Cheryl Tiegs doesn’t think SI Swimsuit cover girl Ashley Graham is ‘healthy’


A few weekends ago, I covered the multiple covers for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. This year, SI chose three cover ladies to represent three different body types. Hailey Clauson filled the typical “slender model body” cover, Ronda Rousey filled the “athletic body” cover and Ashley Graham filled the “plus sized body” cover. I personally loved Graham’s cover and I think she’s a beautiful young woman. She’s reportedly a size 16, which is closer to the average American woman’s size than Hailey Clauson.

Well, when former SI cover model Cheryl Tiegs was asked about Graham, Tiegs couldn’t have f—ked it up more. I’m including the video of the exchange too, because you can tell the E! News journalist threw Tiegs the gentlest of softballs and fully expected Tiegs to say something like “Oh it’s great that women and men get to see different body types represented on the SI cover.” How hard would that have been? But Tiegs, it turns out, has just been steaming over Graham’s inclusion.

Here’s what Tiegs said:

“Actually I don’t like that we’re talking about full-figured women because it’s glamorizing them and your waist should be smaller than 35 [inches]. That’s what Dr. Oz said, and I’m sticking to it. No, I don’t think it’s healthy. Her face is beautiful. Beautiful. But I don’t think it’s healthy in the long run.”

[From E! News]

She’s going to cite Dr. Oz? REALLY? Ugh. The whole “your waist should be smaller than 35” doesn’t make any sense to me either. You can have an extremely unhealthy lifestyle and be a very unhealthy person and have a 29-inch waist. You can be very healthy and have a 38-inch waist. You know why? Because waist size isn’t much of an indication of anything. I think this pisses me off so much because Graham is more representative of what every day women look like, and I feel like so many people in modeling and fashion feel the same way as Tiegs: that we shouldn’t be talking about “real” women because even the barest minimum of representation is seen as “glamorization.” And people like Cheryl Tiegs believe that only thin blondes should be glamorized. Cheryl did take to Twitter last night to “clarify” her comments.

PS… As E! News pointed out, Ashley Graham’s model stats say that her waist is 30 inches.

ashley graham SI

Photos courtesy of WENN, Fame/Flynet and SI.

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263 Responses to “Cheryl Tiegs doesn’t think SI Swimsuit cover girl Ashley Graham is ‘healthy’”

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  1. Bichon says:

    Yes, because anyone named Dr. Oz would know. Criminy.

    • Stef Leppard says:

      Oz is his real name…

    • Sophie says:

      Hey guys – I work in healthcare (Masters in Nutrition & Dietetics, pre-med student) in Australia. I don’t know if it is the same for you in America but we classify a ‘safe range’ of waist circumference to be <80cm for women and <94cm for men. Not sure what that classifies in as inches (we don't use that measurement in Aus, *quick Google tells me it's approx 31.5 and 37 inches respectively*). I understand what your perspective is in terms of individual body, individual composition/genetics/circumstances/anthropometry etc. However, from a medical perspective, it is recommended that people be lower in waist circumference than the ones I specified above, as it decreases your risk of developing certain chronic diseases and relevant comorbidities in the future (due to a higher percentage of central adiposity, a.k.a fat around the abdomen –> higher risk of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, blood abnormalities, hypertension etc). So, even if one has okay pathology/biochemistry/fitness regime, there is still a heightened risk of chronic disease prognosis (even if it is decades down the track). It’s also important to know that these recommendations are based on evidence based practice, which essentially means tens to hundreds of thousands of tests and research hours have been collated on many thousands of people to reach this conclusion. However, an individual relationship with one's doctor (with individual diagnosis and health care) is still extremely important.

      I do, however, think that Dr Oz is a sensationalist. I also understand (I think I read somewhere?) that he endorsed a weight loss product which was not based on evidence based trials/practice so I kind of get why it seems silly for people to believe him!

      • La princesita says:

        this is true, nothing to do with self image, is just that in health we classified the risk (cardiovascular factor of risk) with the abdominal circumference.

      • cr says:

        I completely understand the worry about fat and its location. But something tells me that Cheryl Tiegs is working more from a personal aesthetic perspective than actual evidence/research based medicine, even if she was quoting Dr. Oz.
        There was a time when Dr. Oz was considered to be very good, and well respected, cardiothoracic surgeon. That’s not been the case for a long time, he’s basically a quack, out for the quick buck.

      • Illyra says:

        Great post Sophie. People can be really touchy about stuff like this, but you can’t really argue with the numbers. It is what it is.

      • Sophie says:

        Thanks guys! Great to hear my comments are well received. Others have mentioned further down that they have had negative experiences with doctors, which I find extremely unfortunate. Speaking on behalf of myself and the hundreds of other health care/medical students and professionals I know or have met, we all go into this profession wanting to help others. I’m disappointed to hear of experiences where tact does not seem to be applied in consultations at all!!!

      • NUTBALLS says:

        Sophie, I’ve read the same thing over and over about the correlation between fat deposited around the waist and a host of chronic diseases that are all too common. It isn’t about vanity, but rather about good health. The numbers don’t lie.

        Because of this, our health insurance provider uses waist measurement as an indicator of risk and it motivates me to watch my sugar intake (I’m a distance runner) because that’s the first place my fat seems to want to store itself.

        ETA: The very reputable Harvard School of Public Health and Mayo clinic say the same thing:

      • Crumpet says:

        Perfect response. Though I think Cheryl should have skipped the lecture, skipped mentioning Oz, and just been gracious.

      • senna says:

        Thanks for this – it’s more detailed than what I was going to write, which was just that studies which look at waist circumference’s relationship to health do not account for height. All that’s done in the study is to examine whether waist circumference over a certain number is correlated with worse health outcomes, which it is. This stat should be read with that context in mind. You’re better off pursuing health through long-term, sustainable exercise and eating habits than focusing on specific measurements or weights and attaining them at whatever cost. (Also, I think the lady with the face full o ‘tox is an odd choice for an ambassador of what’s ‘healthy,’ no?)

