Why Alix Earle Chose to Leave SI Swimsuit Photos Unretouched

Our June 2024 digital cover star spoke out on TikTok about sharing her authentic self with the world.
Alix Earle was photographed by Yu Tsai in Florida.
Alix Earle was photographed by Yu Tsai in Florida. / Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated 

Alix Earle has built her platform on authenticity, so it should come as no surprise to fans that the 23-year-old content creator chose not to retouch any of the photos from her June 2024 digital cover feature with SI Swimsuit.

The 23-year-old University of Miami graduate took to TikTok on Monday to share her reasonings for not wanting to edit any of the images for the feature. She noted that she didn’t want to smooth out any of her “flaws,” from bumps on her skin to the shape of her breast implants.

“When we did this photo shoot, I was talking a lot in the interviews about like what my brand is and I kept coming back to being like, it’s just being authentically yourself and being transparent,” she said. “Like I’m always very transparent with you guys.”

Alix Earle
Alix Earle was photographed by Yu Tsai in Florida. Swimsuit by Oséree. / Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated 

Earle shared that not knowing which images were going to be published—or which one was going to be selected for the cover—was a bit “anxiety-provoking,” yet she wanted to remain as candid and real as possible.

“I think as women, we do that so much, where we just criticize ourselves and I think when telling the story of my brand and communicating that to my audience and a new audience, this was just something that was an important decision for me and I’m really happy we went through with it,” Earle noted.

View Alix Earle’s Miami swim photo gallery here. View her Miami after-party photo gallery here.

In closing, Earle issued an important statement to her 6.8 million TikTok followers: “Just a reminder that you are beautiful, you are amazing, everyone has stuff they’re worried about, imperfections are what make us human.”

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.