In Her Own Words was created by Photographer/Director Taylor Ballantyne. It appeared in the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue as the first ever, black and white, in-studio, no-swimsuit project in the 54 year history of the magazine.

In Her Own Words is about identity. Its purpose is to offer a platform for the participants to speak their truth by choosing positive words that represent who they are and what they strive to embody. The challenge of sticking with positive words only forces the subject to shift their own perspective about themselves, accept that we are all a work in progress and own where they are and choose to stand proud in that place without shame and without fear. The unique quality of this project is that it allows the subject to become their own art director. They choose their words and the placement of those words on their bodies to create whatever message they feel best voices their truth.

Though these women are undeniably breathtaking on the outside they are much more than that — they are mothers, daughters, sisters, creatives, entrepreneurs, champions, role models – they are smart, strong, intelligent women that have aspirations and goals. They have voices. Voices that deserve to be heard.

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Lauren Cecchi teamed up with Taylor Ballantyne to create an extension of IN HER OWN WORDS – to spread the message and give many others a chance to think about what words they would use to describe themselves. Lauren designed a special bag for each of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models to have their words that were written on their bodies to be carried with them on their handbag.

You now can join the IHOW campaign and design your own bag with your own words! Email to get started on your journey of self expression and be sure to tag us on Instagram #IHOW, @taylorbphoto, @si_swimsuit, @laurencecchi