      • Wren says:

        I thought the waist to hip ratio was also important as well as the straight waist size. Fat deposits on the lower half of the body indicate that the body is not as disposed to accumulate adipose tissue in the abdomen.

        I have no idea what AG’s measurements are, but I would imagine her hip:waist ratio would fall pretty close to ideal.

      • pf says:

        Waist is important. But Cheryl’s judging someone based on weight and clothing size, which is just wrong. We’re all built differently and carry weight differently, really just in my hips and thighs. Cheryl would probably consider me unhealthy, like Ashley, because I wear a size 12-14 and weigh “a lot” yet I have a 29 inch waist, I am incredibly active, and have no major health problems. But Cheryl wants all women to look exactly the same just look her. Blonde, skinny, tall.

      • Lex says:

        I think my ribcage itself is about 80cm, without any flesh on top!
        The ‘waist size’ thing is sorta like BMI – it’s a tool to use for generalisations but isn’t going to fit to everyone – particularly from different cultural/ethnic backgrounds. And they mean ‘pants waist’ not ‘true waist’ right? My true waist is many many cm smaller than my pants waist! I am a chubby pear shape so I still technically fit the ‘ideal’ waist/hip ratio, even though I am much larger than I should be.

      • S says:

        i’m a physician and couldn’t have said it better, sophie.
        Tiegs sounded bitchy though and I doubt health was her primary concern.

      • Jib says:

        My sister is a Registered Dietitian in the US, and she is anorexic. She, like Cheryl Tiegs, thinks everyone overweight is unhealthy. I quit smoking 12 years ago, instantly went into menopause and gained 35 pounds, which I cannot lose unless I starve myself on a MediFast type fake food diet.

        At 180 pounds and 5ft 5in, I did an Olympic distance triathlon (1 mile swim, 25 mile bike, 6 mile run) and last year I did an 8 mile road race. I applied to the NYC marathon this year. I am healthy and strong. I would love to lose weight but when people say that I’m unhealthy and going to die, and the skinny people I work with who don’t do any exercise are healthy, I call BS on the accepted medical standards. I think that we are going to find out a lot about health and weight in the next decade, especially that health has more to do with activity than weight. Sure, I could literally starve myself down to 145, but when I do that, I can’t even walk up the stairs, I’m so weak. I’m not buying it.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        “health has more to do with activity than weight”
        I agree!

      • Pandy says:

        Y0u’re absolutely right – was just coming on to say that. When you carry belly fat, you are at risk of type II diabetes, heart disease, etc. She’s young now but give her 20 years and it will catch up. So while it sounded mean – like she’s saying heavier women shouldn’t/aren’t glamorous – she is right about the belly fat thing. I think she means we shouldn’t celebrate it as it’s health thing.

        For clarity – I’m early 50s, vegetarian and I walk all day in my job. Fairly active outside of it. I also had a tummy tuck w/lipo a few years ago but you can’t fool mother nature. i’ve been diagnosed with pre-diabetes and told to lose weight and ditch carbs or I will have to take medicine. I’m curvy (20 lbs off would be perfect), not obese, but it catches up,. And I am a hearty eater – always have been. But sugar and pasta, bread, rice, etc. catches up.

  2. karen says:

    She seems like a slurred up mess in that video clip. Seriously. The Dr. Oz reference was pretty hilarious.

    • V4Real says:

      She might as well have said Dr. Spock.

    • Nikki says:

      I agree with Karen; Cheryl Tiegs sounded like she was inebriated or under the influence, since her enunciation was slurred. I looked at the cover, and the size 16 model looks marvelously healthy to me: curvy and robust. Whereas many models and actresses look very unhealthy to me: scrawny and malnourished. I welcome publicizing healthy, fuller figures.

    • Mich says:

      I was going to shay the same thing. Girlfriend was shlurring quite a bit there.

      Was that at the beginning of the evening or the end? Because if it was the beginning, she might want to pay a bit more attention to her own health instead quoting Dr. Oz and then doubling down on the Twitter machine.

    • Christin says:

      I had to listen, because she looks like a muppet in the still photo. She sounds ‘off’.

  3. Tate says:

    Well if Dr. Oz said it then we should all believe. Wow.

    • mp says:

      Here’s the thing that the quacks like Dr. oz miss – health is a lot more than a waist size. When they do the interviews with healthy older people, they generally find that those people have had good friends, a good community to which they feel connected, a job they like, LUCK!, some decent genes, routine (meaning, like 7 hrs of sleep a night),and good socioeconomic status. Those things happened to keep those people “in shape.”

      No way someone with a 25″ in waist eating vegetarian but living in a shack and fearing for their life or all alone will ever be healthier than a person born upper middle class or rich with tons of friends who has a pot belly. If that was the case, all those millionaires/billionaires you see (warren buffet and Ray Kroc I’m looking at you!) would not have lived as long.

      • pinetree13 says:

        Yes but the 35″ thing is real. I would know…my waist is 35 inches! You can be heavy else-where, but having a ‘thick waist’ over 35″ is proven to be far more deadly than oh say, fat thighs. How you carry your weight matters. So in this instance that fact from Dr. Oz was correct. [Even a stopped clock is right twice a day]

        However, her whole answer was stupid. Having one plus size model doesn’t make people go “NOW I”M GOING TO GET FAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!” I am sure she is not concerned about health and more concerned about shaming a perfectly good model

  4. PinaColada says:

    I’m nooooot wading into this emotional topic!!!! But I think many, many people of every size think they are much healthier than they really are. We as people tend to justify and minimize everything. My thin mom never, ever exercised and ate nothing but soda and chocolate. Very unhealthy. Likewise my mother-in-law is extremely overweight but insists that she eats very healthy- and every time we go there (on regular, non “party” days, and in her fridge, too) it’s all ice cream, pizza, wings, and alcohol.

