Ashley Graham does not consider a generic social media message to be an apology. The 28-year-old Sports Illustrated model is speaking out about fellow cover girl Cheryl Tiegs’ hateful comments about her size and about her landmark cover for the magazine’s annual swimsuit issue.
Tiegs, 68, criticized size 16 model Ashley Graham and the iconic sports magazine for “glamorizing full figured women” with their latest cover, and it’s not surprising that she received a ton of backlash for her controversial comments. A few days later, Tiegs hit Twitter to apologize to anyone she offended, but the modeling legend did not mention Ashley Graham by name in her apology.
My sincere apologies to everyone I have hurt. I truly just want everyone to be healthy & happy.— Cheryl Tiegs (@CherylTiegs) February 26, 2016
But Ashley Graham doesn’t seem to care at all about what Cheryl Tiegs thinks. In an interview with E! News, Ashley said she’s seen Tiegs’ type before, and it just makes her realize that the modeling industry needs to change even more now than ever. She also said that while the iconic model’s insensitive words may have hurt a lot of people, her own skin is very thick.
“I kind of rolled my eyes, I was like, ‘Oh whatever, another one of these ladies.’ But what’s great is that – the fact that she said it – it means that other women think like her. And what that means is that we really need to change the industry.”
While Ashley Graham won’t let Tiegs’—or anyone else’s— words hurt her, she did reveal that she never received a personal apology from the ’70s supermodel, which is rather surprising considering all of the backlash she received.
“I’ve never personally heard from her. She said her comment about me, then never heard a follow up. People are saying she apologized. But I never heard one.”
Even though Cheryl never personally reached out to her, Ashley Graham said that she has always looked up to the classic SI models. She described her predecessors in the field as “classic, amazing, beautiful women,” and she reiterated that she thinks it is a shame that some of them have to bring other people down. Graham added that she is here to “bring people up.”
Still, Ashley Graham doesn’t particularly like being described as a “plus-sized” model in the fashion world. The brunette beauty spoke to Entertainment Tonight last summer about the stigmas of being referred to as a full-figured model.
“The things that I don’t necessarily like about it is all the negative stigmatisms that go with the word plus size – you’re fat, you’re lazy, you have no drive, no determination, you’re constantly eating. Honey, I work out. I work out three days a week. I lift. I do barre. I do it all. It’s the stereotypes. That’s what I really don’t like. I am me. Take it or leave it.”
After Ashley Graham’s Sports Illustrated cover dropped, Cheryl Tiegs made headlines for a red carpet interview with E! News in which she said she doesn’t like the fact that the magazine stepped outside of the box to celebrate plus-size women by putting Graham on the cover of their latest Swimsuit Issue. Tiegs said being full-figured is unhealthy and she quoted Dr. Oz as saying the waist should be smaller than 35 inches. Cheryl made sure to say that Ashley Graham’s face is “beautiful,” but she reiterated that she doesn’t “think it’s healthy in the long run” to be full-figured.
Take a look at the video below to see Cheryl Tiegs’ comments about Ashley Graham’s Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover.
[Photo by Sergi Alexander/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated]