Kelly Hughes, the primary SI Swim mannequin to reveal her C-section scar, reacts to unfavorable 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 lift consciousness of Pay With Change, an initiative aimed to “positively shift the mainstream cultural narratives related to girls’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 12 months’s cowl ladies.

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

Hughes delivered her now 3-year-old son through 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 start out 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 Youngsters, serving to deprived youngsters 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 unfavorable 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: Considered one of my associates in New York, who can also be a mannequin, noticed that they have been searching for a lady with a C-section scar, they usually have been taking pictures 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 buddy can also 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 taking pictures. 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 need a C-section as a result of the bounce again was going to be a lot more durable 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 largest insecurity in {a magazine} like Sports activities Illustrated. I wasn’t certain 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 have been you obtained on set?
Hughes: As quickly as I arrived, the editor simply made me really feel so assured and exquisite. She turned my insecurity into essentially the most lovely factor on the earth. 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 girls 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 trade after giving beginning.
(Andre Gabb)

Fox Information: How essential was it so that you can exhibit your C-section scar regardless of your insecurities?
Hughes: To be sincere, I had no thought how a lot this may impression folks. However my photograph went viral everywhere in the world. That is one thing I in all probability wouldn’t have completed 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 lady with a C-section and saying, “she’s lovely.” Now, I notice how essential that photograph is to me as a result of I had no thought how underrepresented this was.

Apparently, one in three girls are having C-sections now – that’s a lot of girls. However this doesn’t simply resonate with girls who’ve C-sections. This additionally resonates with girls who’ve scars usually and are insecure about them. The style trade has advanced, they usually’re lastly beginning to embrace totally different girls. 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 if 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 totally different bathing fits that day to have choices. And for some motive, 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 take 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 Reside Information)

You realize within the style trade, 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 if you see my photograph, you simply see pure pleasure. I used to be so insecure about my scar, but it surely 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 ladies in bikinis. Do we actually have to see this?” What would you inform these folks?
Hughes: It’s fascinating, I used to be shocked that about 99% of those who reached out to me have been supportive. Even the press I obtained after my photograph went viral was supportive. Positive, typically folks 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 at all times be folks 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 unfavorable 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 folks proves that one thing like this was wanted. That is about illustration. Take into consideration these moms on the market with C-section scars sporting a bikini on the seashore. Typically it peeks out.


I’ve obtained so many messages from girls 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 method to not present the scar as a result of they’re insecure about it. They’re frightened about what folks 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 unfavorable remark somebody could need to say.

Now, I’m getting messages from girls 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 folks see my photograph, they’ll really feel inspired to embrace themselves and provides themselves grace. I take a look at my scar now, and I’m pleased 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 may 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 unfavorable feedback since going viral.
(Vivian Arthur)

Fox Information: In 2018 you grew to become a mother. However 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, but it surely wasn’t something extreme. I had an excellent being pregnant and I assumed 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 potential for a C-section. I simply wished to bounce again as shortly as potential. I knew a C-section meant an extended restoration. However once I was in labor, sadly [the doctors] realized that my hips weren’t aligned. They have been a bit shifted, which occurs rather a lot 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 once they really helpful 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 dwelling, I grew to become 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 troublesome. 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 flawed? New mothers particularly, we put plenty of stress on ourselves as a result of we simply need all the things to be excellent. 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 crucial factor is for mother and child to be wholesome. I wished 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 Photographs)

Fox Information: After you gave beginning and have been recovering, did you continue to really feel stress to “bounce again” or look a sure manner?
Hughes: I want I might let you know that stress went away I gave beginning. It undoubtedly didn’t. And I’m very sincere about this… I’ve been modeling for 22 years. I’ve seen the style trade evolve within the final 12 months and a half. However that shift hadn’t occurred once I gave beginning in November 2018. I did really feel that pushback once 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 suppose I used to be absolutely embraced fairly but. As a mother, you don’t at all times have time to go to the health club. Typically you don’t have time in any respect. And consuming grew to become no matter was in the home or no matter I might seize shortly, so I might get again to my son. My weight-reduction plan 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 stress to be the identical as you have been earlier than… It took time to lastly embrace my scar and that’s OK. I now not really feel like I needs to be ashamed of it.

Fox Information: What’s motherhood like at present?
Hughes: It’s a blessing. I’m nonetheless modeling. My son and I did a photograph shoot collectively for a corporation that gives clothes for breastfeeding mothers. He was two months previous. It was slightly troublesome as a result of I wasn’t absolutely healed. I used to be nonetheless recovering from two surgical procedures. However it was a tremendous expertise. We’ve completed fairly a couple of photograph shoots with him, and it’s been fantastic being with my son. He’s now three and a half, and it’s unbelievable.

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 girls, particularly mothers, to rejoice their our bodies.
(Fumie Hoppe/SI Swimsuit)


He’s like my greatest buddy. I really feel like we’re nearer than ever. We’re making up for that point that we have 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 carry him all over the place I am going. I worth each single second.

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