Kelly Hughes, the primary SI Swim mannequin to reveal her C-section scar, reacts to destructive feedback on social media

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Kelly Hughes made historical past this summer time when she turned the primary mannequin to reveal her cesarean-section scar for Sports activities Illustrated Swimsuit version within the journal’s 58-year historical past.

The outlet partnered with Frida Mother to boost consciousness of Pay With Change, an initiative aimed to “positively shift the mainstream cultural narratives related to ladies’s our bodies – particularly when turning into a mother.”

The proud mannequin and mother wore a nude-hued skimpy string bikini for the 2022 subject which options Kim Kardashian, Maye Musk, Ciara and Yumi Nu as this 12 months’s cowl women.

Mannequin Kelly Hughes delivered her now 3-year-old son by way of cesarean. 
(Fumi Hoppe/SI Swimsuit)

Hughes delivered her now 3-year-old son by way of cesarean. She joins Katrina Scott, 2021’s Rookie of the Yr, who was photographed when she was six and a half months pregnant, in addition to Hunter McGrady, who posed for the outlet six months postpartum.


After Hughes’ photograph went viral, the founder and designer of the jewellery model HÜES partnered with ESTAS Magnificence to start out the #ScarLoveChallenge on social media to unfold a sense of empowerment and alter the societal stigma round scars. The problem encourages individuals to reinterpret Hughes’ photograph displaying off their scars. Each time a #ScarLoveChallenge photograph is posted, ESTAS will donate $1 to World of Kids, serving to deprived youngsters across the globe.

Hughes spoke to Fox Information Digital concerning the struggles she endured throughout labor, the insecurities she confronted after giving delivery, in addition to how she now responds to destructive feedback on Instagram.

Kelly Hughes gave birth to her son in November 2018.

Kelly Hughes gave delivery to her son in November 2018.
(Courtesy of Kelly Hughes)

Fox Information: How did you become involved with SI Swimsuit?
Kelly Hughes: Certainly one of my buddies in New York, who can be a mannequin, noticed that they had been in search of a woman with a C-section scar, they usually had been capturing within the Florida Keys, which is near me as I’m in Miami. I reached out to my company, they proposed me and that’s how I acquired the job. It’s so fantastic as a result of my good friend can be a mom. And with out her, I wouldn’t have gotten this chance. So it’s lovely to see one mom supporting one other mom.

Fox Information: Take us again to your shoot. What was that like?
Hughes: I had one million issues operating by means of my thoughts earlier than I even began capturing. I had by no means proven my scar earlier than. And I’ve been actually open with how I struggled with insecurities round my scar. I initially didn’t desire a C-section as a result of the bounce again was going to be a lot tougher being that I’m a mannequin.


Society simply places a lot stress on you to “bounce again.” I wasn’t a dimension two anymore. I wasn’t doing an excessive amount of modeling in a bikini within the first place. So it was scary at first to point out my greatest insecurity in {a magazine} like Sports activities Illustrated. I wasn’t positive how I used to be going to be acquired.

Kelly Hughes is the first model to bare her C-section scar in the magazine's 58-year history.

Kelly Hughes is the primary mannequin to reveal her C-section scar within the journal’s 58-year historical past.
(Fumi Hoppe/SI Swimsuit)

Fox Information: How had been you acquired on set?
Hughes: As quickly as I arrived, the editor simply made me really feel so assured and delightful. She turned my insecurity into essentially the most lovely factor on this planet. She simply made me really feel so a lot better about my scar. I felt a lot extra assured about myself. I simply checked out my scar within the mirror and I spotted I shouldn’t must really feel so insecure about this anymore. And when it was time to shoot, everybody reacted the identical approach. They made me really feel so empowered and impressed. I think about what number of lovely ladies they’ve seen, and now I get to be a part of that illustration. The expertise was a therapeutic one for me. It simply actually helped me to beat my insecurities.

Kelly Hughes said she was not instantly embraced by the fashion industry after giving birth.

Kelly Hughes mentioned she was not immediately embraced by the style business after giving delivery.
(Andre Gabb)

Fox Information: How vital was it so that you can showcase your C-section scar regardless of your insecurities?
Hughes: To be trustworthy, I had no concept how a lot this may affect individuals. However my photograph went viral everywhere in the world. That is one thing I in all probability wouldn’t have achieved earlier than, however I additionally didn’t see myself in the identical approach I see myself now. And I believe it’s lovely {that a} journal like Sports activities Illustrated is displaying a lady with a C-section and saying, “she’s lovely.” Now, I notice how vital that photograph is to me as a result of I had no concept how underrepresented this was.

