SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Sports Illustrated is making history in its celebrated annual Swimsuit Issue by featuring two plus-size models, one in advertisement and another as part of the magazine’s SI’s rookie club.
On Thursday morning, Ashley Graham helped usher in the ‘Curvy Girl Era’ when images of her SwimsuitsForAll ad leaked sending the social media networks into a frenzy.
The ad shows the gorgeous curvy buxom brunette in a tiny black two-piece bikini and heels. She wears a size 16.
While featuring plus-size women in swimsuits is a first for Sports Illustrated, the voluptuous 27-year-old has appeared in spreads in Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, and Latina.
“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,” Graham says in a statement.
A few hours later that afternoon, it was revealed that model Robin Lawley is the true first plus-size model to ever grace the SI swimsuit issue.
Lawley’s size 12 will make her the curviest model to appear in the magazine. Lawley will join seven “rookies” in SI’s Rookie Club spread.
The 6’2″ blond bombshell hopes that her appearance will help more women embrace their curves.
“I don’t know if I consider myself as a plus-size model or not,” Lawley said. “I just consider myself a model because I’m trying to help women in general accept their bodies.”
The fashion industry uses the term plus-size for models who are size 8 and over. Conversely, the most common size in America is a size 14, according to reports.
The 2015 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue will launch on print, digital and mobile platforms on February 9.