Paige Spiranac appears in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition and reveals it helped her get over suicidal thoughts
Online trolls claimed the female golfer is only popular because of her looks and not talent with some even sending blackmail and death threats
GOLFER Paige Spiranac has revealed how being selected for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition has helped her get over suicidal thoughts.
The American, who is currently ranked outside the top 1000 in the world, suffered abuse with claims she is only popular due to her looks and not her talent on the course.
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That led to Spiranac, 24, going through some dark periods of her life where she received blackmail and death threats from vile online trolls for her provocative dress sense.
Spiranac, who has 1.3million Instagram followers, said in a video for SI Swimsuit: “This shoot felt it was for me, it was meant to be, it was right time, right place, right moment in my life with everything that I’ve gone through.
“I finally took back what is mine. I took back my body, I took back my sexuality and, ‘You guys want to see sexy? I’m going to do sexy and I’m going to do it my way.’
“It was really liberating to be myself and not feel I’m less than someone else or less of a person or that I haven’t accomplished anything or that I’m a slut or my parents hate me or all of these things people call me everyday and really embrace this sexy side and be confident and love who I am and love the skin I’m in.
“It was a really powerful moment.”
With few top-level opportunities in the US, Spiranac says the abuse became much worse when she was given a sponsor’s exemption for the Dubai Ladies Masters in 2015.
Spiranac added: “I’ve been bullied my entire life. I get slut shamed, I get harassed, I get death threats for wearing the stuff that I do.
“No on ever looks at the person I am or the good work that I do.
“It’s been bad my entire life but the last two years have been the worst.
“The night before the tournament (in Dubai) I was sitting in my bathroom just bawling, and I didn’t want to go through this pain, this feeling of helplessness, of being alone and scared and I said I never want another girl or boy or anyone to feel what I went through in that moment and how scared I was and how helpless I felt.
“I was bullied so bad to the point where I didn’t want to live anymore.
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“People say these things and think they’re funny or it has no affect on that person and think words don’t mean anything but words cut deep, they really do.”
Spiranac is an ambassador for Cybersmile, where she helps to educate young kids on the dangers of cyber bullying and how destructive it can be.
She says being part of the SI family has helped her to overcome the trolls and is excited to be part of a group she always looked up to when she was younger.