Aly Raisman Posed Nude for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue
"Women do not have to be modest to be respected."
Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman has long been using her voice to help inspire and empower women around the world. She's become an influential advocate for body positivity and sexual assault awareness. She recently opened up about being sexually abused by Team USA doctor Larry Nassar, who has since been sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for his crimes against young girls.
Now, Aly joins Sports Illustrated Swim's new campaign dubbed "In Her Own Words," posing with nothing but powerful phrases, like "fierce," "survivor," and "trust" written all over her body. Models Paulina Porizkova, Robyn Lawley, and Sailor Brinkley Cook were also a part of the campaign.
"Going through a hard time does not define you," Raisman told SI Swim in an interview. "I hope that we can one day get to a point where everyone realizes that women do not have to be modest to be respected. We are free to draw confidence and happiness in our own way, and it is never for someone else to choose for us or to even judge us for that matter." (Related: How Modeling Helps Aly Raisman Embrace Her Body)
She added that being a part of a powerful campaign like this is a reminder that everyone going through a difficult time has the power to overcome it.
"For me, 'In Her Own Words' serves as a reminder that we are all humans, we are all battling something, and it is okay to not be okay," she shared. "We are not alone and we need each other."
She also posted an Instagram photo with the words "Women do not have to be modest to be respected" written across her body. "Everyone should feel comfortable expressing themselves however makes them happy," she wrote alongside the picture. "Women can be intelligent, fierce, sexy, powerful, strong, advocate for change while wearing what makes them feel best. The time where women are taught to be ashamed of their bodies is OVER. The female body is beautiful and we should all be proud of who we are, inside and out."