Sports Illustrated has revealed the cover of its annual issue of Boobs: The Great Subsidy, and all the predictable heavy breathing that comes on a day like this has been joined by another kind of "buzz," as one might call it. Between now and the issue's publication date, you are probably going to see SI receiving a fair amount of praise for "featuring" a plus-size* model, Ashley Graham, in the swimsuit issue for the first time ever.
Praise like this, from Hello Giggles:
This is monumental news, considering Sports Illustrated is known for solely selecting smaller-sized models for their swimsuit layouts. While ALL bodies are beautiful, it's important to represent every kind of body type by including diverse shapes and sizes in the media. In a press release, Graham states, "I know my curves are sexy and I want everyone else to know that theirs are too. There is no reason to hide and every reason to flaunt. The world is ready for more curves in bikinis."
Or this, from aplus.com:
There has been a call in recent years for more diversity and acceptance in the the modeling world, and Sports Illustrated is finally listening. The magazine's annual swimsuit issue has been around since 1964, and the 2015 issue will feature an ad of a plus-sized model for the first time.
Graham is in the magazine because of ad dollars, not because the editors of SI had a sudden urge to include some body positivity in their annual nudie mag for dads who don't understand the internet. Graham's image will be used in an advertisement for Swimsuits for All, a clothing company that approached SI and said, "We would like to pay you a lot of money to put this ad in your magazine." To which the sales team at SI replied, "Yes, absolutely. We will accept your money because we are a corporation that is desperate to make money, which is the entire point of publishing this glossy, archaic collection of boobs and butts." A sound business transaction, to be sure, but no kind of milestone.
*industry lingo for "perfectly normal-size"