After trying out for the Swim Search three times, 2021 was finally Kristen Louelle’s year. Two years ago, the open casting call finalist joined a dozen other contestants for a photoshoot in Atlantic City with visual artist Yu Tsai.
Today, the California native is the proud mom of three. She and her husband, former NFL running back Tyler Gaffney, are parents to two boys, Jaxon and Conway, and a baby girl, Nala, who arrived in April. She’s also the cohost of the Barely Filtered podcast, which she runs along with friend and fellow mom Aurora Culpo.
At the time of her SI Swimsuit feature, Louelle told Fox News she hoped her photoshoot would inspire other women to reach for their own dreams and embrace self-love.
“It’s incredibly empowering. I feel like I have unlocked this superpower, as crazy as it sounds, to help make women feel as comfortable as possible with themselves,” she stated. “I want other women to say, ‘She’s a mom and she did it. I can do it too.’ I want to use my platform to connect with other women, inspire them to go after their dreams, whether it’s Sports Illustrated or motherhood, work—whatever it is. I’m just so grateful that I can do that.”
Louelle’s confidence is evident in the photographs Yu Tsai captured of the model in Atlantic City. Below are a few of our favorite bold and beautiful looks.
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.