Here's What Happens When Athletes Strip Down To Just Body Paint For The SI Swimsuit Issue

alex morgan

Photo: Sports Illustrated Video

One of the coolest features in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is the body paint.This year, SI asked several female athletes to strip down, get a bathing suit painted on them, and pose for the camera.

For a model, this is just another day of work, but it was a completely new thing for the athletes.

Take a look at what it was like for soccer player Alex Morgan, golfer Natalie Gulbris, and swimmer Natalie Coughlin to model in paint for the day.

Soccer star Alex Morgan said she was really excited to pose for SI in body paint. She likes how you can be revealing, but are still completely covered up

All of that paint is going to turn into Morgan's bathing suit

The whole painting process takes about 12 hours. For Morgan's suit they painted a white base and the colour pattern over it

Details are key

Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin also posed. She didn't hesitate before she said yes

For Natalie, they put on an actually suit first and traced the outline

There was a lot of detailing for Coughlin's suit, to make it look like water. It was also based on a Speedo design

Coughlin got comfortable in front of the camera, even though...

She said she didn't really feel like she had clothes on, but didn't feel totally naked

But when she said it was a little awkward to dance naked in front of so many people

Golfer Natalie Gulbris was fascinated with the whole process.

SI designed a special suit just for Gulbris. It was bright green with white golf balls. She wore the suit at first for outlining

Then the artist painted in the details

Gulbris said she definitely felt like she was naked the entire time but loves how the finished product looked just like a bathing suit

But for models, it's all in a day's work

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