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

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Kelly Hughes made historical past this summer time when she grew to become 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 changing 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 yr’s cowl ladies.

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 12 months, 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 begin the #ScarLoveChallenge on social media to unfold a sense of empowerment and alter the societal stigma round scars. The problem encourages members to reinterpret Hughes’ photograph exhibiting off their scars. Each time a #ScarLoveChallenge photograph is posted, ESTAS will donate $1 to World of Kids, serving to deprived kids across the globe.

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

Kelly Hughes gave birth to her son in November 2018.

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

Fox Information: How did you get entangled with SI Swimsuit?
Kelly Hughes: Certainly one of my pals in New York, who can be a mannequin, noticed that they had been on the lookout for a lady with a C-section scar, and so they 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 obtained the job. It’s so fantastic as a result of my pal 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 1,000,000 issues working 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 strain 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 indicate my largest insecurity in {a magazine} like Sports activities Illustrated. I wasn’t positive how I used to be going to be obtained.

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 obtained on set?
Hughes: As quickly as I arrived, the editor simply made me really feel so assured and delightful. She turned my insecurity into probably the most lovely factor on the 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 need to really feel so insecure about this anymore. And when it was time to shoot, everybody reacted the identical manner. 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 beginning.
(Andre Gabb)

Fox Information: How necessary 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 might influence individuals. However my photograph went viral everywhere in the world. That is one thing I in all probability wouldn’t have performed earlier than, however I additionally didn’t see myself in the identical manner I see myself now. And I believe it’s lovely {that a} journal like Sports activities Illustrated is exhibiting a girl with a C-section and saying, “she’s lovely.” Now, I notice how necessary 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 advanced, and so they’re lastly beginning to embrace totally different ladies. We don’t need to all look the identical. So this photograph represents a lot greater than a C-section scar… I really feel a real duty 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 plenty 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 saved saying “wow” *laughs*. I’ll always remember that second. We shot with six totally 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 reveals pure pleasure. And I believe that’s what we must always really feel after we have a look at our scars. It represents we overcame one thing troublesome, 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 12 months, who was photographed when she was six and a half months pregnant.
(Alberto E. Tamargo/Sipa USA/Alamy Stay Information)

You realize within the style business, no person desires to indicate cellulite. No one desires to indicate 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 probably 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 must see this?” What would you inform these individuals?
Hughes: It’s attention-grabbing, I used to be shocked that about 99% of those that reached out to me have been supportive. Even the press I obtained after my photograph went viral was supportive. Certain, generally individuals prefer to make their feedback – it’s Instagram – however I’ve gotten an awesome variety of constructive feedback from each women and men. After all, you continue to get feedback like “who cares?” or “she’s half-naked” or “we don’t wish to see this” – all these feedback are generic. And the reality is, there’ll all the time be individuals on the market who wish to dim your gentle.

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

Kelly Hughes mentioned that in the first place, she felt insecure about her C-section scar.
(Vivian Arthur)

All I can say is I don’t perceive how somebody could make detrimental 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 constructive 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 seashore. Generally it peeks out.


I’ve obtained so many messages from ladies telling me they’ve felt so insecure going to the seashore that they purchase an even bigger bikini or simply select to put on a one-piece to keep away from the scrutiny. They exit of their option to not present the scar as a result of they’re insecure about it. They’re fearful about what individuals could say or assume. Now, Sports activities Illustrated is having that dialog. It was so wanted. You shouldn’t must accommodate everybody else simply to allow them to really feel higher. You’re a lot greater than any detrimental remark somebody could need to 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 reveals. I simply hope it will possibly 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 obtained each constructive and detrimental feedback since going viral.
(Vivian Arthur)

Fox Information: In 2018 you grew to become a mother. But it surely 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 everyday issues, nevertheless it wasn’t something extreme. I had an excellent being pregnant and I believed I used to be going to have a pure labor. I’ve learn all the things 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 rapidly 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 so much 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 advisable a C-section. At first, I used to be like, “no, no, no.” However that was my first lesson in motherhood – you may’t plan for all the things. I didn’t wish 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 house, I grew to become actually sick. I went again to the hospital, and it turned out I had a extremely dangerous 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 troublesome. I wasn’t within the maternity unit anymore, and so they didn’t need him within the hospital.


I simply felt horrible. Like why did this occur to me? What did I do fallacious? New mothers particularly, we put lots of strain on ourselves as a result of we simply need all the things to be excellent. And the reality is, I don’t assume that is mentioned sufficient. There must be extra conversations and training on all of the million issues that may occur throughout labor. However a very powerful factor is for mother and child to be wholesome. I needed this excellent, pure beginning 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 Pictures)

Fox Information: After you gave beginning and had been recovering, did you continue to really feel strain to “bounce again” or look a sure manner?
Hughes: I want I may inform you that strain went away I gave beginning. It positively 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 yr and a half. However that shift hadn’t occurred after I gave beginning 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 definitely didn’t have the arrogance.

Kelly Hughes resides in Miami.

Kelly Hughes resides in Miami.
(Vivian Arthur)

I used to be very insecure. And I don’t assume I used to be absolutely embraced fairly but. As a mother, you don’t all the time have time to go to the health club. Generally you don’t have time in any respect. And consuming grew to become no matter was in the home or no matter I may seize rapidly, so I may get again to my son. My eating regimen had modified. My routine had modified. The calls for of my life had modified. However the reality is, when you give beginning to a brand new particular person, you aren’t the identical. So that you shouldn’t really feel strain to be the identical as you had been earlier than… It took time to lastly embrace my scar and that’s OK. I now not really feel like I ought to be ashamed of it.

Fox Information: What’s motherhood like at the moment?
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 previous. It was a bit of troublesome as a result of I wasn’t absolutely healed. I used to be nonetheless recovering from two surgical procedures. But it surely was an incredible expertise. We’ve performed 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 finest pal. 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 recognize each single second of the day, and we spend all of our time collectively. I carry him all over the place I am going. I worth each single second.

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