is the one thing I don’t eat, so I’ve been branching out to the protein items, soy.
What’s your big goal for the future?
We’re having a lot of political problems, so I’m trying to create awareness for that. I’ll hopefully be able to use the name I’ve made to have people listen to what’s going on in South Africa because there are a lot of problems. Even in South Africa, the South African are being ignorant. There are a lot of people leaving South Africa, and while it’s not a reverse apartheid, but it’s becoming really volatile. There’s a lot of political strife in regards to hate speech going on. I’m trying to work on that in my spare time. We have local elections coming up and it’s quite scary. We have this guy who’s advocating that all the white people should leave, but where must we go to, first of all? He’s trying to advocate that they do what they did in Zimbabwe. Instead of learning from that, he’s trying to advocate for that. I want to advocate that we make smart decisions so we don’t keep voting the same government in. That’s what I’m really passionate about right now.