Ashley Graham is the first plus-sized model to cover SI’s Swimsuit Edition: yay?

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The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Editions are not for me. They’ve never been for me. They are for the dudes who enjoy seeing famous women in bikinis, in various tropical locales. But since I have an interest in pop culture/models/fashion industry stuff, I do pay attention to who gets the SI covers every year, because it can really “make” a young model’s career. And now I have a new reason to show some interest: the editors at Sports Illustrated did three covers this year, and one of the covers went to a plus-sized model! How is that Sports Illustrated is doing more for body-positivity than nearly every fashion magazine?

The covers this year were given to 20-year-old Hailey Clauson, 28-year-old Ashley Graham and 29-year-old Ronda Rousey. Clauson is the typical blonde beauty we would normally see on these covers. Graham is the already-well-known size-16 model who will see her profile skyrocket from this exposure. And Rousey is the UFC champion/actress/crush for many men.

Graham has been included in SI’s Swimsuit Edition editorials before, notably in last year’s issue. But this is the first time a plus-sized model has ever been on the cover. And you know what? I’m really into it. I love that Sports Illustrated chose her as a cover girl. Many women have thighs like Ashley (she’s like my new thigh-inspo) and there are a lot of men who love a woman with some thickness. On the other side, I like that Ronda is representing strong bodies, muscular bodies, hardcore-athletic bodies, because there are a lot of men who love that kind of woman too. Plus, I love that Ronda is small-chested and proud – I’m so glad she doesn’t have bolt-ons, and she seems very comfortable with her body as-is. I was going to say something about Ronda in a one-piece, but it appears that the swimsuit is “painted on.” Ugh.

As for Clauson… SI’s assistant managing editor explained how she’s a Cool Girl: “Hailey is the cool girl who doesn’t even know how cool she really is. She’s not only every man’s dream but also every woman’s ‘girl crush.’ She’s goofy. She’s smart. And she’s completely humble. What’s crazy is you don’t even feel like she knows that when you’re around her.” Sounds like Hailey is going to be Leonardo DiCaprio’s new girlfriend.

You can see Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Edition package here.

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Covers courtesy of Sports Illustrated.

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95 Responses to “Ashley Graham is the first plus-sized model to cover SI’s Swimsuit Edition: yay?”

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  1. Locke Lamora says:

    Ashley is stunning. Breathtakingly gorgeous. Ronda also looks great, but somehow it feels wrong to have such a succesfull athlete posin in a painted on bikini ina men’s magazine.
    Hayley is pretty but the description sounds like every cool pretty girl ever. Soo goofy and doesn’t know she’s pretty. Sure she doesn’t. Sure.

    • Emily says:

      Urgh. Pretty girls who “don’t know that they’re pretty” don’t go into modelling… :P

      • ToxicShockAvenger says:

        Thank you. This is SO tired. “Who, ME? Hot?”

        All I could think about when they said “cool girl” was Rosamund Pike’s speech from “Gone, Girl.” Snicker.

    • GoodNamesAllTaken says:

      Yes, the doesn’t know she’s pretty thing is just ridiculous.

    • ichsi says:

      I can’t read Cool Girl without thinking of Gone Girl. Muahahaha

      Hailey is pretty and has nice boobs but it’s a very generic form of pretty. Totally agreed on how stunning Ashley is and it should be a crime to cover up a six-pack like Ronda’s for a swimwear shoot.

    • Bridget says:

      “What, little ol’ me go into modeling? But I’m just a silly dork”

    • teehee says:

      Exactly. I thought I would be happy that larger women get attention, but now its like- “oh great, now they are objectified too”. I would prefer a middle ground as well… not just nearly nude but normal on all kinds of covers. But Im sure this is ringing all kinds of bells for a large portion of the male population who find this beautiful.
      At least I can say possibly fewer men will have body phobias for normal sized women, if this becomes more mainstream.

    • Naddie says:

      Don’t forget her childhood and teenage years, when she was such a tomboy who only cared about playing soccer and bath in mud. That’s when the agency usually finds them, btw.

