Who needs a bikini! Sports Illustrated Swimsuit's Rookie of the Year Alexis Ren poses topless in thong swimwear made from pretty pink FLOWERS

  • The 20-year-old was announced as a Sports Illustrated rookie last fall, and in January won Rookie of the Year 
  • The Instagram model posed on the beach in Aruba for her sexy shoot
  • In new video, she is seen modeling a bikini made entirely out of flowers, which barely covers her up 
  • Alexis appeared in casting materials for Sports Illustrated in 2016, but has gained over six million Instagram followers in that time (up to 10.8 million)
  • She revealed several years ago that it's her dream job 

Instagram model Alexis Ren may be the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Rookie of the Year, but as a newbie, she's still paying her dues — and that means she doesn't actually get to wear a real swimsuit in every shot.

For the new issue, the 20-year-old posed on the beach in a bikini bottom made entirely out of pink flowers — and bikini is a term used very loosely.

In fact, she really just wore a floral garland with a thong back on her bottom half, and modestly covered herself up on top with a few flowers in her hands.

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Bums in bloom! Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Rookie of the Year Alexis Ren wears flowers instead of a swimsuit in new video

Bums in bloom! Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Rookie of the Year Alexis Ren wears flowers instead of a swimsuit in new video

Look at those stems! The 20-year-old covers up with her hands on top in the images

Look at those stems! The 20-year-old covers up with her hands on top in the images

Flashback: The images were shot in Aruba last fall

Flashback: The images were shot in Aruba last fall

Modesty: Alexis looks stunning in the nearly-nude shots

Modesty: Alexis looks stunning in the nearly-nude shots

Petal posterior: She happily wore the skirt of flowers on set

Petal posterior: She happily wore the skirt of flowers on set

So thrilled: Alexis talks about her big shoot in a new clip posted on Instagram

So thrilled: Alexis talks about her big shoot in a new clip posted on Instagram

On Wednesday, the SI Swim Instagram account released a behind-the-scenes video of Alexis' time on set in Aruba last year, in addition to another clip released on the site.

In the longer one, she sits crossed-legged in a black bikini and bares a big smile as she announces her rookie status.

She also dons a gold two-piece, a pink two-piece, and a stringy mauve number as she jumps, poses and writhes on the beach.

At one point, she takes her top off, covering herself up with one hand as she pouts at the camera.

'For my bikinis, the smaller, the better,' she says. The camera shows her rolling around in the sand while a crew member pours water on her body.

Bright idea: They walked past these flowers during the shoot when the idea came

Bright idea: They walked past these flowers during the shoot when the idea came

Craft: Editor MJ Day decided to arrange some flowers for Alexis to wear

Craft: Editor MJ Day decided to arrange some flowers for Alexis to wear

Cheeky: Alexis joked that the editor was trimming her bush for the shoot

Cheeky: Alexis joked that the editor was trimming her bush for the shoot

Spring has spring: Alexis casually covered her breasts while she was being dressed up

Spring has spring: Alexis casually covered her breasts while she was being dressed up

Easy: She seemed totally at ease despite being nearly nude

Easy: She seemed totally at ease despite being nearly nude

Twins! Photographer YuTsai made himself a skirt of flowers, too
Twins! Photographer YuTsai made himself a skirt of flowers, too

Twins! Photographer YuTsai made himself a skirt of flowers, too

Though her white bikini was her favorite from the shoot, fans may prefer the one with flowers. This one can be seen on Instagram, in a clip in which Alexis faces her uncovered backside to the camera.

'We were walking on set and MJ [Day, the editor] saw these flowers,' she says. 'And I saw a light bulb go off in her head. And she was like, "We're gonna put you in those!"

The camera then shows Day making the flower bottoms herself, trimming them and weaving them together as Alexis jokes that Day is 'trimming my bush.'

Meanwhile, Alexis covered her breasts up with her arm — which she continued to do as photographer YuTsai shot away later. YuTsai also made himself a little floral skirt of his own.

The young model has big shoes to fill, as past Rookies of the Year have included  Chrissy Teigen (2010), Kate Upton (2011), Nina Agdal (2012), Sara Sampaio (2014), and Barbara Palvin (2016).

Total pro: Alexis debuted the look on Instagram during her shoot last year

Total pro: Alexis debuted the look on Instagram during her shoot last year

Revealed: She was excited to be announced as a rookie

Revealed: She was excited to be announced as a rookie

Unveiling: The big reveal was made in a Facebook Live video

Unveiling: The big reveal was made in a Facebook Live video

Pumped! She couldn't stop smiling in between shots

Pumped! She couldn't stop smiling in between shots

Alexis, who is originally from Santa Monica,  revealed that she's joining the Swimsuit Issue family with a video from her beach shoot last year.

In the clip, which aired live on Facebook, Alexis beamed as she stepped out on the beach for her big moment.

'I'm so excited, it's gonna be so fun,' she said. 

They wasted no time getting her to work. After a few quick hair and make-up touches, she began posing in the sand while a crew member used a wind machine on her. 

'Literally, the girl was born to be in a bikini,' said MJ Day. 'We love. She's a keeper. Her first shot was magical... she hasn't taken a bad shot yet.'

