Happy birthday, Ellie Thumann! The 2023 SI Swimsuit rookie turns 22 today, and in honor of her special day, we’re throwing it back to the influencer’s photoshoot in Puerto Rico for this year’s magazine.
A YouTube sensation, Thumann has been modeling since she was a young girl. She did print and runway work alongside her mother as a child, and has since worked with notable brands like Hollister, Marc Jacobs, Levi’s, Kate Spade, Reebok and Coach. The Arizona native uses her platform to share the ups and downs of work and life with her 1.6 million Instagram followers and her 794,000 TikTok devotees.
“I’ve gone through a lot of different changes with my own mental health, my own physical body and everything, but showing up as the healthiest version of myself is such a priority to me, especially after a time recently where I struggled with that,” Thumann told us while on location in the Caribbean for her rookie feature with photographer Derek Kettela. “Feeling strong and healthy is most important to me inside and out and mentally and physically, and I finally feel like that, and so I’m very proud to show that.”
Thumann also uses her channels to share how she prioritizes her mental health, while also encouraging her fans to be confident and embrace themselves just as they are.
“I think the most important thing for me to accomplish is talking about mental health and being kind of like a role model or an older sister, because I look to my older sister so much for guidance and not everyone has that,” she added. “And so being someone that [provides] positivity and [gives] beneficial help and advice for things that everyone deals with is the most important thing to me with my platform.”
Below are a few of our favorite snapshots of the birthday girl in Puerto Rico.
Now through Nov. 1, 100% of SI Swimsuit’s portion of proceeds from cover prints purchased here will be donated to the Maui Strong Fund, which is helping to support the people and places of Maui affected by the recent wildfires.