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Sports Illustrated Swimsuit to feature first model with C-section scar

Kelly Hughes said she had previously struggled with insecurities over her scar and work as a professional model.

WASHINGTON — In a first for Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue, the magazine will feature a model showing off her caesarean section scar.

Model Kelly Hughes took to Instagram to celebrate her historic shoot, and she described past struggles and insecurities related to her scar while working as a professional model. According to the magazine, Hughes delivered her now 3-year-old son via C-section. 

"I struggled with insecurities from my scar being that I’m a model and my incredibly difficult recovery but it wasn’t until I 'embraced my scar that I experienced the true power in it,'" Hughes wrote.

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She said the shoot was made possible by a partnership with Frida Mom, a company that sells products for infant and new mothers that is included in Sport's Illustrated #PayWithChange campaign, a promise by the magazine's swimsuit issue to only accept advertising "from companies with demonstrated programs to advance gender equality and drive progress for women’s empowerment," according to Sports Illustrated.

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"This is a celebration of women and their bodies in all forms, and an amplification the power of the female body - especially when becoming a mom," Sports Illustrated staff wrote on their website. 

According to the Centers for Disease Prevention, there were more than 1 million C-section deliveries in the U.S. performed in 2020, accounting for nearly 32% of all births. 

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