“I model because it makes me feel happy, strong, feminine, and beautiful,” the six-time Olympic medalist says in the video, which filled in the blank, “I model _____.”
The magazine teamed up with the Instagram account @womenirl and Health.com for the campaign.
“I think it’s such an empowering feeling to be at a photo shoot and to know that your body’s not perfect, that you have insecurities just like everyone else,” Raisman, a 22-year-old Needham native, continued, “but you’re still having so much fun because you know you’re unique and beautiful in your own way.”
— SI Swimsuit (@SI_Swimsuit) February 16, 2017
“I also model because when I was younger I used to get made fun of by the boys in my class,” she said. “They told me that I was too strong, that I looked manly, and that I was anorexic and looked like I was on steroids. Of course, that really bothered me, and I used to hate the way that I looked, which, looking back, it makes me feel really sad. But that’s why I’m so proud to be in the SI Swim 2017 issue because at 22 years old I feel strong and beautiful in my own way and there is no perfect body type.”
Raisman discussed similar feelings in a behind-the-scences video of her photo shoot, which Sports Illustrated Swimsuit posted to YouTube Thursday.
Confident, comfortable, beautiful. This is Aly Raisman! pic.twitter.com/WvGxd2ILAr
— SI Swimsuit (@SI_Swimsuit) February 17, 2017