Aly Raisman posed nude for the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue and showcased messages of empowerment across her body.
In the photos, the word "survivor" appears across Raisman's chest while the phrases "fierce," "live 4 you" and "every voice matters" are painted across her arms. The 23-year-old Olympian also bares the phrase "abuse is never OK" on the side of her torso and highlights the words "trust yourself" on her leg. Finally, the words "Women do not have to be modest to be respected" run all the way down her side.
"Women do not have to be modest to be respected," Raisman told the magazine. "I believe that women (or anyone) should be able to wear whatever makes them feel comfortable and happy. Our society puts too much pressure on women and young girls to look 'perfect,' and we have to stop doing that. I'm proud that SI Swim is using women of all shapes and sizes with various backgrounds. Each woman in the issue has her own unique story, and I am honored to be a part of it."
U.S. & World
The photos come almost a month after Raisman read a powerful victim-impact statement during the sentencing of former USA Gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar. Nassar was sentenced to 40 to 175 years in prison in both Eaton County and Ingham County for sexual abuse. He also received 60 years in prison for child pornography charges. Raisman accused Nassar of sexual abuse in November and has continued to be a voice for survivors.
During her interview with SI Swimsuit, the three-time gold medalist said she hopes her voice will drive change for future generations.
"I take the responsibility [to be a role model] very seriously," she said. "I am proud to be considered a role model, and I hope that by using my voice, I can help create change for future generations. Everyone deserves to feel safe and heard. We must listen to those that speak up and offer our help."
The photos are part of SI Swimsuit's "In Her Own Words" project. According to the magazine, the initiative was created "to deliver a message of empowerment, beauty, confidence and self-acceptance." Sailor Brinkley Cook and Paulina Porizkova also posed nude for the project, and all of the models chose which words were featured on their body
While Raisman said she was "a little nervous" about the shoot in the beginning, she said the all-female crew, her family and her friends were supportive.
This is the second time Raisman has appeared in the SI Swimsuit issue. She also posed in last year's edition along with her fellow gymnast Simone Biles. However, Raisman said this year's appearance is different.
"This year has an extra special meaning to me," she said, "because it's such an incredible time for women and everyone should feel as though they can express themselves however they want."
To read Raisman's full interview, visit SI.com/Swimsuit or check out the issue on newsstands now.