Melissa Wood-Tepperberg is the 2023 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Rookie, and feeling inspiringly confident about it.
"Keep planting those seeds, water them daily and watch what blooms," she wrote in the caption of one post, a video showing behind-the-scenes footage from her Sports Illustrated shoot.
The former model also opened up about turning 40, having two kids and feeling "more confident now than I've ever felt before."
Photographed by Yu Tsai in Dominica, Wood-Tepperberg described her debut experience to Sports Illustrated as "amazing" and "surreal."
Reflecting back on how much of a dream come true this is for her, she also elaborated again on how, at 40, she's feeling her most confident. "You become more comfortable in your own skin, and it's also really taught me that age is really just a number and not to grasp or grip it too tightly," she said.
She added, "There's just so much beauty in the becoming of getting older and wiser and more confident in your own skin."
While she initially started out as a model in her 20s, Wood-Tepperberg has since gone on to make a successful career for herself centered around wellness. After launching her fitness app MWH in 2019, her business grew massively as many people were seeking virtual exercise platforms when in-person classes were shut down amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since sharing her exciting news, Wood-Tepperberg's post has received more than 73,000 likes.
Many people left encouraging comments congratulating her. "Wow this is so major!" one person wrote, while another said that the honor was "well deserved."