There's much to applaud in this year's Swimsuit Edition of Sports Illustrated. By heavily featuring full-figured beauties like Ashley Graham (seen above), Hunter McGrady, Robyn Lawley, and Myla Dalbesio, the mag is leading the charge for change in an industry that has paraded one unattainable body type as the ideal for far too long. Finally, we're reminded that curves aren't just something to be rightfully represented—they're gorgeous too.
And we owe a lot of that to MJ Day, the Director of the issue and ultimate champion of body acceptance. And while she could have let the issue just speak for itself, Day took to Instagram this week to share her own bikini photo—a much-needed reminder that we don't need models to represent our bodies, even if they happen to be diverse in shape and size.
"It was equally terrifying and liberating for me," she writes of her decision, which is part of a body acceptance campaign with @WomenIRL and Health.com that invites all women (of all ages and sizes) to share their own swimsuit photos. "Funny how I have spent my life on a beach since childhood, and I have never truly felt comfortable in a swimsuit… We need to love ourselves in the present. No matter what."
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
We highly encourage our readers to check out the @WomenIRL account, which is a wonderful and completely inclusive display of body diversity and acceptance. Scroll below to see a couple of the women featured on the account: model Nina Agdal and Julee Wilson, Fashion and Beauty Director at Essence.
Consider the feed your visual proof that our individuality is what makes us beautiful. And maybe you'll even feel inspired to share your own video!
Are there other inspiring Instagram accounts you'd like to share? Call them out in the comments below!