Six-time Olympic medal winner Aly Raisman was praised last month for her personal testimony against the abusive coach Larry Nassar. Now she is using her public position to become an ambassdor for the empowerment of women.
The gold medal-winning gymnast, 23, has joined clothing brand Aerie to star in its un-retouched modelling campaign. “We’ve all been through something that, in the end, will make you a stronger person,” Raisman says in a press release for the #AerieReal ad campaign.
She is also using her body to project positive messages in the upcoming Sport's Illustrated "In Her Own Words" campaign. Here Raisman poses nude, her body branded with the legends “trust yourself,” “live for you,” and “abuse is never okay”.
“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 told Sports Illustrated Swim. “I hope that we can one day get to a point where everyone realizes 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.”
Women do not have to be modest to be respected-- Live for you! Everyone should feel comfortable expressing themselves however makes them happy. Women can be intelligent, fierce, sexy, powerful, strong, advocate for change while wearing what makes them feel best. The time where women are taught to be ashamed of their bodies is OVER. The female body is beautiful and we should all be proud of who we are, inside and out. Thank you so much @si_swimsuit @mj_day @darciebaum @ja_neyney @taylorbphoto & the rest of the team.
Raisman has said of the abuse she experienced at hands of former USA gymnastics doctor, Nassar: “You never really want to say, ‘I was sexually abused,’ but you have to process it. You can’t push it aside forever, which is what I did for a long time".
“Imagine feeling like you have no power and no voice. Well you know what? I have both power and voice and I am only beginning to just use them."