Aly Raisman is used to being in the spotlight when it's time to compete, but the athlete is just beginning to find her place in the life of a celebrity. As part of that journey, the gold medal gymnast has had to deal with the insecurities that a life in the public eye brings up and she is not afraid to talk about her own journey to self acceptance.
Surprisingly, the fierce female athlete told Teigen, "I used to be so insecure."
Click through to find out how Raisman overcame her insecurities and what it is like to be in front of the cameras and on the pages of one of the biggest "body" publications.
WOWWW what an honor to be featured in @si_swimsuit 2017. THANK YOU to @mj_day & the SI team for including me in this issue. I'm very proud of my body and how hard I have worked to look like this. I of course like everyone else have my days where I feel insecure and not at my best. BUT I think it is that much more important we love our bodies and support each other. It is 2017 and there is NO perfect or ideal body type. SI SWIM celebrates women for being unique and beautiful in our own way which is why I am so happy to be a part of it. THANK YOU @jamesmacari ?
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"I'm very proud of my body and how hard I have worked to look like this," Raisman wrote when she first announced that she'd be appearing in the spread. "I of course like everyone else have my days where I feel insecure and not at my best. BUT I think it is that much more important we love our bodies and support each other."
She continues to talk about her own insecurities and campaign for body positivity in the hopes of changing how people think about women's bodies.
“You brought home some medals for us. We owe a lot to you, and now you’ve been kind enough to grace us with that amazing a--,” Teigen asked the athlete during a conversation at the SI Swimfest in Houston. “You look incredible in the magazine, like absolutely bonkers, strong, confident, beautiful, amazing woman.”
However, despite all of those undeniable traits, Raisman has something in common with every woman. She too has had doubts about her body.
The six-time Olympic medalist responded, “[You] surprise yourself how comfortable you are when you’re shooting. It was one of my favorite days of my life — I’m not just saying that — because I felt so confident, so strong, so feminine, and it’s an incredible feeling, because I feel like a couple of years ago I wouldn’t have had the confidence to do it.”
Raisman, who is now 22, says she didn't have that same confidence growing up.
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“It’s so empowering to be out there and just, you have insecurities just like everyone else, your body’s not perfect, but you feel confident and beautiful," she continued.
Shocked, Teigen asked her to clarify how someone whose athleticism has brought home multiple medals for Team U.S.A and landed her a place in SI could still be insecure.
“I used to be so insecure, I thought my arms were too muscular, but now I’m growing to like them,” Raisman admitted.
The fact that a woman who competes on the world stage would have body insecurities is exactly the reason the magazine's swimsuit editor, MJ Day, believes in the mission of the magazine.
“This is the point. Everyone thinks that because you’re an elite athlete, because you’re an enormous celebrity, superstar model, that your world is perfect, and that you think everything about yourself is perfect,” Day says.
“It doesn’t matter if you look like you, or you, or me, we all have our issues, and the world should know that. We should love everything that we’re given.”
Click on to watch their entire interview. It's definitely food for thought!