    • Luxe says:

      Being naturally slim actually worked to my disadvantage because I learned horrible eating habits. I figured I must be healthy if I was thin but not too thin, but I was not. I’m eating much better now but I used to live on processed foods. I think you’re right and it’s really easy to think you’re healthy (Lean Cuisines and diet foods) when you’re not. It’s something you have to actively learn.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      I think the problem here is not that we tend to think we’re healthier than we are but that we think we can tell how healthy someone is based on their appearance. And then we apply that to ourselves. I am and always have been overweight. I’m lucky that I am well-proportioned but yeah, it is over the recommended weight for my height. I had a doctor put me on the scale and without asking me ANY questions about my lifestyle he told me “You should lose at least 10kg. Maybe more.” I told him that that wasn’t happening (for many reasons) and that if he found ANY indication that I am not fit or healthy, he should point out specifics. I exercise a lot, I run, I do Pilates and HIIT. I eat right. He had me perform a few exercises (like a f*cking monkey) to test my strength, looked at my blood work, did the whole check-up thing and came to the conclusion that he couldn’t come up with a good reason for me to lose that much weight. But by that point, he had ruined my mood and self-confidence for the next weeks.

      That’s our problem. That and the fact that we are so invested in other people’s looks.

      • michkabibbles says:

        @littlemissnaughty-I’m exactly the same way! All my test results show I’m perfectly healthy, with enviable numbers in all categories. I’m active and I eat well most of the time. And yet I’m always being told to lose weight. I could-if I cut calories down to 800 a day and exercised 3 hours a day. I’ve done it before, and I was miserable. And I didn’t feel healthy or strong. I’d rather carry an extra 20 pounds be able to run 5 miles without feeling like I’m going to pass out.

        On the other hand, my aunt is very slender and thinks she very healthy. And she chains smokes, drinks tons of wine and tans like she’s at the jersey shore.

        I hate that healthy is associated with thinness, because it’s so often not true.

      • tmc says:

        Sorry @littlemissnaughty you went through that. Doctors. Sigh. So many mistakes come through the *standard* medical profession. I can think of a comment a doctor made when I was 5 years old about my weight! So, yeah, we just have to bolster ourselves and not give them too much credence. which can be hard. Best of luck!

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Thank you so much for sharing this, you illustrated the point perfectly.

        I’ll take it a step further and say we don’t really give a damn about health until it comes to heavier people. I never see concern trolling on posts of people smoking or looking too thin.

        Nope, until you’re physically a skeleton or diagnosed with lung cancer you’re A-Ok.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        I understand that there are guidelines and I get that for example stomach fat is a bigger problem than, say, a bigger butt. And at a certain point, when we’re talking about morbid obesity, it’s not the greatest thing for anyone’s health. But it is so dangerous to base ANY sort of judgment one someone’s looks or the scale. If that doctor had done a check-up and told me yes, you are fit and healthy, but you could be healthy longer if you lost xy? I would have told him I know that but I have struggled with my weight since I was 12 years old. I’ve already lost a bunch and have kept it off for years. THIS is the best I can do right now. That is how that conversation should have gone.

        But if even medical professionals can’t understand that someone’s weight often has a lot of baggage attached to it (literally), then how can Cheryl f*cking Tiegs understand? It’s a very individual thing and I’m not putting more strain on the health care system (I live in Germany so that’s actually a point that could be made) than a smoker or someone who parties like there’s no tomorrow.

      • lilacflowers says:

        “I think the problem here is not that we tend to think we’re healthier than we are but that we think we can tell how healthy someone is based on their appearance.”

        Exactly! I was the extremely fit, toned, very low body fat, 115 pounds at 5 feet, 3 inches tall, wore a size 2, ran 5 miles several times a week, swam almost daily, lifted weights, rode my bike to work, did yoga three times a week, looked fantastic, and had extremely aggressive breast cancer spreading through me. One can look beautiful and be dying.

      • Snazzy says:

        OMG Lilacflowers. I hope you’re ok !
        Sending hugs

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        @lilacflowers: Well sh*t. I’m really sorry. I hope you’re okay now?

      • Lilacflowers says:

        @Snazzy and littlemissnsughty,

        Thank you. Yes, I’m okay but the treatments radically altered my body.

      • PunkyMomma says:

        @lilacflowers – Thank you for sharing – many diseases are “blind” to appearance and fitness. ❤️

      • Grant says:

        Eternal Side-Eye: You never see people concern trolling people for being too thin? Go check out any thread with Angelina Jolie–and this is coming from someone who largely can’t stand her.

      • Die Zicke says:

        Exactly @LittleMissNaughty! Some people are naturally bigger than others. Just like some people are naturally thinner than others. You can’t just look at a person’s body, you also have to look at them as a whole. BMI can be a great tool, but you also have to look at someone’s body fat percentage, their eating habits, their fitness level, etc etc. If someone is overweight like you are, but still physically fit with no major health problems, then they are probably just fine. Don’t let that doctor make you feel bad about your body because of one number

      • A.Key says:

        Sure, but you’re also denying the fact that there are many people out there who are overweight purely because they over-eat and they are not healthy.
        Why deny that?
        I personally know at least three people, two family members and one friend, who are all quite overweight and they are not healthy. One family member has heart problems because of her weight. She’s still eating way too much and not eating healthy food.
        I’m not saying all overweight people are unhealthy, I’m just saying there are still many overweight people who really are unhealthy and who eat junk. We all know this.

