Kelly Hughes showed off her cesarean section (or C-section) scar in a first-ever for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit–and she doesn’t care what you think about it.
The 42-year-old, who is the first model to ever show off her C-section scar for SI Swim, spoke with Fox News Digital about the history-making campaign and how she has dealt with the negative comments that have been thrown her way.
Interviewers asked Hughes what she thought about people who say things like: “SI Swimsuit is a magazine of women in bikinis. Do we really need to see this [in reference to her scar]?”
She eloquently responded with: “The truth is, there will always be people out there who want to dim your light…All I can say is I don’t understand how someone can make negative comments, especially on someone’s social media posts. There’s no need for it. You don’t gain anything from that.”
She also explained that, for the most, part the feedback has been positive.
“About 99% of people that reached out to me have been supportive. Even the press I received after my photo went viral was supportive. Sure, sometimes people like to make their comments – it is Instagram – but I’ve gotten an overwhelming number of positive comments from both men and women.”
She then went on to describe how many women shared their experiences of dealing with insecurities related to their scars with her, and how many claimed to “go out of their way to not show the scar because they’re insecure about it.”
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Hughes said she believes that what has become a controversial photo to some “proves that something like this was needed, this is about representation.”
“Now, Sports Illustrated is having that conversation. It was so needed. You shouldn’t need to accommodate everyone else just so they can feel better. You’re so much more than any negative comment someone may have to say.”
To Hughes, the positive comments and effects greatly outweigh any generic or inconsequential criticisms on social media.
Summing up her feelings about embracing her c-section scar and being unafraid to show it off, Hughes said: “I hope that when people see my photo, they’ll feel encouraged to embrace themselves and give themselves grace. I look at my scar now, and I’m proud of what I went through.”