Sports Illustrated is making waves in the fashion industry with their historic ad featuring, by their description, a plus-sized model. The 2015 Swimsuit Issue will debut on February 9, featuring an ad with plus-sized model Ashley Graham, who is a size 14. While I applaud Sports Illustrated for bending to the pressure of the outcry for plus-sized models and taking a historic step toward expanding the body style featured in their iconic magazine, a size 14 hardly qualifies as plus-sized, at least in my opinion. Especially when it happens to be the average size for women in America.
The ad, #CurvesInBikinis, is run by Swimsuits For All, an online retailer featuring sexy swimsuits for women of all sizes. The ad does promote wonderful products that make voluptuous women feel beautiful. Items from the Swim Sexy line will be displayed for the ad. According to ET Online, Graham is hoping to show plus-sized women that curves are beautiful.
"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."It really is time for the media and fashion outlets to stop the major airbrushing and use of anorexic models as a standard for beauty to which every woman should aspire. Maybe if we could see lovely ladies of the more curvy persuasion displayed in magazines, we would not feel the need to starve ourselves to meet the "perfect body" ideal that is unrealistic for many of us to attain. The outcry for plus-sized clothing to be advertised by plus-sized ladies is growing louder. Some companies are responding positively, but the majority are not. Countless times I have seen items in catalogs which are only available in plus sizes displayed by women who are much smaller. I find this insulting. I want to see what the clothing looks like on someone of my own body type.
In a related report by the Inquisitr, Victoria's Secret is currently under fire for the lack of plus-sized clothing available. Larger women like to wear pretty lingerie, too. Several petitions have been created in the hopes to force the iconic lingerie company to widen their lines, so to speak. Perhaps the historic plus-sized ad will convince retailers of the desperate need to expand into plus-sized lines.
Since Sports Illustrated has taken a historic step in running a plus-sized ad in their wildly popular Swimsuit Issue, we can hope that this ad will break the ice for other magazines to follow suit. There is beauty in every woman, regardless of size. It's time we let go of unrealistic expectations and celebrate reality.
[Image via Allure]