      • Betsy says:

        @A.Key – actually, it’s like a bell curve. Extreme obesity and being extremely thin are dangerous for you. Being even “regular” obese is not that bad, statistically speaking. (Source: studies cited in “Secrets from the Eating Lab” that I didn’t write down the names of and this have never been able to link)

      • Sticks says:

        Thank you The Eternal Side Eye. Came here to say just that. It pisses me off that the dialogue is automatically a health theme when someone bigger than the typical model is featured. There is so much judgement and prejudice of people that are considered to be overweight.

    • Hellohello says:

      Agreed @pinacolada most people don’t gain massive amounts of weight, with unhealthy BMIs, all of the issues that stem from obesity putting greater strain on our infrastructure (I’m an engineer…our bridges and plumbing systems look way different than they did 50 years ago), health insurance without engaging in unhealthy habits. This critical lady is entitled to her opinion.

    • senna says:

      This is a complicated subject, and, as you’ve said, we do more harm than good by judging everyone through weight as a sole indicator. I am someone who spends a great deal of time on exercising and eating right. These are priorities to me. The sense of mental and physical well-being this gives me helps me deal with every other aspect of life better than I would otherwise. But I’m a woman in her 30s with no kids and a flexible schedule. I see my sibling-in-laws with young kids and 9-5 jobs, and of course they don’t have as much time as I do for that stuff. They’re doing important tasks, and shouldn’t feel like they are making “excuses” for spending time on their own priorities. And I don’t think my shaming them over habits or weight would help them make positive changes, nor am I a person who thinks I am better than others for how I choose to live my life.

      Fitness culture sort of drives me nuts. One should not have to believe they are a hardcore elite athlete to engage in fitness. Yet so many people seem to think that to become healthy, one should sign up for a triathlon, or put oneself on a 4-day-a-week lifting regime while pounding protein shakes, or refuse to eat any sweets even one one’s own birthday. There’s nothing wrong with setting specific goals and attaining them, because that feels great, but extreme forms of exercise shouldn’t be a benchmark of fitness. Can you walk for 1+hour without stopping, at a leisurely pace? Can you squat down to pick up things off the ground? Can you safely carry a 20-lb burden a short distance or lift up a child in your care? Can you sprint to catch a bus without being completely winded? Can you do all these things without your feet and joints hurting you because of excess bodyweight? (seriously, that should be the way we look at bodyweight- does it hold you back from engaging in normal activities you’d like to do, or not? That matters.) These are very practical fitness goals that will definitely improve your everyday life, yet they aren’t hashtag-fitspo and aren’t likely to be included in a gym rat’s instagram photo along with the phrase “no excuses.”

      • Nancy says:

        Lilacflowers: If I knew it wasn’t,..I would have sworn it was my sister writing your post. She too had the same impressive lifestyle as you. She’d get up at 4 am and go work out before going to her job. She too is 5’3″ tall and 115 pounds, no smoking or drinking. Then one day at the gym showering, she found the lump in her breast at a relatively young age. She lost her breast and went through the grueling process of radiation and chemo. During chemo, she never missed a day of work. She, like you, is a warrior and five years later is cancer free. I wish you all the best and hope the message got through, that no one is exempt from cancer and looks are irrelevant. I hope the rest of your life is nothing but good health. You’ve been through Hell and survived, you are a hero.

    • Wren says:

      There are many outward physical indicaters of health, and sadly we ignore nearly all of them in favor of a superficial glance at how much body fat a person appears to have.

      When we assess health of our animals we never look at JUST body condition. If you saw a dog who was at a healthy weight but the coat was dull and patchy, would you say that dog was healthy? No. Likewise, I’ve known several people who claim to be healthy and are slim and trim, but manifest many signs that would concern me if any of my animals exhibited them. Lethargy, dull hair, extremely dry flakey skin, pale mucus membranes, etc.

      True health shines from within, and is only tied to body condition when approaching the ends of the scale.

    • Nikki says:

      May I come over for dinner?

    • jm says:

      It was a real eye opener when I started tracking my calories….I thought I ate pretty healthy, but finally understood why I wasn’t losing weight. Also, it helped because I found its not that hard to eat less calorie wise and still have plenty of tasty foods it was just a matter of choosing carefully and being aware of what you eat.

      • Lex says:

        It’s true and so scary.
        Drizzle a little olive oil over a salad? Scarily high calories!
        I switched to 1tsp of olive oil + 3 tsps of balsamic and a tsp of dijon mustard all mixed up – more than enough to drench my salad but way way less than just free pouring olive oil.

        Barring any hidden health issues (thyroid or otherwise), if you are relatively fit and exercise but are still overweight and not losing, it really is just that you’re eating too much. I am not judging at all – I myself am overweight and this is the cause and I recognise it. You can exercise till the cows come home but it’s way easier to accidentally still eat too much and you’re overcompensating calorie-wise. More in than out.

        Calorie counting was a god send for me – you need to be careful as it can easily become obsessive. It was an eye opener to really how much I was consuming. A little squeeze of ketchup there, an extra piece of cheese, a few extra cherry tomatoes…. wow it adds up! Before you know it you’re overeating hundreds or even a thousand calories!

      • Wren says:

        It’s not just the calories, it’s what the calories come from. Different nutrients are metabolized differntly, some go more or less straight to adipose while others are used immediately. Even within nutrient classes, there are vast differences between types. Fat from olive oil is metabolized differently than fat from, say, butter, and both of these differ from metabolism of corn oil. Refined flour is metabolized differently than whole grains. And so on, for nearly everything. Also, the combinations of nutrients in a meal affects absorption and utilization of nutrients, which further impacts your weight far outside simply counting calories.

