Ashley Graham recalls a model saying 'women my size should not be' on Sports Illustrated cover

Supermodel was first size 16 cover model for Sports Illustrated 

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Saturday 11 April 2020 14:53
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Ashley Graham recalls hurtful response from another model to her Sports Illustrated cover.mp4

Ashley Graham has opened up about the hurt she felt after a fellow model said she did not belong on the cover of Sports Illustrated because she was “very large”.

Speaking with Naomi Campbell for the supermodel’s YouTube series No Filter With Naomi, Graham recalled being featured on the cover of the magazine in 2016 as the first size 16 model, and what the reaction was like from the industry.

“The second year that I tried out, I got it and I was a rookie. It was a fantastic photo shoot, great images and boom! I got the cover,” Graham said, adding that there was one model who was “so upset” that the 32-year-old had been chosen for the cover.

“There was another model who was so upset that I had gotten the cover and she said I was very large and that women my size should not be on the cover," the supermodel said, prompting Campbell to say: “Who said that?”

Rather than naming the model, Graham said: “You can go look it up,” before reflecting on the first time she and Campbell met, shortly after the incident, at the CFDA’s, where she learned that Campbell had defended her.

“You told me: 'I just want to let you know that I was talking about you and I defended you,'” Graham said, adding: “First of all, I'm meeting Naomi Campbell for the first time and she just defended me. Heart is racing! Thank you!"

In response, Campbell assured Graham she would defend her again.

“Well, and I’d defend you again right now because I don’t think that person has the right to say that,” the 49-year-old said.

Graham may have been referring to 70s supermodel Cheryl Tiegs, who told E! News in 2016: “I don’t like it that we’re talking about full-figured women because it’s glamorising them and your waist should be smaller than 35 [inches].

“That’s what Dr Oz said and I’m sticking to it,” she continued, adding: “I don’t think it’s healthy. Her face is beautiful, but I don’t think it’s healthy in the long run.”

While Graham acknowledged that you’re “always going to get negativity,” she said that the groundbreaking cover brought up the conversations of: “What is health? What is beauty? What is sexy?”

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