'Sports Illustrated' Swimsuit Issue features plus-size model for the first time

For the first time ever, a plus-size model will appear within the pages of the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. Ashley Graham, 27, appears in a string bikini next to pages of models like Behati Prinsloo, Heidi Klum and Adriana Lima, showing off her curvaceous figure in an advertisement for the bathing suit company Swimsuits For All.

“I know my curves are sexy and I want everyone else to know that theirs are too,” said Ashley in a statement about the campaign. “There is no reason to hide and every reason to flaunt. The world is ready for more curves in bikinis. Swimsuits For All helps women feel confident and sexy in swimsuits and I am so thrilled to be a part of the #CurvesinBikinis campaign!”

The campaign is accompanied by a short video with Ashley seeing jaws drop as she struts by a pool showing off her striking figure.
Scroll below for the campaign video

Sports Illustrated is renowned for featuring models with some of the world’s most enviable bodies, and a representative for the publication revealed that they were moving to embrace a wider range of body types.

We are entering the curvy girl era and when all eyes are on the bikini babes of Sports Illustrated, it would be a great time to have the conversation about the rise of the curvy girl,” a spokeswoman for the magazine told WPIX.

It comes as no surprise that Ashley was chosen to front the historical moment for the magazine – the American beauty continually pioneers for women to embrace their bodies no matter what their shape.

Kicking off her modelling career when she was just 12 years old, Ashley has gone on to model for brands including Levi’s and Simply Be, as well as closing brand Evans’ spring 2015 catwalk show at London Fashion Week last September.

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