        That said, tracking what you eat is good, because there’s so many things we forget about and don’t realize we’re consuming a lot of, or just how little healthy food, like vegetables, we’re eating. It all adds up, and trying to do it mentally nearly always results in overestimating how healthy we eat while underestimating how much junk we consume.

      • Beatrice says:

        Very true. I was carrying 15 too many pounds of weight that I couldn’t get rid of. Counting calories showed me that I was eating healthy foods, but too much of a good thing. I think a lot of people who can’t lose weight just don’t realize how many calories they are eating–portion control is a must, even with healthy foods.

    • GreenieWeenie says:

      @PinaColada, also put those same judgments in the context of pregnancy. You are weighed religiously while pregnant. I had a very active pregnancy and extremely healthy diet and nobody really took my blood pressure spike right before I went into labor seriously. But I was not in good health; I had a hidden placental abruption (often preceded by high blood pressure) and my child escaped stillbirth by a hair.

      I feel like we treat weight like a commodity, like it can just be exchanged for health. People concern troll weight all the time but it can have literally nothing to do with your health and their ‘concern’ is often just a gross way of obsessing over appearance and feeling superior. Weight can also have a lot to do with your state of mind, but people are typically far less concerned for that.

  5. lilacflowers says:

    Cheryl does not look healthy.

    • DIRTNAP says:

      I totally agree, LILACFLOWERS. The morning grouch in me wants to remind her that by appearing tan in so many of her modeling gigs, she was promoting sun damage. And getting married four times? Yeah. She may be thin but she might not be “emotionally heathy.” But keep on judging, Cheryl. I’ll do the same.

      • pinetree13 says:

        EXCELLENT POINT Dirtnap! Afterall, Tan skin ACTUALLY IS glamorized! One plus size model is not glamorizing obesity….however, constantly showing only tan people as ‘attractive’ is DEFINITELY glamorizing a very unhealthy and deadly habit (sun-bathing).

    • EM says:

      I guess bad plastic surgery does that to a person. What offends me most about her comments is the concept that “full-figured” women should not be discussed or on magazine covers for fear of glamorization – what would she prefer that all full-figured women get shunned?

      • Doodle says:

        So true, EM. Not to mention that it appears she’s ok injecting god-knows-what into her collapsing face. Good lord. And is she drunk?

    • Nikki says:

      LILACFLOWERS, I wish you a long, healthy life after your struggle w/ cancer. Am sorry you’ve been through so much, and I appreciate your comments and perspective in this discussion. 💕

  6. Mgsota says:

    Bish please

  7. The Eternal Side-Eye says:

    ” your waist should be smaller than 35 [inches]. That’s what Dr. Oz said, and I’m sticking to it. ”

    Then it’s no longer about health. It’s about the visual. It’s about wanting women who don’t have a size 35 waist to hide in the shadows and not be considered ‘hot’.

    The logic (or lack of) on stuff like this always confuses me. “We shouldn’t portray larger women as being beautiful because then they ” – swallows disgust – “Might actually think they ARE beautiful and MORE women will just rush to be fat.”

    Eye roll

    Yeah, and a gay couple on TV will cause your poor son to seek men.

    Well Tiegs…they’re here, plump rears, get used to it!

    • Stef Leppard says:

      I love that after all that bitchiness she has a 30 inch waist!! It’s too much! I think she looks beautiful and sexy. And I’m glad it wasn’t someone young people know and care about who said this. Telling people to have a certain size waist is ridiculous and dangerous and old-fashioned.

      • Slushee says:

        Like hell she has a 30″ waist. Come on.

      • It'sJustBlanche says:

        She’s gorgeous and so much more interesting to look at than previous models but yeah, that’s not a thirty inch waist.

      • Kat says:

        Im sorry but Ashley looks unhealthy to me. She carries a lot of weight in her stomach and that leads to heart disease and diabetes later in life. I get celebrating women of all sizes but that’s not a healthy weight.

      • Santia says:

        Nope. Not a 30 inch waist. I’m a size 12 and my waist is 34 (with an hour-glass type shape). If she’s a size 16, she doesn’t have a 30 inch waist. All that being said, who the eff cares?

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Ladies, her profile at Ford Models says she has a 30″ waist. What, they’re lying to the customers? And she is quite tall, she’s almost 5″9′. If you look at her Instagram and portfolio, she looks much smaller than on the SI cover.

        @ Kat: No, she actually doesn’t carry that much weight in her stomach. Again, you can tell from most pics where she isn’t contorted like she is on that cover.

      • Bridget says:

        ALL models lie about their measurements. There are the measurements they and their agency tell potential clients, and then there are their real measurements.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        She’s lying about several inches??? Come on.

      • noway says:

        I think it is probably 32 inches. She wears a size 16 I wear a 12 or 14 depending on brand and my waist is right under 30 inches. She looks like the rest of us in this size range just taller and not sure how her stomach is as flat though, but she has decades on me.

    • Anners says:

      ^^so much this! I don think it’s ever been about health really. It’s just seen as concern, rather than blatantly saying a person’s body is not attractive to you. I want to throat punch people who say “she has such a beautiful face”. Why do we carve people up into pieces? Why can’t she just be beautiful, full stop.

      • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

        Right there with you.

        She gorgeous and her body is perfect, I don’t see the point in pretending women aren’t her size and that those women aren’t beautiful merely because they’re not the size others want them to be. Do we want our magazines/movies to reflect reality or just the fantasies of people who profit off giving us this message?

