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Maye Musk Is Living Her Best Life

At 74, the 2022 SI Swimsuit cover model deserves all her success and knows the best is yet to come.
Maye Musk was photographed by Yu Tsai in Belize. Swimsuit by ERES. Skirt by BAHIA MARIA. Earrings by Ottoman Hands. Necklace by Cleopatra's Bling. Bracelet by Mary McFadden provided by New York Vintage. 

Maye Musk was photographed by Yu Tsai in Belize. Swimsuit by ERES. Skirt by BAHIA MARIA. Earrings by Ottoman Hands. Necklace by Cleopatra's Bling. Bracelet by Mary McFadden provided by New York Vintage. 

Maye Musk is living proof that age is just a number. At 74, the Canadian-South African model and mother to Elon, Kimbal and Tosca is as vibrant as ever and a vision on the 2022 SI Swimsuit cover. “To be a swimsuit model for Sports Illustrated, people would’ve locked me away as a crazy lady,” she jokes from the Belize set. “I’m very excited that they’ve decided that even older women can wear swimsuits and look great. I think it’s really going to change how women feel when they walk out in their swimsuits.”

It’s apparent that Musk is loving life and is deserving of all she has accomplished. She started modeling at 15 and continued while getting her degree to become a dietician. She always imagined she would age out of modeling, but the requests kept coming in. And now, she is one of the most sought-after models in the world. “I didn’t think age would be a problem because as a dietician and a scientist, age is not a problem,” she says. “I’m just so happy that people are actually booking me for talks on ageism and how to feel good about yourself at any age. I’m also very proud that I can give a message to women in the world to aim for happiness, do things you like to do, mix with nice people, be kind to everyone because you never know and pursue whatever you’d wish to do. I really am living the best life ever, and I never expected it.”

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The A Woman Makes a Plan author has always just lived her life as authentically as possible. Growing up in South Africa, her parents would pack the family up for a three-week adventure through the Kalahari Desert. “My father’s favorite saying is ‘Live Dangerously, carefully,’” she reveals. “Dad just wanted us to know you can live without a lot, and so for three weeks you don’t shower; we would sleep on the ground in sleeping bags. The great thing is that when I went through hardships in my life and people said, ‘Well, you’re sleeping in the garage or you’re sleeping on the floor.’ I said, ‘That’s great, there’s a roof over my head. I’m lucky,’ and so it does help you for life.”

It’s this same lesson that she has instilled in her three very successful children. “I grew up always helping people and my kids would see that. I brought up my children the same way I was brought up. My parents were working all the time; they expected us to be independent,” she says. “My children started working for me. My daughter was answering my phone when the doctors would send their patients to me, and then of course, Kimbal had to start cooking early because he liked to eat very well, and Elon started me with computers. I mean, he just kept me ahead of the game all the time.”

Musk lights up when she speaks of her kids, and you immediately know that Mom will always be her favorite title. “I’m most proud of my three kids; of course, I’m very excited for everything they do,” she says. “We try to get together quite often; it can be difficult because sometimes there’s a rocket launch or something like that, but we have this big dinner table and usually it’s Kimbal and Tosca doing the cooking and the grandkids help with the laying of the table and all that and cleaning up. It’s really lovely when we can all get together.”

At 74, the 2022 SI Swimsuit cover model deserves all her success and knows the best is yet to come.

At 74, the 2022 SI Swimsuit cover model deserves all her success and knows the best is yet to come.

You can view the 2022 photo shoot for Kim Kardashian here.

You can view the 2022 photo shoot for Ciara here.

You can view the 2022 photo shoot for Yumi Nu here.

You can view the 2022 photo shoot for Maye Musk here.