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

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Kelly Hughes made historical past this summer season 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 challenge which options Kim Kardashian, Maye Musk, Ciara and Yumi Nu as this yr’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 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’ picture 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’ picture displaying off their scars. Each time a #ScarLoveChallenge picture is posted, ESTAS will donate $1 to World of Kids, 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 delivery, in addition to how she now responds to unfavourable 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: One among my associates in New York, who can be a mannequin, noticed that they have been in search of a lady with a C-section scar, and so they 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 received the job. It’s so great 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 operating via 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 tougher being that I’m a mannequin.


Society simply places a lot stress on you to “bounce again.” I wasn’t a measurement 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 greatest 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 delightful. She turned my insecurity into probably the most lovely factor on the planet. She simply made me really feel so significantly 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 should 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 stated she was not immediately embraced by the style business after giving delivery.
(Andre Gabb)

Fox Information: How necessary was it so that you can exhibit your C-section scar regardless of your insecurities?
Hughes: To be sincere, I had no concept how a lot this may impression folks. However my picture went viral all around the world. That is one thing I most likely wouldn’t have carried out earlier than, however I additionally didn’t see myself in the identical approach I see myself now. And I feel 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 understand how necessary that picture 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 numerous ladies. However this doesn’t simply resonate with ladies who’ve C-sections. This additionally resonates with ladies who’ve scars normally and are insecure about them. The style business has developed, and so they’re lastly beginning to embrace totally different ladies. We don’t should all look the identical. So this picture 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 lots of extra.
(Kata Boos)


Fox Information: What went via your thoughts once you noticed your picture 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 motive, the second I shot that image, I simply knew it was going to be chosen. It simply reveals pure pleasure. And I feel that’s what we should always really feel after we take 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 12 months, who was photographed when she was six and a half months pregnant.
(Alberto E. Tamargo/Sipa USA/Alamy Reside Information)

You already know within the trend business, no person desires to indicate cellulite. No one desires to indicate scars. However this stuff are regular, and they need to be normalized. And once you see my picture, you simply see pure pleasure. I used to be so insecure about my scar, however 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 stated, “SI Swimsuit is {a magazine} of girls in bikinis. Do we actually must see this?” What would you inform these folks?
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 obtained after my picture 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. In fact, 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 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 stated that at the beginning, she felt insecure about her C-section scar.
(Vivian Arthur)

All I can say is I don’t perceive how somebody could make unfavourable 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. 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 a much 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 fearful about what folks could say or suppose. 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 unfavourable remark somebody could should 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 folks see my picture, 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 via. I embrace it. I’m nonetheless right here. And that’s precisely what my picture reveals. I simply hope it could possibly encourage others to really feel the identical.

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

Kelly Hughes stated she has obtained each constructive and unfavourable feedback since going viral.
(Vivian Arthur)

Fox Information: In 2018 you grew to become 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 everyday issues, however it wasn’t something extreme. I had a very good being pregnant and I believed I used to be going to have a pure labor. I’ve learn every part 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 needed to bounce again as rapidly as attainable. 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 so much in being pregnant. I didn’t understand 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 beneficial a C-section. At first, I used to be like, “no, no, no.” However that was my first lesson in motherhood – you possibly can’t plan for every part. 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 residence, 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 tough. 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 improper? New mothers particularly, we put plenty of stress on ourselves as a result of we simply need every part to be excellent. And the reality is, I don’t suppose 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 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 stated she underwent a prolonged labor as a first-time mother.
(Luccia Photographs)

Fox Information: After you gave delivery and have been recovering, did you continue to really feel stress to “bounce again” or look a sure approach?
Hughes: I want I may let you know that stress went away I gave delivery. It positively didn’t. And I’m very sincere 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 once I gave delivery 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 actually 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 all the time have time to go to the fitness center. 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 food plan had modified. My routine had modified. The calls for of my life had modified. However the fact 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 have been earlier than… It took time to lastly embrace my scar and that’s OK. I not really feel like I ought to be ashamed of it.

Fox Information: What’s motherhood like at this time?
Hughes: It’s a blessing. I’m nonetheless modeling. My son and I did a photograph shoot collectively for an organization that provides clothes for breastfeeding mothers. He was two months previous. It was a bit 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 carried out fairly just a few picture shoots with him, and it’s been great 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 rejoice their our bodies.
(Fumie Hoppe/SI Swimsuit)


He’s like my greatest pal. 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 recognize each single second of the day, and we spend all of our time collectively. I carry him in every single place I am going. I worth each single second.

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