LIFESTYLE

These Women Are Making A Powerful Point About Body Diversity

'It's scary to get in a bathing suit and put it on the internet but f@ck it!'

20/02/2017 08:07 SAST | Updated 20/02/2017 08:11 SAST
jennmaitland/Instagram
A different kind of model selfie.

In case you missed it, the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue debuted this week ticketing itself as its most diverse edition yet, but perhaps what's even more notable is the buzz unfolding on social media from models, mums and everyday women embracing their bodies, filter-free.

Australian model Robyn Lawley who features in the issue was one of the first to promote the 'What I Model' campaign, which according to Sports Illustrated editor MJ Day is about celebrating beauty in all its forms while asking women what they model in life.

Hi everyone so @mj_day the amazing @si_swimsuit editor who has changed the game so much!! Wants you and I to post a video free from retouching, fake tan, makeup and hair. The amazing peeps at @womenirl want to know what you model for? I model creativity and also authenticity ! I did my video with my little munchkin Ripley. Life's too short to always worry about how you look! Love who you are today!! #WhatIModel #loveyourbody #loveyourswimsuit 😘🤘⚡️✌️️🍃 wearing @robynlawleyswimwear

A post shared by Robyn Lawley (@robynlawley) on

Suited up and holding daughter Ripley, Lawley explained she models creativity.

"Because when I couldn't find a swimsuit to fit me, I decided to design my own.. and design swimsuits for curvy girls," the 27-year-old said.

Day, who has produced the annual swim edition for the past 19 years launched the campaign on Thursday by posting a message with her two-year-old son to her personal Instagram account.

"I model determination," she explained.

"I'm determined to get out the message that there's not a singular definition of beauty," Day said.

Deep.Breath. If I'm going to talk the talk I am going to walk the walk. Please consider participating. It was equally terrifying and liberating for me. Funny how I have spent my life on a beach since childhood and I have never truly felt comfortable in a swimsuit. Even at my thinnest. We need to love ourselves in the present. No matter what. I invite you all to do so. 😱🙏🏻❤#50shadesoftan Repost @womenirl with @repostapp ・・・ Introducing the #WhatIModel campaign, a partnership with @SI_Swimsuit and @healthmagazine. This year's Sport's Illustrated Swimsuit issue is the most inclusive ever and features women of various ages, backgrounds and body types. We're celebrating this vision of beauty and confidence on our feed... in our swimsuits. Because you should feel beautiful no matter what you wear, and we're ready to love our swimsuits again. Meet @mj_day, the editor of SI Swimsuit, and find out what *she* models. Then, upload your own video (in your suit) and tag it #WhatIModel & #LoveYourSwimsuit for the chance to be featured here. Stay tuned all week for inspiring messages about body confidence and authenticity. #womenirl

A post shared by MJ Day (@mj_day) on

Other women supporting the campaign include models Nina Agdal, Rose Bertram and Jennifer Maitland.

"It's scary to get in a bathing suit and put it on the internet but F@ck it!," Maitland wrote.

For a magazine that's typically filled with beautiful re-touched models and athletes with little to no body fat, this comes as a breath of fresh air.

Here's hoping the rest of the industry takes note and that it won't be the annual issue alone that we see this kind of representation in the pages of Sports Illustrated.