      • Lex says:

        I am in no way agreeing with anything “Dr Oz” says but they’ve done studies that show excess fat around the waist is visceral fat and when built up around the organs at that part of the body leads to many health problems down the track. It’s different to the fat that pear shaped women carry on their thighs/bottom – that fat doesn’t do much harm. It’s when the fat is around the stomach/waist when it is a problem. Science!
        But this lady is way off – she is relating it solely to appearance

    • Alix says:

      Not for nothin’, folks, but apple-shaped women have very little they can do about their shape. I can diet til the cows come home, and no matter what weight I am, my waist will STILL always be the biggest part of me. I had anorexia at age 14, my weight got down to 84 pounds (I was 5′ 6″ at the time) and when I started slowly putting the weight back on it went, of course, right to my gut; I looked five months pregnant. It’s damn-near impossible to buy a pair of pants that fit when you’ve got a big waist and no hips, butt, or thighs to speak of. Almost all the women in my family are built like this (including my sainted grandmother, who lived to 95, God bless her). So tired of hearing we’re all effin’ timebombs because of our body shape.

      Also, Cheryl “Botox” Tiegs can bite me.

  8. RhoSue says:

    I am thrilled that a normal sized woman was finally featured on SI. Sick and tired of stick people on all the covers. Ashley is gorgeous!

    • Slushee says:

      The fact that overweight is being called normal is the problem Cheryl is highlighting.
      And it is a problem.

      • Truthful says:

        @Slushee: I kind of agree

      • michkabibbles says:

        But for some people being overweight is normal, and we’re not all unhealthy. Almost all of my friends are thinner than I am, but I’m the healthy one. I eat the best, I work out the most, I can bench press their weight, and I can run for miles without getting tired. But I’m 20 pounds overweight, so I’m the unhealthy one? There’s a difference between being overweight and being obese. And having an overweight woman on the cover of a magazine isn’t glamorizing an unhealthy lifestyle or encouraging people to be obese-it’s saying that healthy looks different on everyone, and isn’t always connected to size.

      • Merritt says:

        A person can eat a healthy diet and exercise but never look supermodel skinny. It is just how their bodies are. What is important is how a person’s body is functioning on the inside.

        And since Cheryl used to promote Virginia Slims cigarettes, she should cool it about pretending to care about health. She didn’t care when she was being paid to shill a product that is expensive and causes cancer and cardiovascular disease.

      • Beatrice says:

        I think so too. We are being told that “healthy at any weight” is the new norm and ok, but not by doctors. They know the risks of obesity causing long term health issues.

      • Truthful says:

        @Michkabibbles and @ Meritt:

        No offense (pls no agressivity comes from my comment), but of course most of people don’t look like supermodels… but are not overweighted either.

        Being overweight is not normal nor healthy, that’s why doctors advocate for the >35 inch for a woman and something else for a man (somebody posted a very informative link from a Harvard study on this thread )

        The proof overweight is unhealthy: there are no overweighted people in developping countries… so that comes from lifestyle and not genetics.

        I am for the what’s feel good for you, if you are comfortable in your skin that’s what is the most important.

        But promoting ultra skinny or being overweighted is not normal and both images are equally wrong in term of promotion (I underline that what I find wrong is promoting it).

        And promoting an overweighted model on a cover is no better than promoting a stick: both are awful in term of generalizing an unhealthy image

      • Sam says:

        Here’s the problem with “I’m overweight buy I’m healthy!” You’re healthy right now. There are many smokers who, as of right now, are healthy. They don’t have lung cancer, they don’t have COPD, they don’t have anything. But it’s about risk. The vast majority of smokers will develop adverse health consequences as a result of their smoking down the road. And the same is true for the overweight – if the science is right, most overweight people will suffer from some negative consequences relating to their weight in their lifetimes. That’s the bottom line. So all this “But I’m healthy” argument is, to me, very short-sighted. The long-term view of overweight and obesity is just not good, and why shouldn’t people be focusing on that?

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Okay, what is “normal” then? I would really like to know. Who do you see on magazine covers then? Surely not the skinny models we usually see? I mean, they cannot possibly be healthy, right?

      • Truthful says:

        @littlemissnaught: normal doesn’t have a specific shape…I am sure that between ultra-skinny and overweight we could find plenty of ladies. Extremes are not good or normal, our representations of the female body should depart from these

      • Merritt says:


        What you are saying doesn’t even make sense. It is kind of difficult for developing countries to have overweight people when many of those countries are fighting malnutrition. Those people are not healthy.

        The reality is that is someone is eating a healthy diet and is working out, then they are doing what they can to maintain their health.

        Perhaps if people stopped playing body police, the overall health of individuals would improve.

      • Truthful says:


        ” It is kind of difficult for developing countries to have overweight people when many of those countries are fighting malnutrition. Those people are not healthy.Not all developing countries are fighting malnutrition!”

        I find this almost (not almost) offensive for developping countries…

        A lot of these countries have a sizable middle-class : a lot of asian countries fall into this definition (Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, etc..) same for north Africa, Iran or Argentina or Chile or Brasil or China!! …. where people are far from starving so you know.

        Being overweighted is a first world problem , outside the first world people(who are not all starving…) there are no overweighted people.

        In southern Europe or Japan there are few overweighed people…. so that underlines that when eating healthy and being active there is few overweight problems.

        Overweight is not healthy and is induced almost always by lifestyle.

        It’s not playing body police , its the medical truth

      • Wren says:

        What I’m wondering is if she’s really and truly overweight. Is she? Really? Like, I know she doesn’t fit the beauty ideals that are actually completely arbitrary, but that doesn’t automatically make her overweight or unhealthy. I’d have to see some candid pics to get a better idea, because on the cover here she’s all contorted and likely airbrushed.

        People seem to be assuming that she’s “fat” because she’s not a size 4. She’s tall, right? I’m tall too and at my very “you should eat a sandwich” thinnest (or “you should be a model” depending on who was looking at me) I was a size 8. It seems like we’ve gotten so far away from what is actually healthy that we are incapable of recognizing it when we see it. I don’t know if AG is healthy or not, but the overwhelming dismissal of the idea is quite shocking.