Apparently, one in three ladies are having C-sections now – that’s a lot of ladies. However this doesn’t simply resonate with ladies who’ve C-sections. This additionally resonates with ladies who’ve scars generally and are insecure about them. The style business has developed, they usually’re lastly beginning to embrace completely different ladies. We don’t must all look the identical. So this photograph represents a lot greater than a C-section scar… I really feel a real accountability to proceed this dialog.

Kelly Hughes is the founder and designer of the jewelry brand, HÜES! Her designs have been worn by JBalvin, Ricky Martin, Chayenne, Zion y Lennox, Alicia Keys, Maxwell, Young Thug, and many more.

Kelly Hughes is the founder and designer of the jewellery model, HÜES! Her designs have been worn by JBalvin, Ricky Martin, Chayenne, Zion y Lennox, Alicia Keys, Maxwell, Younger Thug, and lots of extra.
(Kata Boos)


Fox Information: What went by means of your thoughts while you noticed your photograph for the primary time?
Hughes: I simply stored saying “wow” *laughs*. I’ll always remember that second. We shot with six completely different bathing fits that day to have choices. And for some cause, the second I shot that image, I simply knew it was going to be chosen. It simply exhibits pure pleasure. And I believe that’s what we must always really feel once we have a look at our scars. It represents we overcame one thing tough, and we’re right here.

Kelly Hughes (seen here) joins Katrina Scott, 2021’s Rookie of the Year, who was photographed when she was six and a half months pregnant.

Kelly Hughes (seen right here) joins Katrina Scott, 2021’s Rookie of the Yr, who was photographed when she was six and a half months pregnant.
(Alberto E. Tamargo/Sipa USA/Alamy Reside Information)

You recognize within the vogue business, no person desires to point out cellulite. No person desires to point out scars. However these items are regular, and they need to be normalized. And while you see my photograph, you simply see pure pleasure. I used to be so insecure about my scar, nevertheless it additionally represents essentially the most lovely second of my life as a result of my son was born. So I ought to really feel pleasure.

Fox Information: Some critics have mentioned, “SI Swimsuit is {a magazine} of girls in bikinis. Do we actually have to see this?” What would you inform these individuals?
Hughes: It’s attention-grabbing, I used to be shocked that about 99% of those who reached out to me have been supportive. Even the press I acquired after my photograph went viral was supportive. Positive, typically individuals prefer to make their feedback – it’s Instagram – however I’ve gotten an amazing variety of optimistic feedback from each women and men. In fact, you continue to get feedback like “who cares?” or “she’s half-naked” or “we don’t need to see this” – all these feedback are generic. And the reality is, there’ll at all times be individuals on the market who need to dim your mild.

Kelly Hughes said that at first, she felt insecure about her C-section scar.

Kelly Hughes mentioned that initially, she felt insecure about her C-section scar.
(Vivian Arthur)

All I can say is I don’t perceive how somebody could make destructive feedback, particularly on somebody’s social media posts. There’s no want for it. You don’t achieve something from that. However the overwhelming quantity of optimistic feedback from individuals proves that one thing like this was wanted. That is about illustration. Take into consideration these moms on the market with C-section scars carrying a bikini on the seaside. Typically it peeks out.


I’ve acquired so many messages from ladies telling me they’ve felt so insecure going to the seaside that they purchase a much bigger bikini or simply select to put on a one-piece to keep away from the scrutiny. They exit of their solution to not present the scar as a result of they’re insecure about it. They’re anxious about what individuals could say or suppose. Now, Sports activities Illustrated is having that dialog. It was so wanted. You shouldn’t have to accommodate everybody else simply to allow them to really feel higher. You’re a lot greater than any destructive remark somebody could must say.

Now, I’m getting messages from ladies telling me how empowered they really feel, and the way assured they really feel to put on that bikini once more after having a child. I hope that when individuals see my photograph, they’ll really feel inspired to embrace themselves and provides themselves grace. I have a look at my scar now, and I’m happy with what I went by means of. I embrace it. I’m nonetheless right here. And that’s precisely what my photograph exhibits. I simply hope it could encourage others to really feel the identical.

Kelly Hughes said she has received both positive and negative comments since going viral.