  2. msd says:

    “Hailey is the cool girl who doesn’t even know how cool she really is.” Urgh, is that anything like the pretty girl who doesn’t know how pretty she is in movies? Give me a break.

  3. GoodNamesAllTaken says:

    Personally, I think it will be a step forward when we don’t measure ourselves by the women sprawled across the front of a magazine. If that’s what they want to do, fine. But it has nothing to do with how I feel about myself. I wish every woman that freedom, including the younger me.

    • heylee says:

      GNAT, you gave me morning goosebumps. What a beautiful forward thinking concept.

    • Amanduh says:

      GNAT…that seriously made me tear up…quite a profound statement!!

    • mp says:

      I just think, how would my son feel if I reassured him that he is more than his looks and his education matters, yet our house was filled by females with magazines of 20 year old chiseled men in nothing but g-string speedos, shorn of all hair, while the older women who did the shoot emphasized how great and what a surprise it was that the cover guy was *actually* smart in addition to being good looking, what a rarity.

      Right on GoodNames. It would suck for men, and it sucks for women. I hope that one day we all stop feeling that pressure to compare too.

      • smith says:

        Toasting your comment with my morning coffee …SKOL!

      • Wren says:

        Reminds me of one episode of the show Red Dwarf where the male characters meet their female counterparts in a parallel universe where women are the dominant sex and thus society is completely opposite. The women have pin-ups of muscled oiled men and stacks of magazines full of similar pictures (and even expect gay porn to turn the guys on and make them want to hook up). The men react with horror and feel quite inadequate next to the images of the idealized male body plastered everywhere. It goes on and the whole time I was watching that show I was all “welcome to my world”.

    • T.Fanty says:

      Oh my god, thank you. I have been saying this for years. HOW IS SI SWIMSUIT EDITION STILL A THING?! How is this a) relevant and b) something to be excited about? Even Playboy has moved on at this point.

      • daniel says:

        Yeah this whole magazine as viable media is down right archaic. People just don’t care about printed media. Playboy is gone, time’s gone, ALL the “great” magazines are out of print, who cares, it’s all internet all the time. And the internet says that we all have our own individual look and taste when it comes to sexy. The internet is progressive and the print media is not . game over.

  4. Lucy2 says:

    It’s good that there’s some variety among the body types. I wish more companies and editorials did that.

    • V4Real says:

      Don’t SI swimsuit edition usually only print one cover? I’m not celebrating yet because they featured a plus size model. Why not just give her the cover without adding other women solo covers. It’s as if they are saying we will put a plus size model on the cover but just in case the men don’t appreciate that we will do two other covers with thinner beauties. It should have only been one cover like they have done in the past. Keep Ashley as the cover model and feature Rhonda and Hailey inside the magazine.

    • qwerty says:

      I wish they started with healthy-sized women first though. Wouldn’t mind seeing a woman with a bmi of, say, 20, instead of only 16s and 30s.

  5. suze says:

    Hailey may well be a very nice woman, a kind woman, a giving woman, but there is no way she doesn’t know she’s pretty. She’s been told every day for a long time. Let’s not pretend, SI.

    I applaud the inclusion of Ashley and Ronda, even though SI’s swimsuit edition is not my thing and never will be – but whatever, they are moving with the times. Let the train run on.

    • blueberry says:

      Not only that, but she’s turned her “pretty” into a commodity and is making a living off of it. I’m sure she’s clueless to her looks… probably eats cheeseburgers for dinner every night and loves beer and football, too. (/snark) She’s absolutely gorgeous though- nobody can deny that!

    • alexc says:

      The “doesn’t know she’s pretty” thing always cracks me up. I had a friend years ago who was drop-dead gorgeous. She was 5’10″ and I mean stunning without a shred of makeup. When we’d hang out together everyone literally gawked at her. I mean men turned into zombies and women stared. She modeled in Europe and couldn’t stand it but let me tell you women who look like that are treated differently from the time they are conscious of it. And even if they are cool, level-headed people it still makes them kind of weird and affected. It’s almost impossible not to be when everyone puts you on a pedestal for no other reason than you were born beautiful. Beauty like that is very powerful, make no mistake. She was as normal as someone who looked like that could be.

