The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue was first released in 1964, and since then we've seen countless supermodels don bikinis to pose for the camera.
We've seen the likes of Ashley Graham, Ronda Rousy, Tyra Banks, and Chrissy Teigen show up for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. The magazine has made efforts to be more "inclusive" in the past. Last year, they even included a man in the spread who goes by the name Leyna Bloom. SI has also had its fair share of plus-size, visibly obese models in the name of body positivity. But the 2022 edition serves a real serving of body positivity, and it's a delight to see.
A Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Posed with Her C-Section Scar Visible for the First Time Ever
Kelly Hughes is a mother and model who has collaborated with SI before, but she's doing something very different with the brand this time. SI's Swimsuit Issue has developed a Pay With Change initiative that aims to change the way our culture talks about women's bodies. That's where Kelly comes in.
She posed for SI in a bikini with her C-section scar showing on her lower abdomen. In one of the photos she's wearing a pink bikini with her blonde waves cascading down her shoulders. It's refreshing to see a confident, beautiful woman unafraid to show the scar that allowed her to become a mother.
“This photo is so much more than just a photo to me,” Kelly told Glamour. “There is an incredible shift happening in our society today with inclusivity and to be empowered by our imperfections. To be given this opportunity while showing my C-section scar for the first time ever represents more than any photo I’ve ever taken.”
Chelsea Hirschhorn is the founder of Frida Mom, a company that sells various items for babies and mothers during the post-partum phase of parenthood. She worked with SI to create the Pay With Change initiative, and she says the goal of this unprecedented photo was “to authentically show the beauty of motherhood and make women who’ve gone through a C-section feel proud of the way they brought a baby into the world – no matter which way – and to normalize conversation around all postpartum recoveries and bodies.”
The term body positivity is thrown around flippantly these days, and it's been hijacked by radical feminists to promote unhealthy lifestyles, promiscuity, and obesity. Originally, the body positivity movement sought to promote the very kind of photo that Kelly took for SI: women embracing their natural, healthy bodies rather than attempting to conform to the size 0 supermodel and exclusively promoting one body type that is unattainable for the majority of women. This is the kind of body positivity that is healthy for women to see, and it's the kind of body positivity that we should strive for.
Kelly seems like the perfect model to embody this body positive message. Her Instagram is full of photos in which she embraces her natural body and her role of mother.