Following last week's news that this year Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue would challenge stereotypes with its #swimsuitsforall advertising campaign, today it has been announced that plus sized model Ashley Graham will star on one of three covers.
Sharing the cover via Instagram the star wrote: "Truly speechless!!! 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. Thank you so much to the entire @si_swimsuit team! I'm so excited to be a part of your family. I love you all!!! #siswim#beautybeyondsize."
Graham appears alongside UFC fighter Ronda Rousey and model Hailey Clauson, and is the first ever size 16 model to feature on the cover.
Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit edition is the most anticipated issue of the year. Published annually by the men’s magazine, the swimsuit issue features top models posing on exotic beaches wearing – you guessed it – their swimwear.
Over the years Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Heidi Klum have all starred, and if there’s one thing the issue is known for it’s using models that are both thin and young. Until now…
For 2016 the magazine is breaking with tradition and casting models of all body shapes and ages as part of their #swimsuitsforall advertising campaign.
Lingerie model, body-positive campaigner, and Instagram phenomenon Ashley Graham was named Sports Ilustrated’s ‘Rookie of the Year’. At a size 16, Graham is one of the first plus sized models to be included in the line-up. Last year, Robyn Lawley, a size 12 model, broke the Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition's mold for beauty when she was cast.
Graham is seen in the mag rocking a purple bikini stretched out on the beach, and in another shot sporting a glamorous gold bikini.
Taking to Instagram to share one of the pics she said: "It's official - I'm a@si_swimsuit model!! This is a dream come true. Thank you to everyone who stood up for curves- our voices were heard and together we can help me win Rookie of the Year. Stay tuned for voting instructions #beautybeyondsize#siswim."
Also in the line-up of diverse models are Philomena Kwao and Nicola Griffin. Kwao is the first curvy black model to star, and 56-year-old Griffin is the oldest model to ever be featured. Amen to that.
Griffin shared the pic of her shot with the caption: "Sexy knows no age, shape or size". We couldn't have put it better ourselves.
The magazine hasn’t done a complete 180 though, the issue will still feature a number of Sports Illustrated favourites including Gigi Hadid and Irina Shayk.
Having said this their alternative line-up is definitely a step in the right direction.