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​sports illustrated announces “plus size” model ashley graham as their latest rookie star

Yep, they’re still calling her “plus size”

by Tish Weinstock
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11 February 2016, 10:26am

Ashley Graham has just been announced as the latest member of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit 2016 Rookie Class. An advocate of beauty in all different shapes and sizes, and at size 16 herself, Ashley breaks up the size 0 narrative we're so used to seeing. In fact, she destroys it. That something so mainstream and iconic within its field like Sports Illustrated has got behind her in challenging the industry's unrealistic ideals when it comes to body image, must be highly commended. 

But the fact that outlets reporting on the news, in fact even Sports Illustrated itself, are still referring to her as "plus size", a term she has actively spoken out against, indicates how we're still uncomfortable when it comes to talking about body shape, and our reluctance to abandon the age old categories, when really these models are more than just their body weight. 

Just last month, in Shape magazine, she once again denounced the term, "plus size" saying, "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. And you know what, this younger generation of girls that are bigger and curvier, do they want to be called plus-sized at age 13 when they go to school? No. You just want to be a girl. I think it's about getting with the times." 

But that isn't all, also featured in the issue, but this time as part of SwimSuits for All's latest campaign - and making history in doing so - is 56 year old model, Nicola Griffin. Again, while it's great that older women are being embraced by the industry, and even as reminders that the silver age can still #SwimSexy, it shouldn't be such a big headline grabbing deal. Nevertheless, this is all a step in the right direction, one that will hopefully be followed by all.