It’s been a difficult year for six-time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman.
The 23-year-old recently testified against U.S. gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar, who was sentenced to 175 years in prison last month after he was found guilty of seven counts of criminal sexual conduct.
More than 150 women accused Nassar of abusing them, including Raisman and her former teammate Simone Biles.
And now, Raisman says she’s shifting her focus to promoting messages of empowerment. Which is why she stripped down for a recent issue of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue.Aly Raisman/Instagram
The 23-year-old posed nude in the popular magazine to promote a message about respect and modesty, according to Yahoo Lifestyle.
She shared the photo to her Instagram, along with the caption:
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.
Despite Raisman’s positive message, not everybody agreed with her delivery.
Many social media users slammed the Olympic gymnast for posing without any clothes on.Aly Raisman/Instagram
Readers even called the Olympian “shameful.” Some wrote:
Use your intelligence, not your body, to send a message.
It’s not about “gaining respect from anyone,” it’s about realizing your self worth and value, that is why you should have modesty, because you know that you have value and you won’t degrade yourself because of it.
I don’t need some naked woman to tell me that.
She has no message or my respect either.
Wowww! Put some clothes on!
However, many others jumped to the athlete’s defense and said critics were missing the point of her message entirely. One person wrote:
Actually, I think you missed the point. The idea is to change the perception that the way a woman dresses should not heavily factor in to her ability to do a job or be looked at with respect
Raisman has yet to respond to all the criticism. It seems she’s letting her photos do the talking for now.