Models paint on their bodies for a cause in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue's first nude series

PHOTO: Model Robyn Lawley poses in the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.PlayTaylor Ballantyne/Sports Illustrated
WATCH Sneak peek at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition

This year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue features nude images for the first time, as part of a thought-provoking series where models select words to be painted on their bodies.

"These women had complete creative control over the shoot," M.J. Day, editor of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, told ABC News. "Every participant was able to choose their own words, choose where on their bodies they went, and then how they were photographed and the positions they did."

PHOTO: Model Paulina Porizkova poses in the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.Taylor Ballantyne/Sports Illustrated
Model Paulina Porizkova poses in the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.

A first look at the new series, shot by an all-female crew and dubbed "In Her Own Words," was revealed on "Good Morning America" today. The nude photos have been covered with ribbons in keeping with ABC News Standards.

"In Her Own Words" features intimate images of veteran model Paulina Porizkova, rookie Sailor Brinkley-Cook, and the 6-foot-2-inch Australian model Robyn Lawley.

PHOTO: Model Robyn Lawley poses in the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.Taylor Ballantyne/Sports Illustrated
Model Robyn Lawley poses in the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.

Porizkova wrote "truth" on her side, and Brinkley-Cook wrote "artist" on her body, among other words. Lawley chose to write the word "mother" across her chest and "nurturer" down her arm.

"The women that are part of this issue ... are more than just a beautiful face," Day said. "They're beautiful minds, they're beautiful people."

Day, who has been putting together the annual Swimsuit issue for two decades, said she feels proud of how it creates "a platform that gives women the confidence to love themselves as they are."

PHOTO: Model Sailor Brinkley-Cook poses in the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.Taylor Ballantyne/Sports Illustrated
Model Sailor Brinkley-Cook poses in the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.

"It's ridiculous that there's only one type of pretty, or that people see one specific body type as that enviable body type," Day added.

Day also acknowledged that some may question what crosses the line and becomes "over-sexualized" in the annual issue, but she said she welcomes a "healthy discussion."

"I don't have a problem if someone looks at the Swimsuit Issue and says it's over-sexualized, I really don't, because that's normal," she said. "I also have no problem with someone who looks at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue and is like, 'That's amazing, that's beautiful, that's goals, that's aspirational.'"

"That's a healthy discussion that we should all be having," Day said, "because I think human nature doesn't lend itself to one way or another, but what it should lend itself to is acceptance."

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