Meet 2023 SI Swimsuit Rookie Sixtine Rouyre

The body neutrality influencer makes her SI Swimsuit Issue debut in 2023.

A self-proclaimed body neutrality advocate, Sixtine Rouyre is a model and social media influencer who uses her platform to inspire other women to love their bodies regardless of their shape or size. With her message, Rouyre has made waves in the modeling industry and is now the newest rookie for the 2023 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition.

Born in Brussels, Belgium, she relocated with her family to Fort Worth, Texas, at a young age and started modeling at 11. Rouyre moved to New York City when she was 18 to pursue modeling as a full-time career.

Sixtine Rouyre was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit is custom Navy Ray.

Sixtine Rouyre was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit is custom Navy Ray.

At the same time, Rouyre obtained her bachelor’s degree in a unique area of study from the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study: Her concentration was a mix of psychology, human rights and politics with a minor in child and adolescent mental health studies.

Rouyre’s modeling career started to take off in the fall of 2019 but was slowed by the outbreak of COVID-19. Making a slight pivot during the pandemic, she focused on growing her TikTok audience. Today, she has a combined following of nearly 900,000 on both the video-based platform and Instagram. She has appeared in campaigns for Target, Warby Parker, Ulta, SKIMS and Aerie.

We are so excited to announce Rouyre will debut in the 2023 Swimsuit Issue! “We are proud to celebrate [Sixtine’s] effortless beauty, compelling intellect and confident stance on body inclusivity,” says SI Swimsuit editor in chief MJ Day. “Once you get past her ethereal beauty and get to know Sixtine, you are met with a woman we all aspire to be. Her messaging is on POINT and we take great pride in celebrating her here.”

After working with photographer Yu Tsai in Dominica, Rouyre detailed her favorite moments from her Caribbean photo shoot, what being an SI Swimsuit rookie means to her, how she hopes to empower fellow women and more.

“Being a rookie feels powerful and strong”

The 25-year-old calls her rookie year “so exciting” and “unbelievable,” stating that modeling for SI Swimsuit is something she put on her vision board and manifested into reality.

Sixtine Rouyre was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit is custom Navy Ray.

Sixtine Rouyre was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit is custom Navy Ray.

“I was like, ‘O.K., Sports Illustrated. That would be cool. That sounds fun,’” she shares. “So I have a picture of one of the girls holding her Sports Illustrated magazine in Times Square, and it’s in the bottom corner [of my vision board]. I honestly forgot it was there, and then when I got the call, I was like, this is literally on my vision board. … It’s kind of just unreal.”

Rouyre feels that being an SI Swimsuit rookie will allow her to use her social media platform for good to inspire and influence others.

“To me, being a rookie feels powerful and strong,” she says. “I’ve always said that I never want to be just a pretty face as a model. If I have a platform, I want to be able to use it, and being a rookie allows me to do that.”

Rouyre describes her day on set with the SI Swimsuit team as “so much fun,” sharing that she was in hair and makeup at 5 a.m. before starting her photo shoot at 7. After a lunch break, the shoot continued until sunset.

“It was a long day. … But honestly, by the end of it I was like, ‘Let’s keep going …’ It was so fun, and the whole team was really nice, very sweet, and I think the photos are gonna look so cool,” she says.

Rouyre shares that she was initially a bit nervous to collaborate with Yu Tsai.

“I feel like if there’s usually one person I’m trying to impress on set, it’s the photographer. … That relationship is the most important because it’s the most intimate,” she shares. “We’re the ones that are working together to make the final image, to make the art, and so I’m always the most self-aware of my relationship with the photographer.”

However, she says immediately after meeting Yu Tsai, she was put at ease: “I was like, ‘Oh, this guy’s gonna be great.’”

“I got to shoot Sports Illustrated on my 25th birthday”

Rouyre says her favorite moment on set was her second-to-last shot, in which she wore a unique piece of swimwear and got involved in the creative direction.

“I had this one-piece swimsuit that was kind of fishnet-y with shells all over it, and it just fit me so well,” she shares. “We hadn’t tried it on in the fitting, so I hadn’t seen it before. … And I was like, why don’t we get in the water for this shot?”

The moment took place at dusk. Rouyre got her hair wet for the shot, styled in a slicked-back look, and ventured out into the water for the snap.

“That [photo] was just so good,” she says. “I got to be in the water for the shot. [Yu Tsai] was like balancing on rocks, which was really funny.”

Sixtine Rouyre was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit is custom Navy Ray.

Sixtine Rouyre was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit is custom Navy Ray.

Another favorite look was a giant palm leaf made into a swimsuit.

“It had straps and everything, but from the front, it just looks like I was wearing a giant palm leaf,” Rouyre says. “So that was really fun because most swimsuits are just like on the more basic level, a couple fancy straps here and there. But that one, I was just like, ‘That’s cool.’”

Rouyre’s photo shoot in Dominica was made all the memorable as she celebrated her 25th birthday on set.

“As we wrapped, everybody did the ‘Yay, we wrapped’ clap, and then they all just started bursting into singing,” she shares. “There wasn’t even any pause, it just literally went straight into them singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me, which is insane. I got to shoot Sports Illustrated on my 25th birthday.”

“I hope people see themselves”

As a body neutrality content creator, Rouyre is outspoken about advertisements that depict unrealistic expectations of beauty and body standards. She hopes that women will feel represented in the gorgeous images captured at her SI Swimsuit photo shoot.

“I really hope that in seeing me, people see themselves,” she says, noting that in magazines and on TV women are often tailored to look a certain way, which is the media’s so-called standard of beauty. Rouyre hopes to change the way women perceive themselves by being a positive representation of what a real woman’s body looks like.

Sixtine Rouyre was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit is custom Navy Ray.

Sixtine Rouyre was photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica. Swimsuit is custom Navy Ray.

“I don’t want to be just another pretty face on a billboard that’s been Photoshopped to the nines,” she says. “I really want people to [feel represented] and I want someone to say, ‘Oh, well that girl is not a standard size 0, 5'11" model, she looks like me. She has the same body as me.’”

Rouyre takes her role as a self-acceptance advocate seriously and hopes to continue facilitating change in the industry while encouraging women to love themselves just the way they are.

“I think it’s important that people get that representation in [the] media so that they don’t feel this heavy pressure to be something that nobody is,” she says. “Nobody looks like the girls in the magazine—even the girls in the magazine don’t look like the girls in the magazine because there’s so much that goes into it. So I hope people see themselves.”


Published
Cara O’Bleness

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.