Ashley Graham (Courtesy of Bustle.com)

Ashley Graham (Courtesy of Bustle.com)

 

By: Melissa Perez

The annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition has always featured petite models on the cover, but, this year, the magazine is publishing an edition with their first plus-sized models.

Ashley Graham and Robyn Lawley have been selected to be in the 2015 edition, but will not be on the front cover. The women are being shoved in between pages, instead of being the faces that all of America would see on racks everywhere.

Ashley Graham, a size 16, represents curvy women in an ad in Sports Illustrated as she was proudly photographed with her natural, curvy body. Graham’s ad is sponsored by SwimSuitsForAll, an online retailer that specializes in bathing suit attire that is both flattering and supportive.

“This campaign really makes the statement that women should feel comfortable flaunting their curves — especially when wearing a swimsuit — and shows that men think curves are sexy, too,” Ashley Graham told Bustle.com.

 

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Robyn Lawley (Courtesy of millixeber.com)

Robyn Lawley is being categorized as a plus-sized model although just one look at her proves otherwise. Lawley is a size 12 and, because of the number of her size, society and the fashion industry are calling a woman who is not skinny, plus-sized. Unlike her fellow plus-sized colleague, Lawley is being featured in an editorial in the magazine. Both are plus-sized, both are successful models, and both are in the issue, yet the smaller one is featured.Seems too biased to be just a mere coincidence.

Since its first publication in 1964, this is Sports Illustrated’s first time printing with women who are realistic, busty and not thin. Graham’s and Lawley’s participation has sparked an inspiration among females, and has the media buzzing. A petition has been orchestrated with the intention of asking Victoria’s Secret to incorporate plus sizes in their clothing. Also, last year, three women, their body types ranging from average to plus size, stunned society as they remade the 2014 Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover. Mimicking the same poses as the original trio, they raised controversy and talk about the definition of beauty.

Not every woman is slender, not every woman is voluptuous, yet everywhere a woman looks, she sees a world promoting thin. Our standard size of beauty should not be so small, yet it is, and our women and young girls live in a world where the idea of beauty is not their body.