Gotta job to do: She quickly got to work posing in the sand in a skimpy bikini

Gotta job to do: She quickly got to work posing in the sand in a skimpy bikini

Her calling: Editor MJ Day said she was 'born to be in a bikini'

Her calling: Editor MJ Day said she was 'born to be in a bikini'

After posing in the sand with the help of a wind-blower, she was doused in ocean water

After posing in the sand with the help of a wind-blower, she was doused in ocean water

It's no surprise Alexis seemed so giddy in the clip, as she's admitted before that this is her ultimate goal.

Speaking to Do Not Die Wondering in 2013, she said that along with walking for Victoria's Secret, posing in Sports Illustrated is her 'dream job'.

She also attended a casting for SI Swimsuit models last year, but didn't seem to make the cut.

In her try-out, she posed for a series of black-and-white pictures for SI.com, and also spoke candidly about the casting in a quick clip on the site. In the video, she smiles, poses, and goofs around while doodling with colorful permanent markers.

She wears white jeans, a gray ribbed sweater, and thigh-high taupe boots, while her light locks are tousled and she lets her natural beauty shine with little make-up.

Trying out: Last year, Alexis appeared in a casting video for the magazine

Trying out: Last year, Alexis appeared in a casting video for the magazine

Fame: Originally from Santa Monica, Alexis has earned 11.8 million Instagram followers for her glamorous travel and bikini shots

Fame: Originally from Santa Monica, Alexis has earned 11.8 million Instagram followers for her glamorous travel and bikini shots

The perfect career: Several years ago she admitted her dream job would be posing for Sports Illustrated or Victoria's Secret

The perfect career: Several years ago she admitted her dream job would be posing for Sports Illustrated or Victoria's Secret

Waiting for the surprise: She did not make the cut for 2017, though she did make it onto the website
Waiting for the surprise: She did not make the cut for 2017, though she did make it onto the website

Waiting for the surprise: She did not make the cut for 2017, though she did make it onto the website

Opening up: Alexis said that herInstagram account shows off her personality and helps her to be viewed 'not just as a pretty face'

Opening up: Alexis said that herInstagram account shows off her personality and helps her to be viewed 'not just as a pretty face'

Moving on up: After missing out last year, she was excited to make the cut for 2018

Moving on up: After missing out last year, she was excited to make the cut for 2018

Hard work: She is now in Aruba for a shoot for the magazine
Hard work: She is now in Aruba for a shoot for the magazine

Hard work: She is now in Aruba for a shoot for the magazine 

'I started Instagramming, like, my model life, per se, when I was 14,' she says. 'I got into it as, like, this is an opportunity to be able to show yourself not just as a pretty face but as a personality, which I think models have never been able to have until now.' 

On her Instagram page, her personality is often overshadowed by other assets, which she readily flaunts for the camera.

Most pictures show her at a beach, a pool, or some exotic locale in a revealing bikini — often those that reveal plenty of her backside. She likes to do yoga and other creative poses in the sand, seemingly making her a natural fit for the Swimsuit Issue.

'I've, like, lived in a bikini my entire life, so modeling bikinis was, I don't know. It was just so natural to me,' she says in the SI clip.

Taking it off: She certainly has the figure for the job, and often strips down in beachy images

Taking it off: She certainly has the figure for the job, and often strips down in beachy images

Beach girl: She regularly models swimsuit on her popular Instagram page

Beach girl: She regularly models swimsuit on her popular Instagram page

Comfortable: Alexis said she's lived her life in bikinis, so posing for Sports Illustrated is no different

Comfortable: Alexis said she's lived her life in bikinis, so posing for Sports Illustrated is no different

That's not how you eat... Alexis has opened up about her eating struggles in the past

That's not how you eat... Alexis has opened up about her eating struggles in the past

She also shares plenty of images in which she's not wearing a swimsuit at all, instead posing topless at home. 

In July of last year, she had another career milestone: She posed for the August cover of Maxim. In an interview with the magazine, she argued that she's more than just her good looks, even though she's making a career off of them.

'People think I don't have substance and I'm just another pretty face. I have been through a lot of life experience for a 20-year-old. People tend to judge a book by its cover. I love being unexpected and gaining respect for who I am and not how I look,' she said. 

She even launched her own range of workout wear, Ren Active — and, naturally, modeled it all herself.

While promoting the line, she opened up to Daily Mail Online about her struggles with an eating disorder and learning to love her body as it is.

She said she has learned to keep her 'mind focused on staying healthy as opposed to "skinny,"' a process which enabled her to finally 'accept my body,' even if she gains a few pounds.

Work-out clothes: She also recently launched her own fitnesswear label, Ren Active

Work-out clothes: She also recently launched her own fitnesswear label, Ren Active

Model behavior: She not only designed the collection but also models it

Model behavior: She not only designed the collection but also models it

Role model: Alexis says she looks in the mirror every morning and says, ¿Thank you, you¿re doing such a good job. I love you and I'm proud of you; you're beautiful and strong'

Role model: Alexis says she looks in the mirror every morning and says, “Thank you, you’re doing such a good job. I love you and I'm proud of you; you're beautiful and strong'

'It's challenging [to face the pressure of looking a certain way], but I just keep my mind focused on staying healthy as opposed to "skinny,"' she explained. 'Everyone is different. I accept my body, whether it fluctuates 10 pounds. I love it regardless.'

However, that feeling of confidence and comfort in her natural shape certainly wasn't something that materialized overnight — and it is something that Alexis has to work on constantly.

'It has taken me a lot to get to that point of self acceptance, [and] I still am challenged by it everyday,' she admitted.

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