Brenna Huckaby: the first Paralympian to appear in Sports Illustrated

Published On: March 3, 2018 02:44 PM NPT By: Agencies

Brenna Huckaby is officially making her SI Swimsuit debut! We caught up with the pro para snowboarder to get her take on shooting for SI Swimsuit, body positivity and inspiring others.  

On shooting for SI Swimsuit: "I was super excited to have the opportunity to pose for SI Swimsuit! When I got the call I was chosen I jumped up and down and paced my room for an hour because I was so excited. Then reality set in and I realized the magnitude of what was about to happen. I have never seen myself as sexy and it wasn’t until Lilah (my daughter) was born that I was comfortable wearing my swimsuit without shorts!"

On nerves and expectations before the shoot: "I was so nervous! I have never seen myself as sexy, it just isn’t my personality. I was very nervous to channel a different side of myself. I knew the shoot was going to be amazing! There’s no way so many amazing, beautiful, and powerful women shoot for SI Swimsuit time and time again if it isn’t an amazing experience. Even with these high expectations the shoot went better than I expected! The women behind SI were so supportive, encouraging, and FUN! I had a blast and a ton of confidence because of them!"

On how her perception of what it’s like to be a model changed by doing the shoot: "Well, I have always seen modeling as a niche profession but being able to experience it firsthand made me realize how taxing it really is! I was exhausted at the end of the day! Holding poses and looking graceful is a tough job, and did I mention I had to wake up at 4a.m.?! How many people do you know wake up that early for work?"

On what she is hoping people take from her appearance in the issue: "I hope women feel empowered by it. Everyone should feel sexy. It doesn’t matter what your body looks like, when you feel good in your skin it shows. Let me tell you, there is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t feel good in your own skin!"

On using the shoot as an opportunity to inspire others: "I see it as an opportunity to inspire others. It’s very rare, if ever, you see a woman with a disability pose in sexy swimsuits. I want to help change the stigma behind disabilities. I want other women, regardless of their body, to know they are powerful and sexy."

On dealing with body positivity in her personal life: "I haven’t always been comfortable with my body. When I was a teenager I would wear shorts with my swimsuit every time. I would rarely take my prosthetic off in front of other people. I was afraid of what people would think of me because I didn’t think very highly of myself. It wasn’t until I had my daughter that I realized my body was more than an object. That was the moment I knew my body was a tool, a strong and forceful tool that takes me from experience to experience. Once I realized this I finally loved my body."

On her 17-month-old daughter's reaction to seeing her mom in a swimsuit and not a snowboarding outfit: "Well I don’t think she’ll know any different right now. She’ll look at the picture and say “mama” regardless of what I’m wearing (LOL). However, when she’s older I hope she is also inspired, motivated, and empowered by my swimsuit shots. I hope she’ll know the courage it took for me to pose in a swimsuit, and I hope that motivates her to step out of her comfort zone."

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