Golfer Paige Spiranac Defends Her Sexy Sports Illustrated Photos
"I embrace who I am, and I embrace the fact that I feel empowered feeling sexy."
As a female athlete in a male-dominated sport, professional golfer Paige Spiranac is pretty used to nasty remarks both on and off the golf course. But when you combine that with a sexy spread in the newest issue of Sports Illustrated's 2018 Swimsuit Edition, you can only imagine the online abuse. It's 2018 and society still doesn't know what to do with a woman who both embraces her sexuality and has a killer swing.
Luckily, the Arizona beauty knows how to deal with haters, not least of all because she's active on Instagram, where she has 1.3 million followers. Spiranac has been vocal about dealing with bullying. Last week, she told SI about an experience two years ago that left her balling in her hotel room in Dubai. She was fresh out of college and playing her first pro tournament in The Dubai Ladies Masters. Her excitement at this incredible opportunity soon turned to anxiety as she received a barrage of criticism from people saying she was "sexualizing women's golf" and that it was only her looks that got her into the tournament.
"Two years ago, [the negativity] definitely affected me. I became very depressed and I had a lot anxiety," Spiranac told Esquire. "I realized that I could save the world and I would still get hate. I'm never going to try and please other people. All I can do is live my truth and be a good person, and I will feel right and fulfilled."
Now, she's a vocal anti-bullying advocate, working to end cyber-bullying with The Cybersmile Foundation. In fact, she told Esquire that, while she loves golf, her true passion at the moment is fighting cyberbullying.
Awhile back I asked who wanted to do a 6 week fitness plan with me, well that plan is now UP at sixzerosixfit.com! Or check link in bio! I love fitness but I don't know everything so I teamed up with my certified trainer to give you all a great program. We created one specifically for men and one for women. Let's start this year off right! We want everyone to have a positive experience and reach their individual goals! If you decide to do the program (hopefully you do!) always remember to listen to your body. If you haven't worked out in awhile or new to working out, start with very light weight or just body weight. If you have any health or medical issues, please talk to your doctor or you can talk to my trainer, @606_fit, so he can modify any workout. You can also follow me on my fitness page @paigereneefitness where I'll be posting videos of the workouts and what I eat. And last thing, to see the best results, drink plenty of water and focus on what you eat. Let's do this!💪🏻 #fitness #motivation #determination #fitnessmotivation #fitnessfamily
Her decision to participate in the spread is part of that campaign, as she hopes that her ability to smile through the barrage of criticism she's sure to get will inspire others to live their truth no matter what other people think.
"I can't wait for golf media to talk about it and the negative comments I'm going to get. I never want to let them dictate something I really wanted to do, so there was never a doubt in my mind that I was going to say yes," she said. "I embrace who I am, and I embrace the fact that I feel empowered feeling sexy."
I've been a member at a country club at one point and then also had to clean a pro shop and do kids camps to somehow have a place to practice because I couldn't afford to play. I've noticed that no matter where you are, who you're surrounded by, what you wear, or how much money you have or don't have we are all just playing a game where the same rules apply. The tradition of golf for me is tied into the integrity and honor of the game, not the exclusivity that you have to be a certain class of person or dress a certain way. Truth is we are all just trying to enjoy our day and play good golf.
"'I'm so honored and humbled to be included in #SISwim 2018!" she wrote on Instagram. "This issue is about self-love, empowering women, body positivity, and encouraging everyone to be kind. Women face so much pressure every. single. day. to look, act, and talk a certain way, and it is so difficult trying to figure out what you "can" and "should" be. It's taken a long time, but I'm proud of my body! I'm proud of who I am! I'm proud that I can be strong, smart, AND sexy! SI Swim embraces ALL women, no matter what, and just wants them to feel loved. You should feel loved and powerful and unapologetically YOU! And don't let ANYONE tell you that you're not perfect just the way you are." And for more totally baller ladies, don't miss the 15 Times Gal Gadot Melted Our Instagram Feeds.
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