At just 21 years of age, fitness model Sommer Ray has already made quite a name for herself. The 5-foot-6, roughly 120-pound bodybuilder has built a social media following that most A-list movie stars would envy. At press time, she has over 17.4 million followers on Instagram alone and doesn’t appear to be losing any momentum.
To put that in perspective, a popular actress like Cameron Diaz has around 5.2 million followers. If one wished to compare Ray’s fan base to fellow female sports stars, she has more than tennis star Maria Sharapova (2.9 million) and soccer icon Alex Morgan (5 million) combined. At this point, it is clear that Sommer Ray is a very popular girl. This might lead one to ask, just what is all the fuss about?
This can be summed up in one word… the belfie.
For those unfamiliar, a belfie is a selfie (where someone photographs themselves) of one’s own backside (though she has a photographer these days). Thanks to Ray and fellow fitness model Jen Selter, the belfie has become all the rage. In fact, one might even go so far as to call 2017, the year of the belfie.
After seeing the following 15 photos, folks will begin to understand why fitness models like Ray have been taking the social media world by storm.
15 Rocking Those Glasses
Being that Sommer Ray likes to draw attention to her prominent rear end, she can often be seen modeling in yoga pants, as is the case here. However, the stylish glasses and pigtails make this photo unique. Moreover, the colorful street art in the background also helps to add some additional flair to an already captivating photo. Ray (or at least the team behind her) seems always to find a way to keep the images she posts feel original. The fitness models help put the “c” in the world cool with this artistic image.
Modeling Fact: An Englishman and designer by the name of Charles Fredrick Worth is credited with making modeling a profession back in 1853. His wife, Marie Vernet Worth was his very first model.
14 Gorgeous From Head To Toe
When one has a build like Sommer Ray, even a seemingly casual dress can be extremely figure flattering. Unsurprisingly, this popular Instagram post focuses on the model’s fit lower half as she leans against the wall. Despite being only 21 years of age, Ray never seems to be intimidated by the camera, which allows her to produce phenomenal photos such as this one. The caption below the post, “head to toe,” actually sums up this pic quite nicely. The master of the belfie gives her fans yet another amazing image.
Modeling Fact: Fashion photography became a part of the modeling landscape back in 1856. The first published work to feature fashion photography was created by a Frenchman named Adolphe Braun. The French photographer’s first work featured 288 photos of a noblewoman from the court of the emperor, Napoleon III.
13 The Backside Is Real
The tiny powerhouse appears to be attempting to pull a jeep in this stunning Instagram post. She may want to remove the stylish sunglasses, in order to prevent them from being broken, before she attempts this test of strength. That being said, based on the caption below, the video they’re creating (with Ray pulling the jeep) may not be on the up and up. According to the caption below the image, the “video might be fake, but the booty real.” Sommer Ray addresses those who might question the authenticity of her backside, in this instance.
Modeling Fact: Lisa Fonssagrives was one of the first models to hit it big in the 1930s. She appeared on the cover of Vogue over 200 times during her career. The notoriety she achieved helped open doors for future fashion models.
12 Surf's Up
Despite being born in Colorado, it appears that Ray has really taken to the beach. In this image, we see the smoking hot fitness guru modeling with a surfboard in a one-piece bathing suit, that almost seems too small for her. The caption below the photo says, “Ocean Child,” suggesting that Ray may actually know how to use the surfboard she is holding in the photo. There are certainly a number of her admirers who would love to do a little surfing with the stunning Instagram queen. Ray is a young surfer boy’s dream in this gorgeous Instagram post.
Modeling Facts: For potential female models, the ideal height is generally 5-foot-9 or taller, with a waist in the neighborhood of 24 inches. However, at 5-foot-6, Ray shows it’s still possible for shorter women to have success in the industry.
11 Winner Winner
Sommer Ray has become so popular on social media that it is easy to forget she is actually an accomplished fitness model. Her accolades include taking 1st place at the 2015 NPC Colorado State Championships in two categories (Bikini Teen and Bikini Class D). Ray also placed 16th at the 2015 NPC USA Championship. In this photo, we see the popular fitness star holding her trophy ’s while smiling for the camera. Ray looks to be in peak physical condition in this pic, making it easy understand how she won the trophies that she is proudly displaying.
Modeling Fact: While being a professional model is often associated with fame fortune these days, this wasn’t always the case. In fact, before the early 1950s, models were relatively anonymous and often made little money.
10 Floating Away
The caption below this Instagram post says “Sommer vibes,” a play of the term "summer vibes." However, no matter the season, the fitness guru always seems to look outstanding, and this photo is certainly no exception. The 21-year-old appears to be soaking in some rays, and she floats in the pool while wearing a black one-piece bathing suit. This pic actually focuses on Ray’s legs for change as opposed to most photos that tend to emphasize her backside. Being an international social media star can be exhausting work (for some at least), which is why Ray appears to enjoy her downtime relaxing on her shamrock raft.
Modeling Facts: Gerard and Eileen Ford founded Ford Models back in 1946. Today it is one of the oldest agencies in the world.
9 VERY Tight Jeans
Sommer Ray is so hot in this photo that she actually has to turn the air conditioner down. The jeans she is wearing in this photo appear to have their work cut out for them while trying to contain the model’s lower half. Honestly, Ray’s rear end almost looks like it needs to be assigned its own area code in this photo. The bodybuilder showcases the asset that helped her gain over 17 million followers on Instagram in a photo that her diehard fans are sure to love.
Modeling Fact: While there were a few that existed prior, modeling agencies started to become an established part of the industry by the 1960s. Most agencies operate on a commission basis, taking a percentage of the income their models earn.
