ALY Raisman has nothing to hide.
Weeks after testifying against disgraced former doctor Larry Nassar, the 23-year-old gymnast is taking part in Sport Illustrated’s annual Swimsuit issue for the second year in a row.
Unlike last year’s edition, Raisman is posing nude this time around, with phrases “trust yourself,” “live for you” and “abuse is never okay” inked on her body.
“I would like to remind everyone that being a survivor is nothing to be ashamed of, and going through a hard time does not define you,” Raisman said, via People.
“I hope that we can one day get to a point where everyone realises that women do not have to be modest to be respected. We are free to draw confidence and happiness in our own way, and it is never for someone else to choose for us or to even judge us for that matter.”
A champion for fellow abuse victims, Raisman joins models Sailor Brinkley Cook and Olivia Culpo, among others, in SI TV’s new project, “In Her Own Words.”
“For me, ‘In Her Own Words’ serves as a reminder that we are all humans, we are all battling something, and it is OK to not be OK,” Raisman said.
Recounting her troubling tale of abuse in a Michigan courthouse last month, Raisman laid into Nassar, 54, who was ultimately sentenced to 40 to 175 years in state prison in that trial.
“I am here to face you, Larry, so you can see I’ve regained my strength, that I’m no longer a victim,” Raisman said. “I am a survivor.”
Though Raisman said, “You lose part of yourself when you’re abused,” she has found her voice and isn’t afraid to use it.
“I think everyone goes through really hard times and I’ve decided to be so honest about what I went through because the tough times are very hard to talk about, and they are uncomfortable, but they are equally as important into shaping us,” Raisman said.