      • Carol says:

        @slushee I kind of agree too. I don’t think saying your waist needs to be “35″ inches is a good thing to say either. And I like that people should feel beautiful at all sizes. But just because the average American is overweight doesn’t mean we should now shift the definition of being healthy. Everyone is built differently but for the average person, a size 16 is a concern. I don’t know how tall Ashley is but I’m at least 5’8, I”m a size 16 and I exercise regularly but I’m not healthy because I eat crap. Yes, I eat plenty of vegetables, fruit, but I also eat potato chips, ice cream, taco bell, and all the fun foods all the time! BTW – I also don’t think being thin necessarily means you are healthy either since I know plenty of people who eat crap yet have a fantastic metabolism and smoke.

      • Tiffany :) says:

        If Cheryl was concerned about the obesity epidemic, there is a time and place to address that in a productive fashion (hello, processed foods!). Going at it over a BIKINI COVER is absurd. It seems even more petty considering Cheryl herself was a bikini model, a profession that is notorious for promoting very unhealthy habits. Bikini covers are for the male gaze, not for health recommendations. If the model was on the cover of “Healthy Living” and Cheryl objected, it would be more understandable (but still ignorant as you can’t always tell a person’s lifestyle by their body), but it would be more understandable.

        Essentially, she is just objecting to women with non-standard-for-a-model body types being sexualized.

      • michkabibbles says:

        But what I was saying is that you can have a waist that is <35 inches and still be considered overweight. I hover around that number for my waist, but I carry my extra weight in my hips and boobs. I'm still considered clinically overweight if you just go by BMI (which I consider a true joke of measuring a healthy lifestyle).

        @Sam: I'm 40 years old, I'm not a kid. I work hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I eat well, I work out in some capacity every day, and I run regularly. But to be what is considered "a normal weight", whatever that is these days, I would literally have to starve myself by only consuming 700-800 calories a day. How is that healthier than what I'm doing now? I refuse to starve myself just to hit some number. For some people, being overweight is just what normal is. Bodies are all different, and some arbitrary weight is not a great indication of true health. Muscle to fat ratio is important, as well as how active you are, and how consistent your diet is. In the past 20 years, my weight has only fluctuated within 5 pounds (I've never had kids). I'm very careful about it because obesity runs in my family.
        There is absolutely nothing unhealthy about me except the number on the scale.

      • GreenieWeenie says:

        @Tiffany, I think that is the problem too. She may have a valid concern but why is it being raised in this context? Because she’s linking it to appearance and warning us off celebrating anyone who appears a certain way. Meanwhile, the thin models may be even more unhealthy but Cheryl isn’t critiquing them. All of this just ties a woman’s health to her weight…alongside alllllllll the other things about women that society ties to their appearance.

      • ladysussex says:

        ITA with you Slushee. JUST because the “new normal” is size 16 doesn’t in any way justify the epidemic of obesity in our country. Even if you take fashion models completely out of the equation, the fact is that women are 30-50% fatter on average than they were even just 20 years ago. Just because it’s become politically incorrect to “fat shame” people, and just because there is a plethora of morbidly obese women on Instagram referring to themselves as ‘goddesses”, and just because those absurd FB memes claim that Marilyn Monroe was size 12 or 14 or 16 (she most definitely was not) doesn’t mean that it’s suddenly become healthy to be overweight. No matter how much “society” tries to a.) make it socially acceptable and b.) silence anyone who uses scientifically valid parameters to say that it’s unhealthy… being overweight will never be healthy. It just won’t.

    • vickie says:

      I think Ashley is stunningly beautiful and her body is amazing!

      • Cris says:

        I agree! About time we get to see real women with no plastic in their boobs and asses.

      • Lisa says:

        I agree with you. She looks beautiful, seems comfortable in her own skin and also, looks natural, unlike Ms. Tiegs. How “healthy” is all the botox you appear to be injecting, Cheryl?

  9. Nameless says:

    The status of her health (lipids, blood pressure, fasting blood sugar, etc) is between her and her doctor. We can’t tell it by eyeballing her!

    That being said, I’ve read the <35" waist recommendation before. Abdominal fat is associated with higher risk for cardiovascular events, as opposed to fat stored in your ass and hips. Dr. Oz is a moron but some of his stuff is based on research.

    • Susan says:

      @Nameless you are correct. Oz is the wrong idiot to reference (isn’t he losing his license to practice medicine?) but a larger waist aka Apple body type is considered a precursor for metabolic syndrome and diabetes as well.

      Still….it’s quite shocking she came out and said that. And the “correction” was weak sauce.

    • Truthful says:

      I was going to say so too. Unfortunately the messenger of this message sounds stupid while saying a truth.

      But it is true. it is unhealthy. Being overweight or too skinny isn’t healthy and promoting either one of these will convey unhealthy ideas of human bodies. We sure exist in different heights and shapes, but there are real ratios and scale of proportions within wich we are healthy or not… and unfortunately the bitter lady (have no idea who she is) has a point…

    • Merritt says:

      But Ashley Graham has a waist smaller than 35″. Ashley also talks a lot about eating healthy foods and exercise. She just happens to be rightfully unapologetic about not hurting herself to be smaller.

    • GreenieWeenie says:

      that’s what everyone is saying but the 35″ is about where you store fat. If you store it disproportionately around your waist, then you’re at higher risk. But look at the model: does she look like an apple body type? If she has a 35″ waist, then it’s because she’s bigger overall–meaning she stores fat pretty evenly over her whole body. So I’d like to see the stats that suggest a 35″ waist has substantial impact on health in that context.

  10. Tanguerita says:

    that’s rich, coming from someone who used to appear in ads for Virginia Slims. But, sure, Cheryl, whatever you say.

    • Esmom says:

      Lol, I know. She just sounds bitter and petty, a real mean girl. And her Twitter backpedaling, what a joke.

