American Olympic snowboard gold medalist Brenna Huckaby has become the first Paralympian to be featured in Sport Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition and is hoping the opportunity helps to empower more women to feel comfortable in their own skin. Brenna, a cancer survivor, had confidence issues about her body growing up but once she became a mother she gained a new perspective:
I haven’t always been comfortable with my body. When I was a teenager I would wear shorts with my swimsuit every time. I would rarely take my prosthetic off in front of other people. I was afraid of what people would think of me because I didn’t think very highly of myself. It wasn’t until I had my daughter that I realized my body was more than an object. That was the moment I knew my body was a tool, a strong and forceful tool that takes me from experience to experience. Once I realized this I finally loved my body.
I hope women feel empowered by it. Everyone should feel sexy. It doesn’t matter what your body looks like, when you feel good in your skin it shows. Let me tell you, there is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t feel good in your own skin!
Today is international women’s day. I didn’t have the words to describe what I wanted to say until today. I want to be the strong, empowering woman I see on TV, in offices, or on podiums. I want to inspire young women to stand up for themselves and what they believe. Lemme be real for a second. It wasn’t until this year I figured out the type of person I wanted to be. A few months ago I found my voice and I made the changes to surround myself with people who I believe create true good. Last night I felt bullied, embarrassed, and humiliated. I felt small and I didn’t feel able to stand up for myself. Consequently, I felt like I let my followers and whoever else that has felt anything from me down. But then I began reflecting, I am human, I am still strong, and I am able to type here CONFIDENT that will never happen to me again. I will not sit through feeling small. I will hold my head up high and not accept this treatment from any man or woman. And that is what I want you to do. I want you to learn from mistakes/experiences and not let them go repeated. YOU are STRONG. YOU are POWERFUL. YOU have a VOICE. And YOU are a FORCE. So next time you start to feel belittled by someone tell yourself these words and don’t back down. #InternationalWomensDay @si_swimsuit @jamesmacari
Congratulations to Brenna on bringing home the gold and being featured in the 2018 Swimsuit Edition which is out on newsstands now. You can read more about Brenna’s story and see all the pictures from her photo shoot in Aruba at SI.com.