From Rio de Janeiro's Olympic podium to the Michigan courtroom of Judge Rosemarie Aquilina, gymnast Aly Raisman has made a habit of uplifting and empowering young women everywhere — a trend that continued this week on the pages of Sports Illustrated.
As part of the glossy's "In Her Own Words" project for its annual Swimsuit Issue, the 23-year-old athlete posed nude to remind everyone that "women do not have to be modest in order to be respected."
"Everyone should feel comfortable expressing themselves however makes them happy," Raisman wrote on Instagram, sharing a photo of herself in which the words "survivor" and "fierce" are written on her body.
"Women can be intelligent, fierce, sexy, powerful, strong, advocate for change while wearing what makes them feel best," she continued. "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."
Raisman's participation in SI's powerful (and unedited!) project comes on the heels of her viral testimony against Larry Nassar at the disgraced former USA Gymnastics doctor's January sexual assault trial, where she asserted: "I am no longer a victim, I am a survivor."
With the help of an all-women crew, photographer Taylor Ballantyne shot nearly a dozen women for SI's "In Her Own Words" spread. The project is meant to serve as a "platform that allows the voice, the strength and the passion of these women to be expressed in the rawest form … with all the artistic and creative control left to them," editor MJ Day wrote.
"With a stripped-down studio and team of all females, we handed over the control to the women who are our brand," Day continued. "We believed in, supported and encouraged them to become a canvas and share their truth."
Scroll through the gallery to see more photos from the powerful shoot. (Note: Some images are NSFW.)