Kelly Hughes mentioned she has acquired each optimistic and destructive feedback since going viral.
(Vivian Arthur)

Fox Information: In 2018 you turned a mother. Nevertheless it sounded such as you endured some challenges. What occurred?
Hughes: My son was born in November 2018. Throughout my being pregnant, I had nausea and all the standard issues, nevertheless it wasn’t something extreme. I had a superb being pregnant and I assumed I used to be going to have a pure labor. I’ve learn every little thing about pure labor, and I used to be prepared for it. I by no means opened the door to the opportunity of a C-section. I simply needed to bounce again as shortly as attainable. I knew a C-section meant an extended restoration. However after I was in labor, sadly [the doctors] realized that my hips weren’t aligned. They had been a bit shifted, which occurs loads in being pregnant. I didn’t notice this till it was time.

I had a really lengthy labor – I used to be about 36 hours in, and I wasn’t dilating previous seven centimeters. That’s after they beneficial a C-section. At first, I used to be like, “no, no, no.” However that was my first lesson in motherhood – you’ll be able to’t plan for every little thing. I didn’t need to put my son’s well being in danger or after all, my very own. So I lastly agreed. However two days later after I went residence, I turned actually sick. I went again to the hospital, and it turned out I had a extremely unhealthy an infection. I spent eight days within the hospital and I underwent one other surgical procedure to take away the an infection. Being separated from my son was so tough. I wasn’t within the maternity unit anymore, they usually didn’t need him within the hospital.


I simply felt horrible. Like why did this occur to me? What did I do mistaken? New mothers particularly, we put plenty of stress on ourselves as a result of we simply need every little thing to be good. And the reality is, I don’t suppose that is mentioned sufficient. There must be extra conversations and schooling on all of the million issues that may occur throughout labor. However an important factor is for mother and child to be wholesome. I needed this good, pure delivery to occur. It didn’t – and that’s OK. My son is right here and so am I.

Kelly Hughes said she underwent a lengthy labor as a first-time mom.

Kelly Hughes mentioned she underwent a prolonged labor as a first-time mother.
(Luccia Images)

Fox Information: After you gave delivery and had been recovering, did you continue to really feel stress to “bounce again” or look a sure approach?
Hughes: I want I may inform you that stress went away I gave delivery. It undoubtedly didn’t. And I’m very trustworthy about this… I’ve been modeling for 22 years. I’ve seen the style business evolve within the final 12 months and a half. However that shift hadn’t occurred after I gave delivery in November 2018. I did really feel that pushback after I tried going again to work. I didn’t look the identical as I did earlier than. I actually didn’t have the boldness.

Kelly Hughes resides in Miami.

Kelly Hughes resides in Miami.
(Vivian Arthur)

I used to be very insecure. And I don’t suppose I used to be absolutely embraced fairly but. As a mother, you don’t at all times have time to go to the gymnasium. Typically you don’t have time in any respect. And consuming turned no matter was in the home or no matter I may seize shortly, so I may get again to my son. My food plan had modified. My routine had modified. The calls for of my life had modified. However the reality is, when you give delivery to a brand new particular person, you aren’t the identical. So that you shouldn’t really feel stress to be the identical as you had been earlier than… It took time to lastly embrace my scar and that’s OK. I not really feel like I needs to be ashamed of it.

Fox Information: What’s motherhood like as we speak?
Hughes: It’s a blessing. I’m nonetheless modeling. My son and I did a photograph shoot collectively for an organization that gives clothes for breastfeeding mothers. He was two months outdated. It was somewhat tough as a result of I wasn’t absolutely healed. I used to be nonetheless recovering from two surgical procedures. Nevertheless it was a tremendous expertise. We’ve achieved fairly a number of photograph shoots with him, and it’s been fantastic being with my son. He’s now three and a half, and it’s unimaginable.

Kelly Hughes hopes her appearance in SI Swimsuit will inspire other women, especially moms, to celebrate their bodies.

Kelly Hughes hopes her look in SI Swimsuit will encourage different ladies, particularly mothers, to have a good time their our bodies.
(Fumie Hoppe/SI Swimsuit)


He’s like my greatest good friend. I really feel like we’re nearer than ever. We’re making up for that point that we had been separated whereas I used to be on the hospital. I respect each single second of the day, and we spend all of our time collectively. I deliver him in all places I’m going. I worth each single second.

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