  6. Breakfast Margaritas says:

    So cool she doesn’t even need a bikini top!

  7. Tig says:

    Yay for Ashley being on cover-but in the classic sense of this issue it’s her boobs that are on the cover- a la Elle McPherson and Paulina P. Face it, her actual body is not in view- most of her lower body is in the water/waves. It’s a step forward I guess- diversity in objectification. I do like her suit- pretty color.

    • Nameless says:

      Yeah, her boobs are the picture.

      She’s a plus size with an hourglass shape. It’s a start, I guess, but most women don’t look like that. It’s still an ideal body type. When I was 50 pounds heavier I was all belly, when those stupid “real women have curves” memes go around, they don’t mean stomach fat! Haha. Some women get it all in their ass and legs, etc.

      • Sunnydaze says:

        Totally agree – I’m a size 14 right now at 5’10 and I have such weird rolls. My body definitely looks nothing like this and yet size wise I’m smaller…so weird. She’s gorgeous though, I’ve just never seen a heavier woman have such taut skin. Photoshop?

  8. D says:

    Ashley Graham looks stunning. And I guess Ronda Rousey looks good…I don’t know. I just can’t look past her horrible personality and her unsportsmanlike behavior. They should have put Holly Holm on the cover instead.

    • Esmom says:

      I don’t think RR looks good. That facial expression! It’s like they want her to seem intense but instead she just looks evil to me.

      • Baby says:

        It’s because she IS evil. Have any of you watched the Ultimate Fighter show when she and Meisha Tate coached? I used to be a fan until I saw this. She’s quite horrible, I assure you. Rude, aggressive, poor sportsmanship and a bully. I was disgusted by the way she acted. When Holm put some whooping on her, I felt it was well deserved.

    • Shambles says:

      Can’t help but agree. That cover shot of Rousey is not flattering in the facial region and her personality grates

  9. cleveland girl says:

    I like Ronda but the painted on suit looks awful and does nothing for her body. She is an elite athelete -they should have put in a cute athletic type bikini.

  10. Parade says:

    Yay for Ashley Graham! She looks stunning. I’m so glad she’s now more mainstream. She deserves it. I have a fraternal twin sister who would be classified as “plus” size (what a dumb term), and I know how she struggled with size and body issues whenever she would go shopping (clothing options in the plus size section are lacking to put it mildly). I would eat more than her, and yet she was bigger than I, because her size was down to genetics. Glad we’ve opened the door to accepting that more than one body type is acceptable, and I think Ashley Graham on the cover sends that message (something that wouldn’t have happened 15 or 20 years ago). I know there are people who will say don’t look to magazines to validate you and your appearance, but it’s never quite that simple when all the women you see classified as “beautiful” are a certain size, and you’re not that size. Women of all shapes and sizes can be sexy. I’m glad SI is finally realizing that, and if it helps more girls and women love their body, I’m all for it.

  11. Scal says:

    Ashley graham looks stunning. Hailey and her one hand covering her b00bs looks hella awkward. Like her hand is to small or her girls are to wide apart for that pose to work. The girls are stretching-maybe it would have been better to use her arm or (gasp!) give her a sexy top? Either way-that cover bugs.

  12. vanessa says:

    i think she is gorgeous, has great personality and represents well plus sized girls. It great that they put the 3 body types on the cover so that every woman can relate to them.

    • Wentworth Miller says:

      It’s weird that this is even a thing.

      It’s weird that a size 16 is considered plus size.

      • Charlotte15 says:

        @Wentworth that’s what I was thinking.

