PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue has become a staple of the fashion modeling industry and is now looking to get ahead of the curve. The magazine revealed its three cover models for the 2016 swimsuit issue and for the first time, the magazine will feature a size-14 model on its cover.
Ashley Graham, a body positive activist model, will look to represent a population of women that have not seen themselves represented in this publication to this point.
Joining Graham on covers this year are SI Rookie Hailey Clauson and MMA fighter Ronda Rousey.
Graham grew up in multiple places around the country and went to school in Nebraska before moving to New York at age 17 to pursue a career in modeling.
Graham, 28, attended an SI casting in 2014, but failed to make the magazine. She did create some headlines in 2015 when she was in the magazine, but appeared only in an advertisement and did not have an actual photoshoot with SI.
This year, Graham not only made it in as a model, but she is gracing one of the covers.
Graham told SI that Assistant Managing Editor MJ Day was eager to include her in the magazine after seeing that people, women and men, were ready to see more diversity in the magazine.
“This to me is only telling for where the future of fashion and Sports Illustrated are headed,” Graham told the magazine about her being included in the issue. “I think that this is going to be a huge stepping stone for so many different types of publications.”