8 God Save The Queen
Sommer Ray is a versitale fitness model, who can model both a bikini and a one-piece bathing suit and looks breathtaking in either one. In this photo, the 21-year-old opted to go with a bikini which reads “God Save Queens.” Apparently, she decided to show the New York-based borough some love with this choice of attire. Interestingly enough, while Ray grew up in (and is often associated with) Colorado, she currently resides in Los Angeles, California. Wherever she is, Sommer Ray appears to be able to produce amazing photographs in seemingly any outfit she chooses.
Modeling Fact: While there had been a few successful models prior, the London modeling scene of the late 1960s, helped turn several models into household names. Twiggy, Jean Shrimpton, and Tania Mallet were just a few of the names that emerged during this period.
7 Swimsuit Fun
There is something about the black and white effect that serves to make a photo that much more awe-inspiring. That being said, Sommer Ray didn’t need help from any sort of special effect to make this photo a memorable one. The 5-foot-6 brunette reminds us why she is so popular on social media with this gorgeous photo. This photo serves to highlight Ray’s 24-inch waist as the models this revealing black bikini. The fitness icon looks ready for the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition in this breathtaking image.
Modeling Fact: Besides being the golden age of for super model’s in London, the 1960s also marked the beginning of higher wages for models. In fact, Ford Models, one of the world's leading agencies, even advocated for agencies to advance models the money they were owed to help them in the early stages of their careers.
6 Mother's Day
Happy Mother's Day to the best momma ever. Most beautiful women inside & out. Thank you for being my rock ❤ this hottie is 52 years old and has had 4 kids, 2 being twins. You're my inspiration everyday. I love you ❤❤ @shannon_rayyy Happy Mother's Day to all the hard working beautiful mommas out there 💕😘
This photo shows Sommer Ray posing next to her mother in a yellow one-piece bathing suit. It was actually Ray's mother, who was also a competitive bodybuilder, that inspired her to pursue her career path. In the caption below the image, Ray wishes her mother a heartfelt Happy Mother’s Day – “ Happy Mother’s Day to the best mom ever. Most beautiful women inside & out. Thank you for being my rock. This hottie is 52 years old and has 4 kids, 2 being twins. You’re my inspiration every day. I love you.” Touching stuff.
Modeling Fact: A fit model (not be confused with a fitness model) is a type of model that helps give designers feedback so that they can determine fit and feel for the garment their working on.
5 Bowling Curves
Sommer Ray likely turned some heads in the bowling alley in her skin-tight yoga pants. Based on her comments on the post, it’s fair to say the young model is self-aware. The caption reads, “Being an Insta girl I’d probably usually caption this “Who loves to bowl?” but I’m gonna keep it real …who likes this pic of my booty at the bowling alley?” Apparently, 604,400 people did according to the number of likes on Instagram. The belfie lover decided to spare her fans the details of her bowling outing.
Modeling Fact: In recent years, plus-size models, models who are larger than industry standards, have become increasingly popular. They are often used for advertising plus-size clothing, but also can be seen on runways from time to time.
4 Happy Holidays
This photo arrives just in time for the holiday season. Ray appears to be stretching this Santa Claus outfit to its very limit, but it’s likely that her loyal fan base appreciates one of the many pictures that highlight the brunette's world famous backside. Her prominent lower half may require Santa’s sleigh to add some additional space for seating. Sommer Ray looks ready for Christmas, in a body suit that definitely flatters her figure. Folks who appreciate curvaceous fitness models may feel the holidays have come early, after seeing this breathtaking photo.
Modeling Fact: The early 90s was dominated by, what would come to be known as the “supermodels.” Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and Christy Turlington were some of the most famous models of that era.
3 The Dress
This post shows Sommer Ray wearing a skin tight dress as opposed to her signature yoga pants. As always, the 21-year-old internet sensation creates a memorable photo that was able to generate over 467,000 likes on Instagram. While Ray is clearly a popular fitness model, her success has also attracted some negativity from haters. She was quoted in greatphysiques.com as saying, “It’s so funny how people have this image of me an they think I’m a sl*t and I don’t wear clothes. But that’s all an illusion, this is social media people. Those booty shots, it’s what pays the bills.I’m a normal human, I wear normal clothes. Actually I dress sort-of like a hobo every day, I’m not in yoga pants, I’m in long baggy t-shirt things.”
2 Punching Bag
With all these photos of Sommer Ray standing around in gorgeous modeling outfits, it’s easy to forget that she actually spends a great deal of time working out in the gym, even though she also claims to have great genetics. Ray began working out when she just 16 years of age and was in competition shape within a year’s time. In the caption below the photo, Ray reminds us why she works out so hard; “I go to the gym cause I think my great personality could use a banging body." Based on this photo, it would appear that she has achieved her goal.
Modeling Facts: Heroin chic is a look that includes dark circles under the eyes and pale skin. The look was popularized by supermodel Kate Moss in the mid-'90s.
1 The Concert
The expression of Sommer Ray’s face might lead one to wonder if she knew that the cameraperson was following her, prior to the photo being taken. The fitness model can be seen sporting a skin-tight one-piece outfit that unsurprisingly highlights the lower half that helped her become a social media sensation. In this throwback photo, the 5-foot-6 brunette can be seen attending Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival which is held annually in Indio, California. Photos like this show that even famous internet stars can blend in, at least somewhat.
Modeling Fact: Glamour modeling often focus on sexuality and thus doesn’t have the same general requirements as other types of modeling. Glamour models can often be seen on things such as calendars and are featured in popular men’s magazines.