        We’ve heard for years that the “average American woman” is a size 12. (Adjusted for “vanity sizing,” that number is probably a TRUE 14 or 16, but for argument’s sake lets go with 12 being the average. People always like to say, “Marilyn Monroe was a size 12!” which used to make teenage me verrrry happy, lol, until I read that her clothes might have been labeled as 12, since back then, *everyone* was smaller, and that going by the actual measurements of her clothing and the inflation of sizes over time, she was more of 4 to a 6 — an 8 at the absolute largest — in today’s sizes.)

        Anyway, wouldn’t 16 still be in a “normal” range? If 12 is average, wouldn’t “plus size” be considered, for example, sizes 20 and up or something?

        In any case, it’s all just semantics. Ashley looks fabulous, and this entire discussion seems slightly insane because she is closest to what most women I know actually look like. Hailey is pretty, IMO, but in a very generic way. I couldn’t pick her out of a lineup of other thin, young blondes. 🙄 I get why SI is acting like this is super-groundbreaking on their part, but come ON! Ashley is gorgeous, and as others have pointed out, it isn’t a full-body shot, but more her…chest on display, as opposed to her entire body.

        As long as we’re on the topic, does anyone else really struggle with clothes shopping since the “vanity” sizing became a thing in the last decade or so? I am a tall-ish US 10. In my closet, the sizes range from XS to XXL and 6 to 16, depending on the brand. I’m not terribly overweight by any means, but NO WAY am I am XS, either (I’m looking at you, Gap and Old Navy!). Is this an issue in other countries? I know there are CB’ers from all over the globe and I would be interested to hear if it is as ridiculous in other places as it seems to be in the U.S.

      • qwerty says:

        It’s happening everywhere (except for Japan maybe lol) but US is def. on the front of this trend… I wear XS tops and S pants in Europe – 23 in waist, 35 in hips, pretty much no breasts. I always wonder what I would wear in the US? I read here and there that people quite a lot bigger than me fit into size XS/00 over there. What do those who are slimmer do?? Kids clothing?

      • mp says:

        I think sizing really depends on the brand. Banana Republic – basically a *slightly* higher end version of the clothes made by Gap/Old Navy is labeled differently. A size 6 in banana republic is probably like a 2 at Old Navy or something (depending on butt, thighs, things like that). There’s always lots of stuff on sale at banana republic in the smaller sizes :)

        I don’t know about Europe, but there is a lot of class issues around bigger women’s bodies in America (poverty and the stress of it correlate/maybe cause obesity) (see http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/04/why-rich-women-dont-get-fat/358643/ )

        So a place like Old Navy is looking to cash in on women who often don’t feel good about their sizes. If that makes sense?

        And trust me, there are a lot of places, cheap and $, which will cater to someone with your measurements from Europe! Macy’s, Dillard’s, Theory, the Limited, Ann Taylor, Target, etc. etc. etc.

    • LAK says:

      They haven’t put up 3 different body types, they’ve put up 3 different body sizes. Small, medium and Large of the same body type. The straight up/down body type also known as rectangle or banana or no defined waist. Only difference is that 2 of the bodies have boobs and one does not. And the one that doesn’t have boobs is pretty muscular.

      If they were to put body TYPES up, it would be someone

      1. visibly wide shouldered/small hips, aka Triangle
      2. small shouldered/big hips, aka pear shaped
      3. straight up and down ie no defined waist, (this is amply demonstrated in the 3 women above)
      4. a proper hourglass figure aka tiny defined waist with same width shoulders/hips.

      Subsets of body types being
      1. Barrel shaped ie big stomach, narrow hips and shoulders

      Hate to use the K Klan as an example of body types, but you can see the different body types across the 5 sisters pre-surgery. Kendall is no 3. Khloe is no 3 with subset 1. Kim is no 2. Kylie is no 4. LeAnn Rimes is No 1. Most models are no 3 or no 1 body types. Elle McPherson is the perfect embodiment of body type 1.

      If SI were progressive, they’d hire models with all 4 (and subsets) body types at different sizes instead of this sly trick of using the same body type in different sizes ie small, medium and Large, and pretending they’ve made progress as far as women’s bodies are concerned.

      BTW, i’d prefer they didn’t use women’s bodies in this way at all, but since this is the world we live in, they should get this right.

