After spending almost 20 years around buxom bikini babes posing on the beach, Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue editor MJ Day courageously posted an Instagram video of herself posing in a black two-piece swimsuit.
The magazine is celebrating women of all sizes and ages this year and Day is using her platform to encourage women to love their bodies despite their insecurities.
Click through to see Day's inspiring post!
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
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Day posted the video as part of @WomenIRL's #WhatIModel campaign.
“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,” Day wrote alongside her bikini video. “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.”
“This year’s issue will showcase the widest diversity of women in SI history,” she explained. “Women of all ages, and shapes, and from many different backgrounds. We want to celebrate strength, beauty, and more, so we want to know: What do you model? So I’ll kick us off. I model determination. I’m determined to get out the message that there is not a singular definition of beauty.”
Day's post comes at a time when the magazine's swimsuit issue is making major strides in the body positive world. Click "next" to see the other strong ladies making SI a space for celebration.
This is a surreal moment for me. You guys I have been bursting to tell you all about this! I want to thank @MJ_Day for an opportunity like this to do the SI model search and for being a force in this industry and everyone at @si_swimsuit for promoting that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Beauty is not a number. It has no limits. I have never felt sexier than I did in this shoot. Thank you to @joannegair and team @therealmarissajade and @trendytribals for working your magic on my body. These women painted this suit for 12 hours and I never wanted to take it off. Women, for anyone who has ever felt uncomfortable or insecure because of rolls, or stretch marks, or cellulite, or acne, or felt like you didn't measure up because you weren't represented in the magazines--THIS IS FOR YOU! You are beautiful. You are STRONG. You are powerful and together we need to lift eachother up and inspire one another. There's too much going on on this world to let eachother fall by the wayside. Shot by another incredible woman- @josie_clough amazing sexy beach hair by @adammaclay thank you to my agents @uralucky1 @marissamuscari @ginabaronedirectorofficial @jaimegoldberg_ @wilhelminamodels for being such hard working and dedicated team! We did it ! ? #breakingboundaries #siswim
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Meet Hunter McGrady, one of Sports Illustrated's curviest models yet, who posed for the swimsuit issue wearing nothing but body paint.
McGrady thanked Day on Instagram.
“This is a surreal moment for me,” McGrady, 23, wrote. "I want to thank @MJ_Day for an opportunity like this and for being a force in this industry and everyone at @si_swimsuit for promoting that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.”
Yes! I am excited to announce that I am back in @si_swimsuit ..I figured with my gorgeous daughters @alexarayjoel and @sailorbrinkleycook by my side whose going to be looking at me! Oh and My kids think I walk on water, so let's not mention the apple box concealed just under the surface. For a preview check out @people.com ..and thank you Sports Illustrated for sending the powerful message that good things come in packages of every size and we do not come with an expiration date! ??psI can’t wait to see everyone at VIBES on Feb 17th and 18th in Houston! #proudmomhere! #vibes
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Not only is SI embracing women of different sizes, but different ages as well. Supermodel Christie Brinkley went back to her roots and posed for the mag — at 63 years old.
Brinkley says knowing her two daughters would be posing alongside her gave her the nerve to get back in front of the camera in a swimsuit.
Olympic gymnasts Simone Biles and Aly Raisman also graced the pages of the swimsuit issue. This inclusion of strong, professional athletes is a change of pace for the mag, who usually strictly features supermodels.
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If all that wasn't enough for you, Chrissy Teigen is featured in the magazine as well, showing off her postpartum body for the first time.
“It’s been awhile since I’ve done anything swimsuit,” the 31-year-old said in a special behind-the-scenes clip. “I haven’t shot since baby. But of course you know that… everyone at Sports Illustrated in general is going to embrace your body no matter what’s happening and embrace the changes.”
“As a mother it’s nice to be able to be back in your element and it’s important to my well-being that I come out and I’m able to do this and do something I’m proud of,” she said.
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And we can't forget about Ashley Graham! The plus-size model who graced SI's swimsuit cover last year is back — this time in a spread for Swimsuits For All, a stylish swim line that offers a diverse array of sizes.
With body-positive plus size model Ashley Graham as the face of the beautiful Puerto Rico photo shoot, the campaign actually features non-models sporting Swimsuits For All merch, the first time Sports Illustrated has featured everyday ladies in swimwear.
Even (three-time) cover girl Kate Upton is excited about the new body positive direction the magazine is taking, saying she underwent a bit of a transformation herself.
"The brand represents, to me, confident, beautiful, sexy women," Upton said. "For Sports Illustrated to be just as passionate as I am to embrace all body types and all different people and all different types of women is really special to me and one of the reasons I’m so excited to be a part of this issue."