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‘Sports Illustrated’ Actually Showed a Model With Stretch Marks, But It’s Not What You Think

Yes, technically Sports Illustrated has a photo of a plus-sized model with actual stretch marks. But before you get your hopes up, it’s not on the cover, nor as part of an editorial. 

The ~tiger stripes~ are featured in an ad for Lane Bryant’s Cacique swimsuit line, from the brand’s “This Body” campaign. The body-positive brand dressed model Denise Bidot in a nautical bikini, and looking confident and flawless. Oh yeah, and she happens to have her stretch marks on display.

I wish models like Bidot could follow in Ashley Graham’s footsteps and grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. At least the ad campaign is working towards greater acceptance of different body sizes, especially when so many women have stretch marks and should never be ashamed of the natural way the body registers changes.

And it’s only the second time in Bidot’s nine-year modeling career that her photos haven’t been retouched to remove her stretch marks. This one is all-natural, and as a mom, Bidot is understandably happy to be a part of the generation that will change representation of women’s bodies in media. “You feel like Cinderella … I remember growing up, every (model on the runway) was pretty much a clone of the other,” she said of fashion week. “So to fast-forward as a mother now and to be able to full-on be a part of that change, it’s everything. My daughter is going to get to grow up in a world where she never sees herself being an outcast or feeling like she doesn’t fit in.”

Keep slaying the game, Lane Bryant.

Lindsay was the president/editor-in-chief of the UCLA chapter of Her Campus from 2015-2018. She was previously the Viral Section Editor at Her Campus and an Editorial Intern at the headquarters in Boston. Lindsay grew up in Washington state and transitioned to love the Southern California sunshine while studying communications and environmental science at UCLA. Twitter: @WeinbergLindsay.