"Women Do Not Have to Be Modest to Be Respected"—Aly Raisman on Posing Nude
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There's no doubt that Aly Raisman embodies strength in every sense of the word. She's a two-time U.S. Olympic gymnast with six medals to prove it, and she's recently been incredibly outspoken about her personal experiences with sexual abuse. Most recently, Raisman proudly posed nude wearing only words of empowerment on her body in the US 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.
As part of the In Her Own Words project, the magazine offers a platform for women to express themselves by choosing words that mean something to them and proudly displaying them on their bodies for a powerful photo op. For Raisman, those words were "survivor," "every voice matters," and "women do not have to be modest to be respected."
"Women do not have to be modest to be respected. I believe that women (or anyone) should be able to wear whatever makes them feel comfortable and happy. … Each woman in the issue has her own unique story, and I am honored to be a part of it," Raisman told the mag.
The issue comes less than a month after Raisman, along with dozens of other survivors, read moving statements during the sentencing of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. Since first accusing Nassar of sexual abuse in November, Raisman has used her platform to give a strong voice to survivors everywhere.
"I believe that everyone is a survivor of something. … I encourage anyone out there to remember that you deserve to feel safe, everyone has a story, and everyone deserves to be heard," says Raisman, who now sees herself as a role model for future generations.
Take a look at a few of the compelling photos from her latest Sports Illustrated shoot below.