For years, the stereotype of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition was that it objectified women and their bodies for the pleasure of the magazine’s male audience. But that’s not how Olivia Dunne sees it anymore.
LSU Tigers superstar gymnast Olivia Dunne became the first college athlete to pose for SI Swimsuit this year. And while she is certainly showing off her body, she sees the modern-day version of the magazine as empowering and positive to women rather than objectifying and negative.
“The way that the [SI Swimsuit] brand has evolved and has become such a positive spotlight for women to tell their stories and to spread awesome messages of being strong, sexy and beautiful, I knew that was something I wanted to be part of,” Dunne told SI.
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Dunne explains that she was excited to do the shoot with SI Swimsuit because she felt like it celebrated women.
“I just feel like our visions and core values really align, so it just felt like a perfect fit,” Dunne says. “The magazine is all about celebrating women and making them feel strong and confident, which I love.”
While Dunne is no stranger to posing in a bikini as she posts plenty of photos in swimsuits on her social media accounts, this was her first time modeling for a professional swimsuit shoot. And she says she felt comfortable and confident the entire time.
“That’s something that’s really important, that a brand makes you feel comfortable, confident, and that you feel like you’re the best version of yourself,” she says. “And that’s definitely what SI [Swimsuit] made me feel like. I felt like a better person leaving that shoot.”