Sports Illustrated‘s Swimsuit Issue already gets a ton of press. But it’s getting even more this year because of the announcement that there will be a plus-size model featured in its pages. Not in one of the racy spreads though. In one of the ads.
Ashley Graham is the model in the ads. She’s made appearances in fashion magazines like Elle and Glamour. For the Swimsuits for All (which specializes in swimwear sized 10 and up), this is definitely the place to be and they’re maximizing the opportunity with the hashtag in the ad.
And for Graham and other plus-size models, this is a barrier broken. There’s absolutely no reason why you can’t show different body types in bathing suits across all sorts of magazines and websites. That it’s in the most prominent piece of swimsuit media of the whole year is a win.
But, of course, there’s the fact that this is an ad, not part of the magazine’s editorial content. That makes this a kind of a neutral for Sports Illustrated. No doubt, there’s still going to be a ton of people rushing out to buy the magazine whether. And change has to start somewhere. This is a great place. But it isn’t really a full embrace of body diversity when the editorial team isn’t making it part of their plans. There’s still that significant leap to make.
The Swimsuit Edition will be on newsstands February 9.