  13. Bridget says:

    Every year I’m amazed at Sports Illustrated ‘s ability to choose unflattering photos for their cover.

  14. Mimimonster says:

    Where is Ashley’s bellybutton? There’s been some major photoshop on her tummy and they forgot to add it back in!

  15. SusanneToo says:

    No, still don’t care.

  16. littlemissnaughty says:

    They all look fantastic but why are we still talking about the cool girl? And why does it never really sound like a compliment to my ears? I will never be the cool girl, maybe that’s it. I can’t always hang with the boys, sometimes I need to get away from the soccer talk and video games or I’ll slap them.

    Btw, why is there no cool guy? Who will do Pilates with me and go makeup shopping and no, is not gay but will then be totally cool and have sex with me? And talk about politics without muttering “Women.” when I make a good point? Where are those guys and why is that not something guys strive for? I refuse to be cool until some straight dude knows the name of my favorite Chanel nail polish.

    • Micki says:

      “… but why are we still talking about the cool girl?”
      But how could you not?! You’ve completely forgotten that she’s GOOFY too!
      Isn’t that endearing?! Her smiles are shy and she blushes pretily too, ok?
      Sports Ilustrated cover was the turning point for Elle “The Body” MacPherson, but this girl is just too humble to “notice” such minor details.

      On the othet hand putting a top athlete on the cover of SPORTS Ilustrated is sort of revolutionary.

    • Charlotte15 says:

      @LittleMissNaughty I love this comment! Too true.

  17. Pansy says:

    Ugh at Hailey’s cover, meh at Ronda’s (could’ve done so much more showcasing her muscles), but Ashley’s! Va va va voom! I’m a size (or two) smaller than her, but have the feeling that I look a lot less glamorous on my hands and knees. Granted, I’m generally scrubbing a floor or cleaning up throw up in sweatpants if I’m in that position….

  18. INeedANap says:

    I think the asst. editor may have screwed over Miss Clauson. She may very well be a lovely and fun person but now they just made her sound obnoxious. A man must have written that, because most women can see through the Cool Girl façade. Poor girl.

    Although I will say this — even with the stunningly beautiful Miss Graham making waves (ha!) with her glorious body, Miss Clauson also seems a bit thicker than the usual SI bikini fare, right?

    • Josefina says:

      See, I’m not going to discuss Clauson’s profile because if she didn’t know she was pretty she wouldn’t be a model. But this strikes me the wrong way:

      “because most women can see through the Cool Girl façade”

      And now you can get your torches ready and flay me alive, but I think jealousy and misogyny (women practice it too!) play a huge role when women determine who the “cool girls” are. I ALWAYS get side-eyes when I start talking about video games, anime and korean movies with the guys. Because of course I’m just trying to be cool. Of course I’m trying to impress men. How the hell is a woman supposed to like those things? Why would I talk about that with a man if not to get closer to his dick?

      The whole idea of the “cool girl” concept is implying a woman’s life revolves around impressing men. And that’s misogyny. Girls like that exist, but jealous, poisonous women who tear other women apart for nothing exist too and sadly, they are not some isolated minority.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        I think you’re misunderstanding why most of us don’t like the cool girl label. It’s because we don’t actually determine who’s a cool girl amongst ourselves. It’s always a label that’s given to us by men. They decide who the cool girl is. And then we better aspire to that notion because really, WHO the hell wants to be uncool? Difficult? Bitchy? High maintenance? So our only option then is to try and be “cool” as defined by the bros? I don’t think so. If you read over that part of the article, try and remember a female friend of yours admiringly described that way by fellow women. I have NEVER heard that.

        And correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t it usually men who side-eye women for talking about that “guy stuff”? I’ve never seen that happen with women. If a friend of mine starts discussing soccer with the guys, I just get out my phone and wait until they’re done. I don’t care. But I have seen guys treat her like she’s just pretending to like/know it because of course, she wants to impress them. That – in my experience – is where the misogyny comes from mostly.

