It seems the editors over at Sports Illustrated have had a hard time deciding which model to feature on the cover of their annual swimsuit edition, because the magazine will release the issue with three different covers. One of three models will grace the cover of each version of the issue, giving readers a choice between Ronda Rousey, Ashley Graham, and Hailey Clauson. News of the decision was announced during a live televised event, revealing the identities of the three Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition’s cover models. This year marks the first time in the history of the magazine that the swimsuit edition’s cover has been divided between three models.
The 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition Belongs To Three Women
The news that Sports Illustrated would offer three choices for its swimsuit issue was revealed as a part of TNT’s special, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2016 Revealed, which was hosted by Nick Cannon and Rebecca Romijn. During the program, Elle Macpherson was presented with an award for having repeatedly appeared on the magazine’s swimsuit edition covers. Ms. MacPherson was featured on five covers with 2006 being her most recent year.
The hour-long Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2016 Revealed showcased 20 models in exotic locations, as they posed for photo shoots for the special edition of the magazine. Among the models to have been shown on the TNT event were Chrissy Teigen, Gigi Hadid, Chanel Iman, Nina Agdal, and Irina Shayk.
Ronda Rousey was among several female athletes featured in the issue and, when asked about appearing nude except for body paint, she answered that it didn’t bother her at all.
Sports Illustrated has been paying attention to social commentary on body shaming and ageism to be judged by the inclusion of plus-size model Ashley Graham and 56-year-old Nicola Griffin, who appeared in a “Swimsuits for All” advertisement. Ms. Griffin is the oldest model to ever appear in a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
“It’s not all about being 20 and five-foot-ten. We’re bored of that,” Ms. Griffin said of the Sports Illustrated special edition. “We are all different ages and sizes and that’s the beauty of it. We’re real women.”
Sports Illustrated Redefines Beauty With Ashley Graham
While Hollywood is fighting tooth and nail against the hordes insisting that motion picture and television companies change their misogynistic ways, Sports Illustrated is proving that not every media outlet has it in for female celebrities. The editors of the magazine didn’t wait for protests and criticism. They changed the rules without any goading from the public. They didn’t just select Ms. Graham, a plus-size model, as one of their new rookie models, but also allowed her to feature on one-third of the swimsuit edition’s covers.
Ashley is more than just a model, though she was discovered and swept off her feet at a mall in her Lincoln, Nebraska, hometown at the early age of 10. While she has pursued modeling from those early days, Ms. Graham has also pursued a number of dreams from blogging to fashion design. She has long been a designer for Lane Bryant lingerie. She took another leap forward in 2013, when she released her own line of lingerie with Canadian brand Addition Elle.
How does she do it all? She says the key is confidence and, to judge by her style, no one could deny that she exudes self-determination with every step. Whether she’s working out or traveling to exotic photo shoot locations, Ms. Graham proves that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.
For fans eager to meet Ashley Graham, Ronda Rousey, or Hailey Clauson, they will appear live at two Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Fan Festivals, scheduled for New York City on February 15 and 16 at The Altman Building, and in Miami Florida at Lummus Park on February 17 and 18.
[Image by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated]