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Ashley Graham Is SI’s Newest Full-Figured Swimsuit Model

“Thank you to everyone who stood up for curves.”

Last year, Sports Illustrated broke its long-standing tradition of featuring only ultrathin models in its annual swimsuit issue by featuring it first plus-size model, Robyn Lawley. The size-12 model looked dazzling in a beautiful photo shoot at Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. Although Lawley is proud of her build, she doesn’t like the term “plus-size.” “Telling women that they’re ‘plus-size’ is sending the wrong message—that there is something wrong with them,” she told The Telegraph. “If we continue to use that term, which was created by the fashion industry, we are segregating huge numbers of women,” she said. “We should get rid of it.”

Via Twitter

The response must have been fantastic, because this year, Sports Illustrated has gone further, introducing the world to the even curvier Ashley Graham. The size-16 model announced yesterday that she was chosen by posting a shot of herself in a purple bikini on Instagram. “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.”

Via Instagram

Back in 2012, Graham was named Model of the Year at the Full Figured Fashion Week awards event, and throughout her career she has been a vocal supporter of body positivity. She recently told Today, “There is no right size and there is no wrong size. We are all built differently, and that’s a good thing!” Graham urges everyone to “celebrate and embrace your differences.”

(H/T The Huffington Post)

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