By Megan Flemmit
“Because you should feel beautiful no matter what you wear”
In another win for the body positive movement, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue debuted last week featuring women of all shapes and sizes. The issue, which featured model Kate Upton on its cover, has been described as the most diverse issue to date.
Kate, who first appeared in Sports Illustrated in 2011, said she was extremely excited to be part of the issue. She told Sports Ilustrated that it was inspiring to be part of a campaign that encourages every woman of every age and body type to accept themselves. “Those are the campaigns I want to do and the career I want to have — to inspire women to love themselves. That’s a balance of working hard and eating healthy but also enjoying life and having cheat days and for the emphasis not to be on the ideal perfect body. It makes me proud to be asked back.”
This years issue also features supermodel Chrissy Teigen, 63-year-old Christine Brinkley, olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles and tennis champion Serena Williams.
Taking the body positivity a step further, Sports Illustrated editor, MJ Day, also launched the ‘What I Model’ campaign on Instagram. Uploading a photo of herself in a bikini, Day said the campaign was aimed at celebrating beauty in all it’s forms. “Funny how I have spent my life on a beach since childhood and I have never truly felt comfortable in a swimsuit. Even at my thinnest. We need to love ourselves in the present. No matter what.”
Deep.Breath. If I’m going to talk the talk I am going to walk the walk. Please consider participating. It was equally terrifying and liberating for me. Funny how I have spent my life on a beach since childhood and I have never truly felt comfortable in a swimsuit. Even at my thinnest. We need to love ourselves in the present. No matter what. I invite you all to do so. ???❤#50shadesoftan Repost @womenirl with @repostapp ・・・ Introducing the #WhatIModel campaign, a partnership with @SI_Swimsuit and @healthmagazine. This year’s Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit issue is the most inclusive ever and features women of various ages, backgrounds and body types. We’re celebrating this vision of beauty and confidence on our feed… in our swimsuits. Because you should feel beautiful no matter what you wear, and we’re ready to love our swimsuits again. Meet @mj_day, the editor of SI Swimsuit, and find out what *she* models. Then, upload your own video (in your suit) and tag it #WhatIModel & #LoveYourSwimsuit for the chance to be featured here. Stay tuned all week for inspiring messages about body confidence and authenticity. #womenirl
Australian model, Robyn Lawley, who is also featured in the issue, followed suit. Lawley explained that she modelled creativity. “Because when I couldn’t find a swimsuit to fit me, I decided to design my own.. and design swimsuits for curvy girls.”
Hi everyone so @mj_day the amazing @si_swimsuit editor who has changed the game so much!! Wants you and I to post a video free from retouching, fake tan, makeup and hair. The amazing peeps at @womenirl want to know what you model for? I model creativity and also authenticity ! I did my video with my little munchkin Ripley. Life’s too short to always worry about how you look! Love who you are today!! #WhatIModel #loveyourbody #loveyourswimsuit ??⚡️✌️️? wearing @robynlawleyswimwear
In a world filled with retouched images, campaigns like this remind us to love our bodies just the way they are. It also highlights why representation is so important. When we see people who look like us embracing themselves, it makes it easier for us to accept our bodies no matter what shape or size.
Still struggling to love your body? Here’s how to love the body you’re in.