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Sports Illustrated: The Plus Size Discussion

Posted: Feb 18 2015

2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Plus Models

If there’s one thing the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition offers up annually, other than sex appeal, it’s controversy. This year the magazine’s launch was set on fire when two lovely plus size ladies were featured: Robin Lawley in the editorial spread “Rookie” and Ashley Graham in a Swimsuits For All advertisement. Normally one model and one ad wouldn’t cause such controversy, but because they’re both considered “plus size,” people were talking.

Mainly the discussion asked what does it actually mean to be plus size? At a size 12, Robin is smaller than the national average women’s dress size of 14, but she’s also way above the fashion model average size of a 2/4. Mostly everyone agreed that she looked great, but it seems no one knew what to make of her place in the world. Questions like “Does this make her a supermodel? Does this deny her being a sexpot?” emerged all over the internet. It seems that with an average-sized body that looked really good, no one knew quite what to make of it, including the model herself.

In an interview with Time magazine, Lawley said, “I don’t know if I consider myself as a plus-size model or not. I just consider myself a model because I’m trying to help women in general accept their bodies.”

Ashley’s inclusion also didn’t go unnoticed. But as she said in multiple interviews, her take on the ad is that she wanted to bring awareness to the fact that size is just a number and the ultimate goal is to be healthy and happy with your body.

All in all, everyone generally agreed that these two women looked great. And to take it one step further, there was even backlash about whether these two should be considered plus size at all.

We’d like to throw our two cents in here about Robin and Ashley’s inclusion. First and foremost, we’re thrilled and proud that curvy girls are being recognized in mainstream media in a positive light and for looking fantastic. Robin and Ashley both looked stunning, there’s no question about that, and their recognition in traditional media, where there's been such a miss, was long overdue.

With two women who embrace our mantras of looking great, being healthy and having a positive body image, we couldn’t be happier that we're having a national conversation about the need to represent more curvy women in media. We can’t wait to see what Robin, Ashley and other plus size models do next.


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