Watch: SI Swimsuit’s Newest Model Melissa Wood-Tepperberg Thanks Fans for Their Support

The MWH founder will make her debut in the 2023 SI Swimsuit Issue.
Melissa Wood-Tepperberg

Melissa Wood-Tepperberg was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica.

Health and wellness advocate Melissa Wood-Tepperberg was unveiled as a 2023 SI Swimsuit rookie yesterday to major fanfare. The MWH founder shared the exciting news in a Jan. 18 Instagram post and received an outpouring of love.

Wood-Tepperberg later posted “a message from the heart” to IG thanking her friends, fans and followers for their overwhelming support. She noted that she was flooded with messages, calls, emails and DMs from her community throughout the day.

“I just wanted to say thank you. Your excitement for me has been honestly overwhelming. I’m just so grateful, honestly, to have such an incredible, die-hard community who has fully supported everything that I’ve done since the beginning,” she said.

She shared that she has “always had my eyes, my heart and my soul set on” being an SI Swimsuit model and never ever gave up on her goal.

“This opportunity means so much more to me than just being in a swimsuit magazine... While that was all just an experience of a lifetime, what this really means to me is about never giving up on yourself,” she stated.

Wood-Tepperberg spoke passionately about the power of lifting one another up and building community and how we can empower one another to reach for the stars.

“This is such a manifestation moment for me to share with all of you, to just keep going. That’s what this means to me as a 40-year-old woman, a mother of two,” she said with tears in her eyes. “Keep going, because I never lost sight and I still held on to the vision and just believing it and becoming it in the way that I showed up in my life and it’s become a living, breathing reality because I truly believe I never let that go.”

Wood-Tepperberg shared that she felt empowered and fully comfortable in her own skin during her SI Swimsuit photo shoot, which she called “a dream come true.”

“There is hope for anyone out there who maybe isn’t feeling so comfortable, that these things can happen when you plant those seeds and you really work on you,” she said.

The video, which has received more than 66,000 views, drew even more beloved fans and supporters to the comments section to further hype up Wood-Tepperberg.

“As a wife and mom of three little ones in my mid-30s, still trying to figure who exactly I am - THIS is so inspiring. Thank you for being such a light!” commented one follower.

“You’re such a luminous soul and this message hit me right in the heart. You continue to inspire so many of us with your loving heart. It’s such a joy watching you shine,” wrote another.

“So so so amazing! Such an inspiration and powerful message to women of all ages. Such a role model for women!!!❤️,” a fan said.

Meet Melissa Wood-Tepperberg—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.