Ashley Graham will be making history. The upcoming Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue will have an ad featuring Graham, making her the first plus-size model to appear in Sports Illustrated. The ad is for Swimsuits for All and shows Ashley Graham flaunting her curves in a sexy bikini.
— E! Online (@eonline) February 5, 2015
A spokesperson for the publication released a statement saying, “We are entering the curvy girl era and when all eyes are on the bikini babes of Sports Illustrated, it would be a great time to have the conversation about the rise of the curvy girl.”
“I know my curves are sexy and I want everyone else to know that theirs are too. There is no reason to hide and every reason to flaunt,” Ashley Graham said in a separate press release.
“The world is ready for more curves in bikinis. Swimsuits for All helps women feel confident and sexy in swimsuits and I am so thrilled to be a part of the #CurvesinBikinis campaign!”
Ashley Graham, 27 years old, is very vocal when it comes to the subject of women and body image. In January, she penned an essay for The Edit about that particular subject.
— Models Of Diversity (@ModsOfDiversity) January 5, 2015
She wrote, “I think that you can be healthy at any size and my goal is to help and educate women on that. It doesn’t matter if you’re a size 2 or 22 as long as you’re taking care of your body, working out, and telling yourself, ‘I love you’ instead of taking in the negativity of beauty standards.”
In the same essay, Graham wrote, “My weight was never an issue for me until I moved to New York on my own at 17 and gained 20-25lbs; I went up to a US 18. It didn’t affect my work – I still got plenty of bookings – but I didn’t feel good, so I tried to find a balance. Now I’m a US 14, a size I’ve maintained for the past eight years. It’s not about conforming; it’s a size I feel good at.”
Ashley Graham added, “I think people need a purpose and my purpose is helping women who don’t love their bodies to embrace them.”
Graham is part of the group ALDA, which she started with other plus-size models. They have made appearances at schools to talk about body image and acceptance.
ALDA has already been contacted by the UN to do a panel discussion on beauty standards.
[Image via YouTube]