Sports Illustrated Swimsuit is a leader in the modeling industry when it comes to female empowerment, but one of the spreads in their 2018 Swimsuit Issue caused some considerable backlash.
The “In Her Own Words” photo shoot presented several SI Swimsuit models completely nude aside from words they wrote on their bare bodies. The spread was meant to celebrate female empowerment, but was instead criticized for objectifying women.
In a new video released on Tuesday, the models explained just how empowering it was to strip down and pose for the magazine. (RELATED: None Of The SI Swimsuit Models In This Video Are Actually Wearing Swimsuits)
“It’s hard to put into words how special it is to be able to be a part of something like this and the fact that Sports Illustrated Swimsuit is allowing us to share a different side of us that people don’t normally see,” Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman said. “I think it’s really, really incredible and it’s even more special with this movement that we have with so many incredible stories and so many survivors coming forward.”
Raisman was one of the dozens of young girls who suffered at the hands of disgraced US gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. While the other women who appeared in the SI Swimsuit spread haven’t experienced abuse like Raisman, they agreed that the shoot was liberating and inspiring.
“It was really special to be a part of this and get to express myself in a very raw, uncensored way,” Sailor Brinkley-Cook said of the shoot. (RELATED: Sailor Brinkley-Cook Fires Back At Criticism Against Nude Photo Shoot)
“Beauty is not perfection. We don’t have to be afraid to be who we are,” Olivia Culpo said. “And I think that’s all anybody ever wants is just to be yourself,” Ebonee Davis added.
No matter how you feel about the driving force behind the controversial photo shoot, I think we can all agree that the results were breathtaking.