Ashley Graham: Size 16 model announced as Sports Illustrated swimwear model

Graham thanks ‘everyone who stood up for curves’ 

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The Independent Online

Ashley Graham has thanked everyone who “stood up for curves” after being chosen as only the second curve model to appear in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. 

Graham, 28, is a US size 12/UK size 16 model and designer signed to IMG Models. 

The body-positive activist, who supports the Plus is Equal campaign, was unveiled as one of the magazine’s models on Tuesday. The Plus is Equal campaign calls for the women who make up 67 per cent of the US to be equally represented in the media and fashion industry.

“It's official - I'm a @si_swimsuit model!!” Graham wrote on Instagram. “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.”

Graham made history by being one of the first ever curve models to feature in an advert that ran in the magazine in 2015.

She also campaigns against the way the term plus-size is used and delivered a viral TED Talk on empowerment through rejecting labels. “When it comes to the word 'plus-size', I've been called a plus-size model for the past sixteen years,“ she told Shape last year. ”I hear it, sometimes I say it - it's a slip of the tongue. But at the end of the day, it's a label. You can say, 'Yes it's a negative thing' or 'maybe it's not a negative thing'...but why would we want to be labelled something? Why do we want to be put in a different category than all the other types of models? No one says 'skinny model', so am I wrong for not wanting a label? I don't think so.“

Australian model Robyn Lawley was the first size 12 model to be chosen as a swimwear model for Sports Illustrated in the same year.