When Katrina Scott hit the Sports Illustrated runway in Miami Beach, it was more than showing up and putting on a swimsuit.
The fitness entrepreneur is in the middle of IVF treatment after suffering two miscarriages and a chemical pregnancy.
"With IVF, I had to have a surgery called hysteroscopy," she told TODAY Parents. "After that, they put you on high levels of estrogen."
Scott said the hormone treatment was a "whirlwind" and she remembers crying for no reason to her husband, Brian.
"I just remember crying and telling him 'The hormones are making me feel really emotional'," she shared.
Around the same time, Sports Illustrated called to ask if she would be interested in walking the runway during Swim Week.
"I didn't feel ready — (the) amount of swelling and hormones, the amount of things that were happening (with my body), but I said, 'I’m going to agree to this even though this is such a crazy time in my body,'" Scott said.
In Miami, Scott wore multiple swimsuits and unmistakable confidence.
"I really think that the more that women encourage and empower and give permission to each to be exactly who they are, the more we want to be around those people," she said. "At one point I was just holding my heart, because I couldn't even handle how joyful I was."
Scott credits Sports Illustrated Swimsuit editor MJ Day with making every woman feel comfortable in their own skin.
"She said, 'Go out there, have fun, and be yourself'," Scott said, adding that she recognizes the creative brilliance in letting women be themselves. "The more that some people try to control, the more we doubt ourselves. If MJ sat there and told me to walk or look a certain or prepare a certain way, I would have overthought everything."
Scott, who is mom to Isabelle, 2, told TODAY that throughout her career in the fitness industry, she has felt pressure to conform to female body standards, particularly relating to her AA-cup chest size, and felt proud to represent women.
"I hope to represent the women who don’t see their body type in the media (AA, cellulite, curves, and beyond!)," she wrote in a celebratory Instagram post. "Most of all… I hope to represent YOU. I hope I made you feel proud walking this runway!"
Scott was chosen as a 2021 Sports Illustrated rookie for the annual Swimsuit Issue, which hits stands July 19.
"It’s pretty cool to be a rookie at 37 as a mom," she said. "So many of us as women, we don’t feel ready — we’re not ready to go to the pool, or beach. I wanted to walk that runway exactly as I am right now. You are ready no matter what stage you’re in and I am just really honored to be part of that."
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