The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue drew backlash from those who mocked the magazine for attempting to empower women by having them pose nude.
Beyoncé, not a black model by profession, landed on a cover in 2007, so it has not only been 21 whole years without a swimsuit issue with a black model cover star, but 11 years without a black cover star - period.
Raisman was one of several high-profile gymnasts-along with Simone Biles, McKayla Maroney, Gabby Douglas and Jordyn Wieber-who said they were sexually abused by former USA Gymnastics physician Larry Nassar.
"This year has an extra special meaning to me, because it's such an incredible time for women and everyone should feel as though they can express themselves however they want", Raisman told Sports Illustrated. Since Nassar's sentencing of up to 175 years in prison, Aly has been doing everything in her power to speak her truth.
Raisman posed for Sports Illustrated in athletic-themed swimwear past year.
The 23-year-old gold-medal victor has now linked up with Sports Illustrated to pose nude for the magazine, with empowering, self-picked messages written all over her body.
"For me, "In Her Own Words" serves as a reminder that we are all humans, we are all battling something, and it is OK to not be OK", Raisman explained. We caught up with the pro para snowboarder to get her take on shooting for SI Swimsuit, body positivity and inspiring others. 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.
Slipping into her ANTM hosting stance, she said: 'One girl stands before me, but I only have one photo in my hands and this photo represents the girl that is the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2018 cover model. "I can't wait for everyone to see it".