Ashley Graham just made history as the first size 16 model to cover the Sports Illustrated Swim issue. But her iconic feature was met with as much criticism as praise. One of the loudest detractors was supermodel Cheryl Tiegs. The three-time Sports Illustrated cover girl blasted Graham’s placement, telling E! News, “Actually, I don’t like it that we’re talking about full-figured women. It’s glamorizing them, and your waist should be small than 35 [inches]. That’s what Dr. Oz said, and I’m sticking to it. I don’t think it’s healthy. Her face is beautiful, but I don’t think it’s healthy in the long run.”
To her credit, Graham responded with grace and class. In her own interview with E! News, the 28-year-old model said, “Cheryl Tiegs may have said what she said, and it may have hurt a lot of people’s feelings but my skin is so thick. I kind of rolled my eyes. I was like, ‘Oh whatever, another one of these ladies.’ But what’s great is that the fact that she said it, it means that other women think like her. And what that means is that we really need to change the industry. There are too many people thinking they can look at a girl my size and say that we are unhealthy. You can’t. Only my doctor can!” Precisely.
Ashley Graham isn’t letting her critics slow her down. She recently co-hosted the Oscars pre-show on E! and walked in H&M Studio’s diverse runway show at Paris Fashion Week. She just announced her first-ever clothing line, a collaboration with Dressbarn called BEYOND by Ashley Graham. The beautifully-crafted dresses, which retail for less than $70, are sure to be a hit among plus size shoppers. Take that, haters.