Aly Raisman sends message: "You can still be powerful. You can still have a voice. You can still advocate for change."

By Andy Gray
February 14, 2018

Aly Raisman has a message to all the critics of her SI Swimsuit photos: "I’m proud of my body."

Speaking on SINow, the Olympic gold-medalist addressed criticism over the "In Her Own Words" project she participated in as part of the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. 

"I put a lot of thought into the words I put on my body, where I wanted to place them," Aly said. "I truly believe it sends a really important message that women don’t have to be modest to be respected. This year is extra special for me because I want people to understand you can be sexy. You can wear whatever you want. You can still be powerful. You can still have a voice. You can still advocate for change. You can still be a good person. You can still be respected. No matter what you’re wearing. A lot of people are supportive of that but there are still people who don’t understand that and I think it’s important to further the conversation and talk about it. So hopefully we can get to a point where everyone understands that abuse is never okay, which is also something I put on my body."

James Macari

Though Aly went through an ordeal worse than most can imagine, she knows everyone has their own struggles.

"Everyone is a survivor of something," she said. "We’ve all been through something really tough. We’ve all been through something traumatic. Our society is one of those where it’s hard to talk about uncomfortable things and and we live in the social media world where everyone wants their life to seem perfect. Every day I cope with this differently but you think the more we talk about it the more we can help each other out. But I don't want anyone to be afraid to come forward like I and so many others were."

Well put, Aly. Very well put.

Go behind-the-scenes as the women of SI Swimsuit become their own canvases through the exclusive show In Her Own Words on SI TV. It's raw, it's real, it's empowering.

BONUS: See Aly Raisman's 'In Her Own Words' Photos


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