      • jenn12 says:

        I think the thing is that you’re discussing things that interest you, which is great. But the “cool girl” concept is invented by writers at SI or other male writers who have this weird idea of what a cool girl is- never burps or farts, but doesn’t mind when guys do, eats everything in sight while being a size 2 with giant breasts, loves sports but knows her place as a cheerleader, smart but doesn’t shove it in the guys’ faces, always in the mood for sex…. it’s the sex symbol with a personality invented by men. My kids love Disney Channel and TeenNick (UGH), but I keep telling them that these are characters invented by grown people who are imagining what kids/tweens/teens think like and want. It’s a lot like that. It’s a messed up kind of anthropology- oh, women seem to like this, and I think she would think THAT way….. Think about this: the athlete is in a painted on bathing suit, staring coldly at the camera. The plus size girl is covered by the waves. And the girl the writers claim doesn’t know she is cool and pretty? No top on, barely grasping her breasts, practically doing a split in a thong. Because what makes her cool to these salivating men is that she’s willing to look and be whatever they project appeals to them. It doesn’t occur to them that what may be the cool girl is the one who fights for a living or the one standing up and saying, “I’m going to be a model despite my body not being what the industry says it should.”

      • INeedANap says:

        Josefina was my grandmother’s name. :)

        I’ve never been labeled the “cool girl” bc I’m unattractive, but I have plenty of beautiful lady friends who are engineers and math geeks and anime fans who get unfairly labeled.

        I was discussing the façade, and as littlemissnaughty points out, it is a standard invented and upheld by men. Which is why I absolved Miss Clauson.

      • Josefina says:

        Well, there’s a language misunderstanding then. There’s no real equivalent of “cool girl” in Spanish. Guys can say a girl is “relaxed” if she’s not controlling, but women use the very same words to describe non-manipulative men.

        I get side-eyed by women much more than I am by men. What guys do more often is talk like they are teaching me something, assuming I know less than them.

  19. jenn12 says:

    Nice to see some body diversity, if not skin diversity, but the plus size model is buried in the waves. Wonder why?

    • Esmom says:

      I noticed that, too. It reminds me of the multiple covers of some fashion mag a few years ago where one zoomed in on Adele’s face, while the other covers showed full bodies. Backhanded compliments at their finest.

      • TwistBarbie says:

        Likely to save money on photoshop. I know everyone is super stoked to have a plus-size model on the cover, but that is not at all what her body actually looks like. I know they ‘shop everyone, but plus-size girls get it worse. They’ve shaved 30lb at least of her body (except the boobs’ of course. No one wants to look a big girl unless she has big breasts)

      • jenn12 says:

        Progress at the speed of mud.

    • Polly says:

      Yes that pose they’ve put her in looks absurd, it’s all about showcasing the boobs and hiding the rest of her body.

  20. SamiHami says:

    I don’t know how it’s a “swimsuit” issue if the model is topless and wearing an incredibly teeny, tiny thong on the bottom. Ashley is pretty, but I think that pic is just meh. I think Rousey looks fantastic-without a doubt the best look of the three.

  21. Josefina says:

    Nice for her but I disagree about her profile being skyrocketed. Hype lasts so long in the fashion industry, and being the “it girl” can actually work against you (overexposure kills). Brooklyn Decker and Kate Upton would know about that.

    Anyway, I’m very happy for her. I’ve followed Ashley for a while and she’s super sweet and fierce as hell.

  22. Nenae says:

    I guess it’s a step in the right direction especially where young women and impressionable teen girls are. Although I believe body-image issues affect women of all ages but in different dimensions. I just wish we women would stop placing so much importance on clothing sizes and having the perfect body. There is no perfect size. Granted I kinda learnt that the hard way. I went from my natural size 10 UK to a 6UK and being 5″7 and pear-shaped I wore a 2/4 on top. I thought I was going to look skinnier but alas I looked sick and bony. Almost everyone i know thought so cos i used to be slim and curvy. Now, a few years later I admit it; pictures I took then showed as much. I focus on being fit and healthy which is the best decision I ever made concerning my body. Now, I wear an 8UK in dresses, a 4/6UK in tops, an 8/10 in jeans and honestly I don’t know my size anymore which is better cos the most important thing is I feel the best I’ve ever had now at 25 than in my late teens and early 20s. Size doesn’t matter but being fit and healthy does.

