Last week, it was announced that size-16 model Ashley Graham would be featured in Sports Illustrated‘s Swimsuit Issue in ads for Swimsuits for All, a company that designs flattering swimwear for all body shapes. However, Graham is appearing in more than just ads for the magazine.
According to CNN, Sports Illustrated is making history this year by launching three covers of the issue for the first time in 52 years. The three covergirls include Graham, UFC fighter Ronda Rousey and model Hailey Clauson.
The magazine’s Assistant Managing Editor MJ Day spoke on the decision to feature three different women on this year’s cover. “All three women are beautiful, sexy and strong. Beauty is not cookie cutter. Beauty is not ‘one size fits all,'” Day explained.
Describing Graham’s confidence as “contagious,” Day had equally encouraging things to say about Clauson and Rousey, calling the former “smart” and a “cool girl,” while describing the latter as “the perfect combination of beauty, brains, brawn and humility.”
Graham told People that she credits Day for her appearance on one of the covers, who came to her with tears in her eyes explaining to Graham that her cover was going to make history.
“I thought Sports Illustrated was taking a risk by putting a girl my size in the pages,” Graham said. “But putting me on the cover? They aren’t just breaking barriers; they are the standard now. This is beyond epic.”
Set to be released on Monday, Feb. 15, Graham said her cover isn’t a victory for herself, but one for all women.
“I want to dedicate it to all of the women out there who never felt that they were beautiful enough, who never felt like they were skinny enough, and who never felt like they were going to be able to be represented in society like this,” Graham said. “Because now we’re being represented.”
Thank you, Ashley Graham, Ronda Rousey, Hailey Clauson and Sports Illustrated, for showing us that beauty is not ‘one size fits all.’