Tuesday 6 December 2016

Plus-size Ashley Graham nabs spread in Sports Illustrated's most diverse Swimsuit Issue ever

Independent.ie Newsdesk and Agencies

Published 10/02/2016 | 10:46

Ashley Graham/Instagram
Ashley Graham/Instagram
Ashley Graham features in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Picture: Ashley Graham/Instagram via Sports Illustrated
Ashley Graham featured in a teaser for Sports Illustrated in 2015
Model/designer Ashley Graham walks down the runway during the Addition Elle/Ashley Graham Lingerie Collection fashion show during the Spring 2016 Style 360 on September 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images)

Ashley Graham is officially a Sports Illustrated model.

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The plus-size fashion star has been making waves in the style industry for the past 12 months, topping off a successful year with this latest accolade. She'll be appearing in the publication's famous Swimsuit Issue, and she has already shared some bikini snaps on her Instagram account.

"It's official - I'm a @si_swimsuit model!!" she exclaimed. "This is a dream come true. Thank you to everyone who stood up for curves- our voices were heard and together we can help me win Rookie of the Year (prize for model newcomer). Stay tuned for voting instructions #beautybeyondsize #siswim (sic)."

The shot she captioned sees 28-year-old Ashley reclining on a beach in a purple two-piece swimming outfit, looking relaxed as she gazes into the camera. Last year the US size 16 model appeared in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in an advert, while size 12 star Robyn Lawley broke stereotypes with her inclusion in the magazine.

Read more: 10 times Ashley Graham wrote the book on body confidence

Ashley also uploaded a gold bikini shot, telling her followers that having confidence is all a girl really needs.

"Confidence is my golden rule. Have you seen my new #SwimSexy campaign with @swimsuitsforall in @SI_Swimsuit?" she wrote.

Ashley has other reasons to celebrate too; she's now hit one million followers on the photo sharing site. To mark the occasion she uploaded a third swimsuit snap, this time wearing a white bikini.

Ashley Graham featured in a teaser for Sports Illustrated in 2015
Ashley Graham featured in a teaser for Sports Illustrated in 2015

"1 MILLION FOLLOWERS!!!!! Thank you so much!!! #beautybeyondsize #sexystateofmind," she gushed.

The model has never been afraid to talk about her size, but in a recent chat with elle.com she did admit to hating the term "real women".

"I like to use the word woman," she said. "And I say that because there are so many women out there who are naturally thin, or are naturally curvy, and I think when we start putting a label on the type of woman it gets misconstrued and starts to offend people. At the end of the day we just all want to be known as women or models or actresses or whatever."

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