HOURS after Sports Illustrated unveiled 2018’s class of swimsuit-clad beauties, former ESPN reporter Britt McHenry took aim at the publication over its idea of empowerment in the #MeToo era.
“Why does a woman have to pose nude to feel ’empowered’? Isn’t it more empowering to keep your clothes on, go into an office or classroom like everyone else and excel? #SISwimSuit desperately wanting to compete with IG models with gimmicks,” the conservative personality tweeted Tuesday morning.
“For me to respect women more, maybe women shouldn’t take all their clothes off in the guise of pushing #MeToo,” McHenry, 31, continued.
A short time later, Instagram sensation and swimsuit newbie Paige Spiranac, 24, replied to McHenry’s remarks.
“Different women feel empowered in different ways and it’s not right to tell someone what they can and cannot do,” the golfer wrote. “It’s more about the person you are and not the clothes you decide or not decide to wear. My body, my choice.”
Though McHenry agreed with Spiranac — that she should make her own decisions about her own body — she had a “but.”
“But posing nude is a way to ascertain empowerment through vanity. I don’t think, and this goes for both genders, it’s the best way to receive reciprocal respect or empowerment. Just my opinion though,” McHenry noted.
Closing her case, Spiranac dropped the mic.
McHenry, mic still in hand, continued well after Spiranac’s silence, even taking aim at the golfer’s professional struggles.
“Ok, but you’ve literally cried at press conferences about how you’re not taken seriously in golf. Anyone can pose naked, and yet this is your response to a civil discussion. You’re both beautiful … and attention-seeking,” she tweeted to Spiranac.
McHenry, who has often appeared on Fox News as an analyst since her ESPN lay-off, said she had previously modelled, but was above losing her clothes.
“I was former model with Wilhelmina. Wouldn’t even entertain anything nude. I have no desire to be in Sports illustrated seeing as I have a career already, one where I don’t need to pose nude,” McHenry wrote.
This was such a hard secret to keep! But I’m so honored and humbled to be included in #SISwim 2018! This issue is about self-love, empowering women, body positivity, and encouraging everyone to be kind. Women face so much pressure every. single. day. to look, act, and talk a certain way, and it is so difficult trying to figure out what you “can” and “should” be. It’s taken a long time, but I’m proud of my body! I’m proud of who I am! I’m proud that I can be strong, smart, AND sexy! SI Swim embraces ALL women, no matter what, and just wants them to feel loved. You should feel loved and powerful and unapologetically YOU! And don’t let ANYONE tell you that you’re not perfect just the way you are. Thank you to @mj_day and the whole team for believing in me and letting me share my story. You’ve changed my outlook on life and let me know it’s okay to love my body❤️ #siswim