Kate Upton hasn’t shied away from talking about her body in the past, and now she is standing up to all the people who called her fat once upon a time. During a live chat on Sports Illustrated‘s Facebook page, the 24-year-old star caught up with her fellow 2017 Swimsuit Issue models Aly Raisman, Hailey Clauson, and Sailor Brinkley Cook to chat about body image. And each of the girls has learned to love their bodies through various experiences.
Upton’s journey to self-love started when she found out that people were debating on her weight. It initially made the her feel self conscious and question her own beauty. But now, she actually appreciates the hateful comments. “They were discussing whether I was fat or not,” Upton told the ladies. “I have to thank the people who did that because it really made me sit back and find out who I was and what meant something to me and how I thought about my body.”
Upton made her first appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated‘s Swimsuit Issue in 2012 when she was only 19. And she reappeared on the cover in 2013. This year, Upton is on three separate covers for the special edition. And today, she’s embracing the good and the bad. “Now, I realize that my confidence that I had in my body was actually meant to inspire women to love themselves for all their different flaws,” Upton explained. And Cook agrees. “What I want is representation for every single body type,” the 18-year-old daughter of Christie Brinkley added. “That’s what modeling, acting, and everything in the spotlight really needs.”
Press play to watch the full conversation between Upton and her 2017 Swimsuit Issue co-stars.
Related: Why Kate Upton Isn’t A Fan Of The Term ‘Plus Size’