Sports Illustrated has entered the #Metoo bandwagon including in this year’s swimsuit issue a shoot titled “In her own words”, where models appear naked with their body covered only with painted words.
The concept of the shoot is to celebrate women who have spoken out against abuse of any kind by portraying them “speaking” with their bodies. The shoot was commissioned by editor M. J. Day (2018 is her fourth year editing the Swimsuit Issue) and was photographed by Taylor Ballantyne with an all-female crew.
It’s the first time in the Swimsuit Issue’s fifty-plus year history that a woman has helmed one of its shoots.
I am a fighter. I am strong. I am romantic. I am creative. I am optimistic. I am natural. I am a work in progress, constantly evolving and learning. Thank you so much to one of my best friends and inspirations @taylorbphoto for including me in a project so impactful and close to both our hearts. @robynlawley on video, @marymguthrie @campbellritchie on makeup, me on BTS photos, and all these incredible women as the subjects standing in their truths and embracing who they are or might come to be. SPORTS ILLUSTRATED BODY PAINT 2018, IN HER OWN WORDS. Thank you @mj_day @si_swimsuit im so proud of you, Tay. You did it.
The project depicts models and athletes in black and white, posing nude in a white background. Each woman personally picked the words that are written over their bodies.
Model Robyn Lawley for example, was has the word “Lover” written down her chest, and “Human” just above her pubis. Sailor Brinkley Cook, daughter of famed supermodel of the 80’s and 90’s Christie Brinkley chose “NATURAL” along her bare butt.
The shoot has received some backlash on social media, some calling out the contradiction of speaking in favor of women’s rights while objectifying them at the same time. Others have criticized it for being unimaginative, comparing it to the prank of writing over a wasted party friend.
I am WORTHY, I am FEARLESS, I have CONFIDENCE, I am BOUNDLESS, I am RESILIENT, I am POWERFUL, I am ALL ME. I am no longer bound by the chains that society has put on me to fit a certain mold that has been so confining and brainwashing. Thank You @si_swimsuit @mj_day for taking on the “In Her Own Words” Project and @taylorbphoto for creating it. You continue to break the glass ceiling in a world that is so very afraid to do so.
The project featured Olympian gymnast Aly Raisman, who just last month testified in the Larry Nassar case, helping expose the abuse that she and her fellow teammates endured for years from the former USA Gymnastics doctor.
“I believe that everyone is a survivor of something. Often times, we feel pressure to keep things in, and being a part of the social media age, we sometimes want to act like everything is perfect. I want to help change the conversation where we encourage people to trust themselves and use their voice. I encourage anyone out there to remember that you deserve to feel safe, everyone has a story, and everyone deserves to be heard.” she said to Sports Illustrated.
Aside Raisman and Brinkley Cook, the “In her own words” project also featured models Paulina Porizkova and Hunter McGrady.