    • Charlotte15 says:

      Agree Nenae! As I said in another comment, my “size” is all over the place depending on the brand and the fit of a garment. I have t-shirts that are XS that fit well, and others that are XL that fit just as well. Sizes are nonsense and they don’t matter; I just wished I had realized that years ago. Luckily I, like you, am finally old enough not to care. I don’t even own a scale, and I gauge my weight by the fit of my jeans, which are currently, I believe, a US size 30 (and if I’m being honest, I don’t even know exactly what that means! I wear Hudson Jeans because they are the most comfortable and flattering on me — I cannot do skinny jeans — but I know that if I went into Bloomingdales, I would most definitely *not* fit into a size 30 in many other “contemporary” — whatever THAT even means, but it’s what they call the floor where all the designers that I wear are housed in both Saks and Bloomingdales — brands of denim).

      As long as my jeans are comfortable, I’m good. If they start to feel tight, I cut back on the calories for a while. I feel it is a much healthier (psychologically speaking) way to exist than living or dying by the number displayed on a scale.

      I am weighed regularly at the doctor’s office but I just don’t pay attention to the number. I spent many miserable *years* of my life agonizing over the fact that I was larger than most of my friends, and it was exhausting! I let it suck a lot of the enjoyment out of my life from middle school through college. I wish I could convince my friends’ young daughters that it isn’t worth stressing out over, but I know it is the kind of thing that one only learns themselves, over time 😐

  23. kinta says:

    It is a bit silly that Hailey is on the Cover of a magazine that sells swimsuits, yet she does not even wear a bikini top! She is absolutely stunning but it is sad to see that they do not even try to pretend it is not about the pretty girl in that picture because that cover is clearly not about her bikini.

    I love the other covers. I was even exited when I saw Rhondas swinsuit. I would totally wear it!!! Too bad it is just painted on her :-/

  24. BooBooLaRue says:

    All I can say is Rousey has a good public relations/manager, because if I remember correctly, HOLLY HOLM is the UFC champ now.

    • word says:

      When it comes to female athletes looks always seem to trump talent. Anna K is the perfect example of that. Now we have Ronda who is getting all the attention even though she lost. God forbid we actually focus on talent only.

  25. sdfsdf says:

    I wish they could gave the cover to ashley instead of having 3 different covers.

  26. Crumpet says:

    Feminism really hasn’t gotten us anywhere, has it? We are still objects to be drooled over or ignored depending on our outward appearance, by men.

    I will never say “yay” to the swimsuit addition of Sports Illustrated. It is pr0n dressed in sheep’s clothing.

    • jenn12 says:

      Feminism has done its best, but its been hindered quite a bit. The prevailing attitude is why people insult women who aren’t in relationships by insinuating they aren’t good enough for men to want, or that their worth is defined by being in a relationship, or why women who don’t want children are spoken of with contempt, or why men are allowed to create our dialogue for us. The WOMAN they refer to as the cool girl is of course barely dressed in a swimsuit issue. We can’t let anyone define us except US.

  27. word says:

    What’s the point of the topless photo? Was that really necessary? Aren’t they supposed to be modelling bikinis ??? Only one of those covers is of a woman that has actual clothes on. Ronda’s is painted on. I mean I never understood the point of SI swimsuit addition anyways.

    • Mrs. Darcy says:

      Yeah, even Playboy is moving away from this, recognizing it’s no longer culturally acceptable or relevant (well they might do a shot like this, but it’s my understanding no more nudity). It’s almost like SI are overcompensating for having two other non-standard issue models with this shot, which is yucky. She’s not even 21, she can’t drink or rent a car, but she is naked? It makes me uncomfortable.

