Introducing 2023 SI Swimsuit Rookie Ellie Thumann

The model and influencer will be featured in the SI Swimsuit Issue this spring.
Ellie Thumann

Ellie Thumann was photographed in Puerto Rico by Derek Kettela.

Ellie Thumann is a vlogger who regularly shares beauty, fashion and travel-related content on her YouTube channel, which boasts more than two million subscribers. The model and influencer is an outspoken mental health advocate, and will be featured as a rookie in the SI Swimsuit Issue this spring.

Thumann, 21, traveled to Puerto Rico for her photo shoot, where she posed for photographer Derek Kettela. She called her day on set “unforgettable” and said it the magnitude of the opportunity didn’t really sink in until the end of the day.

“It’s surreal, and I don’t think I’ll ever fully process it. [I’m] just trying to take it all in knowing it’s such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” she said. “Really trying to keep myself grounded and looking at everything that’s happened to get me here. It’s just incredible.”

The Phoenix native prioritizes both physical and mental health in her day-to-day life, which is something she also hopes to encourage her fans and followers to do.

“Show up exactly as you are and be confident in that. That always radiates from the inside out,” she stated. “I’ve tried to mask that or have a fake confidence, but until you feel it from yourself, it’s not gonna radiate in an authentic way.”

In order to balance her mental and physical well-being, Thumann said she makes time each morning for a long walk with a cup of coffee. Her personal motto also helps her feel balanced in both mind and body.

“A mantra that I tell myself every day is that things, good or bad, are not happening to me, but they’re happening for me, and that everything’s happening for a reason,” she shared. “And if you don’t know the reason, that means you’re [in] the happening.”

Meet Ellie Thumann—read the 2023 SI Swimsuit rookie’s full feature profile here.

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Cara O’Bleness


Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.