Sport's Illustrated is bringing back curves and making history by featuring its first plus-sized swimsuit model, Ashley Graham in its 2015 annual swimsuit issue. The 27 year old model will be the focus of an advertisement for the campaign #CurvesInBikinis, which aims to help women of all sizes feel confident in their swimsuits.
Graham has been featured in Glamour, Latina, and Elle in the past, and has also been an outspoken advocate for curvy women in the media. The Jan. 2015 issue of The Edit featured an essay by Graham detailing her experience as a plus-sized model and encouraging women to be comfortable with their bodies. "It doesn't matter if you’re a size two or 22 as long as you’re taking care of your body, working out, and telling yourself, ‘I love you’ instead of taking in the negativity of beauty standards," she wrote.
Even before the issue is available, Sport's Illustrated is getting great publicity for featuring this ad, which hopefully means others will follow their example. But even with the massive amount of attention #CurvesInBikinis is now receiving, Graham knows there's still a lot of work to do. "There needs to be more education in schools, because that's where eating disorders start. It's not just about being healthy; it's also about loving who you are," she wrote in her essay to The Edit, perfectly expressing the mental and physical suffering many women go through to try to live up to society's standards.
Graham's self-confidence and desire to help other women make her an excellent representative for the #CurvesInBikinis campaign. She recently said of the campaign “I know my curves are sexy and I want everyone else to know that theirs are too." Plus-sized advocacy groups have often said that what society deems beautiful changes over time, and that curves have been making a comeback. With the recent social media frenzy around her Sport's Illustrated ad she may be right to say "the world is ready for more curves in bikinis."