Sports Illustrated (SI) has found a way to advance their new agenda even further, trumpeting the new cover model for their swimsuit issue because she shows the c-section scar just above her pelvic area.
On Wednesday, SI chortled, “We are proud to partner with @fridamom to celebrate all moms who bare C-Section scars by featuring @kellyhues in #SISwim22- the FIRST woman to expose her C-Section scar in magazine’s history!”
“I am speechless and so honored to be in @si_swimsuit2022 as the FIRST woman to expose her c-section scar in magazines history!” cover model Kelly Hughes wrote on Instagram, “This partnership with @fridamom #paywithchange partnership to normalize and embrace the changes with a woman’s body especially when becoming a mom is so amazing to be a part of.”
“I struggled with insecurities from my scar being that I’m a model and my incredibly difficult recovery but it wasn’t until I ‘embraced my scar that I experienced the true power in it,’” she added.
“Hughes’s feature is the result of the magazine’s partnership with Frida Mom, which joined Sports Illustrated Swimsuit‘s #PayWithChange initiative aimed at creating a more empowering and inclusive future for women,” Yahoo News reported.
Frida Mom posted the photo of Hughes on Instagram, adding, “We’ve partnered with @si_swimsuit to feature a model showing her C-Section Scar – for the first. time. ever. To @kellyhues & all the C-Section moms, wear that scar with pride. It’s proof you’re strong as a mother.”
The featuring of a model baring a c-section scar fits with the trends of the body positivity movement. For example, in 2018, morbidly obese model Tess Holliday was featured on the cover of Cosmopolitan U.K., and in 2021, the magazine published an article, titled “11 women who prove wellness isn’t ‘one size fits all.’” The cover promoted an overweight woman with the caption, “This is healthy!”
In January, SI announced their swimsuit issue would only accept advertising from brands for the swimsuit issue “who are helping drive gender equality forward.”
“All brands who prove they are creating change for women will be certified as a Changemaker, which is defined as a brand who has made, is making and will make progress for women by May 2022 when the annual SI Swimsuit Issue hits stands,” Sports Illustrated boasted, as reported by Outkick.
Brands would be “vetted on a case-by-case basis by the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit team. The bottom line is that they need to show they are making change for women,” a public relations exec who worked with SI told Marketing Brew.
Hillary Drezner, general manager at Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, said this “might take the form of an internal commitment to pay equity for female employees or an external commitment to challenging the status quo of what it means to be a woman by representing a more diverse range of women in marketing and advertising initiatives.”
The 2021 SI Swimsuit Issue featured a trans cover model.