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Sports Illustrated’s Plus Size Model

Since 1964, the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue has been reserved for more conventional supermodels, such as Elle Macpherson, Kate Upton, and Tyra Banks. However, the 2016 covers stray from this conventional model with UFC champion Ronda Rousey and the rookie plus size model, Ashley Graham. 

Ashley Graham, who discovered modeling at a young age, has been featured in magazines such as YM, Glamour, and international editions of both Harper’s Bazaar and Elle. She was featured in the 2015 Swimsuit Edition in an advertisement for the plus size swimsuit company, Swimsuits for All. Positive reactions to this ad led to Graham’s place on this year’s SI cover.

Graham is a vocal advocate for plus size women. In 2010, she was the subject of a Lane Bryant commercial that sparked some controversy, when ABC refused to air the ad during the primetime slot. Graham spoke out against ABC’s refusal and blamed this incident on size-discrimination. She continues to champion for plus size women and encourages body positivity for all women.

You can see more of Ashley Graham on her instagram (theashleygraham), where she frequently promotes confidence for all body types with the hashtag #BeautyBeyondSize.

Liza Miller is a freshman at Connecticut College from Minneapolis, MN. She lives for online shopping, celebrity gossip, and good coffee.
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