Ashley Graham Becomes First Plus-Size Model to Cover “Sports Illustrated” Swimwear Issue

Author: Dora Belle
02.27 / Style

Ashley Graham, 27, adorns the Swimsuit Sports Illustrated cover this month alongside Ronda Rousey and Haley Clauson in a three cover spread.

Sports Illustrated, for the first time ever, has doused us with not just one bad bish to get googley-eyed over but three! Ashley Graham, Ronda Rousey and Haley Clauson. The times are changing and the editorial game has stepped up to realize people want variety. There is no ONE way of doing things anymore. Sadly enough, that’s not what’s making headlines, instead, folks are criticizing Sports Illustrated for choosing a size 14 Ashley Graham as a cover model.

First, let's just recognize she’s sexy and so sultry! Did you see that rose blush colored dress she wore on Ellen? HOT! She doesn’t look like the quintessential model but what’s normal anyway? As long as she is healthy, happy, and a role model, why all the shade? Change is good, let’s embrace Sports Illustrated for shaking up how we define eye candy and representing women can be desired in all sizes.

Not only is Ashley gorgeous enough to grace the cover but also she has the ambition to prove she is overqualified. Ashley is originally from Lincoln, Nebraska and was discovered at the age of 12 in a mall. She’s since worked in editorial, catalog, runway, commercial, television, and film. Some of her clients include Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Old Navy, and Target.

Last year was her power year, hosting her very own TED talk titled “Plus Size? More Like My Size," and starting ALDA which is a group of models who represent beauty overall without divisions and boundaries. Ashley also signed an exclusive partnership from her #CurvesAndBikinis campaign with #swimsuitsforall to design three annual swimsuit collections that will launch in May 2016. Recently, she shared her workout secrets with Net-A-Porter in a You-Tube video series called Curvy Fit Club. Ending the year with receiving the highly coveted recognition from Forbes magazine “30 under 30,” Ashley deserves this cover!

Let’s leave on this: It’s interesting that we don’t fat shame a Kim Kardashian or J.Lo for the size of their ass and hips. But hello smart people, in order to have an ass that big you need the support to hold it up, your hips. Have we stopped to think about what size Kim K. wears? Shameful that everything goes back to this family in order to approve what is trending. The Kardashian family has aired their dirty laundry and made no apologies for it. But these are the times, and the times are showing that confidence above all will prosper. And Ashley Graham exudes confidence. Congratulations to her for landing the Swimsuit Sports Illustrated cover!