Maria Thattil opens up about decision to pose nude for Stellar photo shoot

Former Miss Universe Australia Maria Thattil has opened up about her decision to pose nude on the cover of today’s issue of Stellar.

In a wide-ranging interview with the magazine, for which she’s also a columnist, the 31-year-old admitted it’s “just not in my nature to worry about how someone else might perceive” her baring-all in the photos.

“I think women are held to standards of scrutiny that make us feel like to be taken seriously, or to get ahead, we need to be palatable, but we can’t be too sexy and we can’t show skin,” Thattil said.

“We’re not allowed to just exist as we are.”

The star admitted she “loved that I can come down to my bare bones for the shoot.”

“Because I want to, because I’m confident and I choose to,” she explained.

“That choice and agency has always belonged to me, even if there was a period of time in my life when I was convinced that it didn’t.

“So, yes, I’m a sensual, physical and empowered being, and I’m not going to apologise for embodying that.”

In other facets of her life, particularly when it comes to her current relationship with former AFLW player Moana Hope, Thattil has made the decision to draw back from the public.

“I’m an open book, and I think so much of my personal life, relationships or family stuff has been the subject of my columns or my blog or my work,” she said.

“And I’ve loved them because I really think that it is through storytelling that we connect with people – that people understand you or feel impacted by something you say. So I think it is important to share.”

She explained she’s learnt how important it is to protect certains parts of your life.

“In this digital world that we live in, strangers do feel entitled to you; sometimes they can have parasocial relationships where they feel entitled to ask me things,” she added.

“I always think to myself, these people would never walk up to you in the street and just, point-blank, to your face, ask you this stuff. And I feel like I don’t want that undue pressure.”

Hope was forced to defend her relationship with Thattil when the couple went public with their relationship last September, which prompted one person to declare it was “too soon” after Hope’s split from wife Isabella Carlstrom.

She and Carlstrom parted ways last May, after four years of marriage and with two children.

“Historically I don’t entertain those kind of comments or opinions but I actually responded to that person and I asked if they can send me the book on how to be separated,” Hope said at the time.

“Because I think there is an index section in that book that can tell me how long you’re supposed to wait after separating form someone, that you should find happiness.

“I have moved on, the other person has moved on. We are good and everyone’s happy and healthy. Why can’t I have happiness?

“Talking about my own experience here – whether I’m dating one person, multiple people, whether I’m thinking about one day would I get married again, whatever decision I make for me is my choice.

“I don’t need to follow some book or time frame based on what’s appropriate. Or acceptable to people.”

Read the full interview with Maria Thattil inside The Sunday Telegraph (NSW), Sunday Herald Sun (VIC), The Sunday Mail (QLD) and Sunday Mail (SA)

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