Alongside five photos from the shoot, the former Miss Universe described the process as one of her “hardest days.”
“@si_swimsuit .. It’s finally here!!!!!! This was one of my hardest days for personal reasons (as some of you may remember). I landed in Australia to shoot these photos with some info that rocked my world. Looking back at this first picture, I know exactly what was going through my mind at the time,” she captioned the post. “I was so incredibly thankful for the opportunity to be doing something that I had dreamed of, and wished and hoped for since I was a little girl. And I sit here today feeling SO grateful.”
In referring to information that “rocked [her] world,” Culpo may be referencing TMZ photos published in late October of Amendola hanging out beach-side with a woman believed to be CBS4 Miami anchor Bianca Peters. The next day, Culpo shared a photo of herself holding a snake — a sneak peek of her participation in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit shoot.
“Shooting for @si_swimsuit!! I’ve dreamed of this since I was a little girl and today could not have felt more surreal. I still feel like I’m dreaming,” Culpo wrote at the time. “I dedicate this to all the snakes 🙅🏻♀️🐍❤️”
In Wednesday’s post, she went on to impart words of wisdom to her 3.9 million followers.
“I feel like I worked really hard,” Culpo wrote, “and hope I can use my experience to inspire people to 1. Always follow your dreams 2. Know the power of the law of attraction and manifesting what you want in life 3. Try your hardest to always give thanks, even when it is difficult and you may not understand why certain things happen when they do. Even though I was struggling on this day, I know in this picture I was thanking God for the opportunities life has given me and for making every day a blessing. I love you all and PS thank you for the bday wishes!!!!”