body diversity

This Year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Will Feature Its Curviest Model Yet

Ashley Graham in SI Swimsuit, on sale February 15th.
Ashley Graham in SI Swimsuit, on sale February 15th. Photo: James Macari/Sports Illustrated

Ashley Graham is having a pretty fantastic day. Not only did the plus-size model hit 1 million followers on Instagram, but she also announced that she made the editorial pages of Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue for the first time.

She wrote, “It’s official - I’m a @si_swimsuit model!! This is a dream come true. Thank you to everyone who stood up for curves- our voices were heard and together we can help me win Rookie of the Year. Stay tuned for voting instructions #beautybeyondsize #siswim.

Graham, a five-foot-nine, size 16 model and self-described body activist, might be best known for her Lane Bryant campaigns, but she has her own lingerie line with Addition Elle and recently fronted Forever 21’s ads for plus-size activewear.

This isn’t even Graham’s first swimsuit-issue appearance: She was in the 2015 ad campaign for Swimsuits for All (a retailer for swimwear in sizes 8 to 34), which made headlines the day before SI announced that Australian model Robyn Lawley would be the first woman beyond a traditional sample size to appear in its pages.

SI Swimsuit Issue Has Its Curviest Model Yet