The 24-year-old model posted a series of tweets responding to self-proclaimed conservative reporter Britt McHenry, who contributes to The Federalist and has appeared as a guest on Fox News, after the journalist shamed SI Swim models in a tweet for posing nude.
“Why does a woman have to pose nude to feel ’empowered’? Isn’t it more empowering to keep your clothes on, go into an office or classroom like everyone else and excel? #SISwimSuit desperately wanting to compete with IG models with gimmicks,” McHenry tweeted.
“And that goes for men too. I’m not going to take a man more seriously because he strips down and writes words on himself. He might be great to look at, and that’s fine, but come on now…it’s not activism,” McHenry said.
It didn’t take long for Spiranac (above left) to slam McHenry’s (above right) remarks, which she retweeted on her own account.
“Different women feel empowered in different ways and it’s not right to tell someone what they can and cannot do. It’s more about the person you are and not the clothes you decide or not decide to wear. My body, my choice,” the model tweeted.
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She continued her thoughts in another tweet saying, “I’ve been around a lot of mean girls and I’ll tell you I’ve never been more welcomed and accepted before than I have by the SI models and team. They are rays of sunshine and some of the most beautiful women, inside and out, I’ve ever met.”
McHenry replied to the first-time SI Swim model and said, “I agree it’s your body to do what you want. But posing nude is a way to ascertain empowerment through vanity. I don’t think, and this goes for both genders, it’s the best way to receive reciprocal respect or empowerment. Just my opinion though.”
She then accused Spiranac of being attention-seeking after the model replied to her with a nude photo of herself from this year’s SI Swimsuit shoot.
“Ok, but you’ve literally cried at press conferences about how you’re not taken seriously in golf. Anyone can pose naked, and yet this is your response to a civil discussion. You’re both beautiful…and attention-seeking,” McHenry said.
This year Sports Illustrated‘s iconic Swimsuit issue is using its platform to empower women.
Aly Raisman, who delivered powerful testimony in court about the abuse she and her fellow athletes endured at the hand of Team USA gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar last month, is featured in the magazine’s new franchise, “In Her Own Words.
The Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast posed completely nude for the shoot with only the phrases “trust yourself,” “live for you,” and “abuse is never okay” written in black marker across her arm, leg and torso.
“I would like to remind everyone that being a survivor is nothing to be ashamed of, and going through a hard time does not define you,” Raisman told SI Swim.
“I hope that we can one day get to a point where everyone realizes that women do not have to be modest to be respected. We are free to draw confidence and happiness in our own way, and it is never for someone else to choose for us or to even judge us for that matter.”