Damn, girl! Ashley Graham just became the first plus-size model to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated, and it’s not hard to see why.
The 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue will be the first in more than 50 years to feature multiple cover models, as readers will be able to choose between Graham, model Hailey Clauson and UFC fighter Ronda Rousey — three women representing three different body types.
Graham, a size 16 American model from Lincoln, Nebraska, has been an outspoken advocate for body positivity, speaking at high schools and other venues about body image and body acceptance.
If you haven’t seen her TEDx Talk from last year, it’s a must-watch.
Graham posted her cover to her Instagram account this morning.
“Truly speechless,” she wrote. “This cover is for every woman who felt like she wasn’t beautiful enough because of her size.
“You can do and achieve anything you put your mind to.”
So, why three covers instead of one? Assistant Managing Editor MJ Day says they were simply spoiled for choice.
“All three women are beautiful, sexy and strong,” MJ says.
“Beauty is not cookie cutter. Beauty is not ‘one size fits all’. Beauty is all around us and that has become especially obvious to me while shooting and editing this year’s issue.”
As for why they went with Ashley Graham, in particular, MJ says it’s pretty simple — Ashley is really hot.
“Ashley Graham is a sultry, feminine masterpiece. I dare you not to stare at her. Ashley commands your attention in her photographs. She owns her sexiness in a way that every woman should. Her confidence is contagious.”
The three covers are as follows:
Are you happy for Ashley, or are you just surprised they still print the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Special? Have your say in the comments below!