Plus-size Ashley Graham graces Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue – in an ad

Plus-size model Ashley Graham will make history by starring in this ad in the new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.
Plus-size model Ashley Graham will make history by starring in this ad in the new Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. Swimsuits For All

For the first time, the pages of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue will include a plus-size woman – in an advertisement.

Model Ashley Graham, 27, who wears size 14, strikes a pose in a fetching string bikini in an ad for Swimsuits For All. The company’s campaign celebrating #CurvesinBikinis encourages women of all shapes and sizes to feel confident in swimwear.

“I know my curves are sexy and I want everyone else to know that theirs are too. There is no reason to hide and every reason to flaunt,” Graham said in a statement about the campaign.

“The world is ready for more curves in bikinis.

The news of Graham’s appearance in Sports Illustrated was generally hailed as positive on Wednesday.

“Graham is the first ever plus-size model to grace the pages of the magazine’s highly coveted swimsuit edition. This is history being made right in front of our very eyes, people!” noted news site.

“As part of the swimwear brand’s #CurvesInBikinis campaign, the ad solidifies the notion that naturally curvaceous bods are beautiful — and that men think so too.”

But fashion magazine Nylon complained that it’s too bad that Graham wasn’t featured with the other SI swimsuit models.

“It feels like major developments in body positivity are on the horizon: Last week, #effyourbeautystandards founder Tess Holliday was signed by MiLK Model Management and this morning, it was announced that Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit issue will feature its first ever plus-size model,” noted the website.

“There's only one problem with the latter: SI didn't cast the model, but rather allowed swimwear brand Swimsuits For All to place an advertisement starring plus-size model Ashley Graham.

“Sports Illustrated is a brand based upon living a healthy, active life, and their annual Swimsuit Issue historically features many curvy (albeit still slim) women like Tyra Banks, Christie Brinkley, Carol Alt, and most recently, Kate Upton.

“And while other magazines, especially fashion magazines (NYLON included), have not made great strides in casting more full-figured women in editorials, SI has a great opportunity to feature beautiful women of all shapes and sizes. After all, the Swimsuit Issue is inarguably founded upon sex and there should never be just one way to be sexy.”

The swimsuit issue hits newsstands on Monday.

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