    • Ally8 says:

      Agree. Gross. It’s almost like they’re overcompensating for having included two non-standard model bodies with the painted nudity and the wisp of a bikini bottom. Also Ashley’s pose…

      SI is incredibly tacky with this. I guess men get to be athletes in there, but women are still there for the male gaze… and a lazy male gaze at that, since SI feels the need to pose/undress them for their readership.

  28. Anare says:

    Ronda Rousey looks sexy in this shot. I love it. If that was a real swim suit I would want it.

  29. Michelle says:

    I think it is awesome that they put Ashley on the cover because let’s face it, most girls look more like her than they do Hailey, am I right?? Hailey is a cute girl, but she is only 20, and I don’t like the pose, not for the cover. Put on a damn top! It’s not sexy, it’s cheesy. Ronda looks great, but it would have been great is she were smiling. Yeah, she’s a fighter and she is supposed to look tough, but this is a swimsuit (albeit one that is painted on) cover, not a face off with her opponent. I do wonder where Ashley’s belly button is, but I will assume that she has a high one and it’s hidden by her arm. I hope it’s not another disaster like Kate Upton’s cover…

  30. nicegirl says:

    I love this.!!! YAYAH ASHLEY!!!! Finally, SI is getting on the bandwagon. I’m buying this issue FO SHO.

  31. Dee says:

    I know this won’t be the popular opinion, but I’ll go ahead and say it. NOPE to Ashley Graham. A size 16 is not healthy at all. I read her height and weight stats and she claims she is 165 pounds. Yeah right. Obesity should not be an aspiration. And yes, she is obese. Between this and “curvy” Barbie, it is so sad that overweight bodies are being normalized in our culture.

    I know everyone can’t be a size 0 or 2. Ronda’s body type is much more “normal” and aspirational. I am not a fan of hers but it’s good they put a muscular body type on the cover of a sports magazine. A nice change from the skinny sticks, but not fat. Kudos.

    • Jib says:

      This is really body shaming. I did a triathlon at 184 or 186 pounds – I can’t remember. It was a mile swim, a 25 mile bike and a 10K run. Most thin women can’t do this. Health is not always about what the scale says. It’s about cardiovascular health, as well. And new research shows that those who are overweight, up to the obese BMI, live longer than thin people. So overweight is normal, and seems healthier than very skinny.

  32. Veronica says:

    What has always blown my mind is that we consider the SI bikini issue an acceptable addition to the magazine aisle at the grocery store, but some people still freak out over public breast feeding.

  33. Nono says:

    Sorry but a fat Woman on a sports Cover doesnt fit at all and sends a wrong message: its ok to be unhealthy, lazy and chubby?!

    • Jib says:

      See my response above: I was a size 16, when I did a Olympic distance triathlon. I was in very good condition. Not everyone who is skinny is healthy and not everyone who is heavier, or a size 16, is unhealthy. Please don’t make assumptions.

    • Naddie says:

      But obsessed over looks has always been ok, right? Oh, sports are all about health, that’s why they prefer models over athletes. Makes sense.

    • Otaku fairy says:

      Just like slim and average sized people can be lazy, (trust) overweight people can be hard working. It’s not smart to “diagnose” people with character flaws or personality weaknesses based on nothing but physical appearance. In the real world people aren’t all one size, so there’s nothing wrong with the media showing that every once in a while. And let’s not pretend that every size 0, 2, or even 4 starlet or model in the magazines is living a healthy lifestyle either. Drugs, tobacco, and eating disorders are definitely a thing in Hollywood and in the fashion industry.

  34. Mar says:

    I like all 3 covers. This is the sexiest RR has ever looked. I’m impressed with what they did this year.

  35. Callais5 says:

    Meh, she has a pretty face.

  36. Dizzybenny says:

    ….and yet I’m sure they were all photoshoped to hell!!
    Like Photoshop Rhonda’s jaw back where it is supposed to be?
    No thanks I’ll pass!!
    Plus a week later you can see pretty much all photos on line for free, so why pay?