  11. Luxe says:

    I actually hate this cover. Ashley is lovely but she’s for the most part a typical SI model. People seem to think it’s some great moment for women, but she’s got a conventionally beautiful face, big boobs and an hourglass shape. I’d rather see her in a fashion magazine.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:

      To me that is a normal average body type, no new ground was broken, but hey – THAT is considered plus size in the ridiculous modeling industry.

  12. BengalCat2000 says:

    Says the woman who was the spokesperson for Virginia Slims cigarettes…she also released the jankiest of workout videos in the 80s.
    Have all the seats, CHERYL.

  13. Carol says:

    Literally no idea who she is but hatin on Ashley ain’t cute. Sounds bitter to me!

  14. err says:

    I hate how she said it, and who she cited, but she does have a bit of a point, doesn’t she? It is unhealthy, and I bet most doctor’s would say that Graham has an unhealthy BMI. Her comment about waist size was either dumb and shallow, or ineloquently referring to the fact that doctor’s have often pointed out that fat distributed in the abdominal region is one of the most dangerous kinds in terms of future health problems.

    • Erinn says:

      Yeah, and yet, Ashley has a waist below what she’s citing is dangerous. 5 inches smaller to be exact. So she’s not being accurate whatsoever – she’s complaining that we’re glorifying things that aren’t healthy – and give the example of unhealthy as 35″ waists and up. Well Ashley doesn’t even fall within that. Is Ashely incredibly heathly? I don’t know. But she’s 5’7″ and she seems to largely carry her weight proportionately – not just in the waist which seems to predispose you for more health issues. Could she lose some weight for health? Yeah maybe – but Cheryl Tiegs was a poster woman for cigarettes – which are pretty damn horrible for your health.

      Cheryl should also perhaps take a look at what she’s been injecting into her body – I doubt those chemicals are great for her health either.

      Yes – it’s dangerous to say that being overweight is always healthy and fine – but it’s just as dangerous to say being skinny is the only healthy there is, or if you’re over a 35″ waist you should be ashamed and disgusted with yourself.

      • Luxe says:

        My issue with this whole plus size equals or does not equal healthy is…why does anyone care about other peoples’ bodies? Even if Ashley is unhealthy as hell and gains 100 lbs this year, that’s between her and her doctor.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Luxe, just wait. Someone’s going to reply with the “our health care system blah blah” or “she’s a bad role model”. As if anyone’s going to look at her and try to gain weight. People just love to concern-troll others’ looks.

      • err says:

        Ruh roh, I think I might be that person, please don’t hate me! @ Luxe, I think it is because what we see in the media is generally what becomes accepted as a cultural “ideal.” For instance, it is often cited that one of the major reasons that young girls want to be stick thin and turn to anorexia is because of the unhealthily thin image that has been made popular since the ‘heroin chic’ phase that swept through modeling in the 90′s. The fear is that it anything we applaud in the media will become something to aspire to, and that it can be dangerous if the thing that is applauded is not healthy. Honestly, I think the fashion industry is just yoyoing between the two extremes too much, but hopefully it will settle in the middle.

        She looks pretty close to obese to me in other photos I have seen of her, and her BMI calculations support that. When I plugged the first stats that I found (which could admittedly be incorrect) for her into a BMI calculator it said that she was bigger than 94% of women her age, and was only .3% away from obesity. Obestity is one of the top preventative causes of death in the US, and while people should not be made to feel ashamed of it (and often, its really something that we are born into- through nature and nurture) which they currently are, they also shouldn’t be told that it is ok and that therefore they should be content to not try and do anything about it.

      • Truthful says:

        @Luxe: I think it’s for the same reasons people are concerned by anorexic models: it promotes an unhealthy body image.And as a society we have put image on such a pedestal that it influences self-perception and so other women.

        Anorexic girls= put the pressure of trying to chase an unhealthy fantasy and encourage to starve.
        Overweighted girl: it’s Ok to be like that it’s “normal”

        If these girls were just living their life randomly, good for them carry on, but it’s by putting them on the tremendous body-image platforms that are magazines that the harm starts.

        There are no ideal body shapes but there is a reasonable body mass index.

        In most countries on this planet people are “normal”, as falling into this body mass index, why because there are some lifestyle maladjustments in the first world (trying crazily to be skinny , too much overweighted people, fitness crazies…) we should adjust lifestyle promotions to these societal changes instead of just pointing that these are just problems and we should address them like it?

        Weight problems: first world problems, there are no overweighted people in most countries , the more developed countries (USA, Canada, Germany, Uk, Scandinavia etc are the only ones with obesity and overweight problems…)

      • Petunia says:

        @Luxe because people like to get on their moral concern trolling high horse from behind the safety of their computer screens. Its easy, they aren’t exactly putting their appearances out there to be criticised. I’m also guessing most concern trolls aren’t of super model appearance or weight. So, hypocrites.

      • Kitten says:

        “why does anyone care about other peoples’ bodies? Even if Ashley is unhealthy as hell and gains 100 lbs this year, that’s between her and her doctor.”

        Yup this times a billion. This thread is already giving me a migraine. Sigh

        @Luxe-If you haven’t gotten the “it’s a strain on our healthcare system!!” comments yet–just wait for it.

        It’s nobody’s f*cking business. I get super-sensitive about this because as someone who battles with an ED, comments about my body just fuel the disease.
        Also, all the comments about skinny models “not being healthy” are just as bad and annoyingly concern-trolly, because NONE of us know what their diet is, what their BMI is, what kind of metabolism they have. Some folks are just naturally skinny. It happens.

        Let’s be real here: this is about people’s need to feel better than _____. Whether it’s a skinny person criticizing an overweight person or the other way around–same thing.

        I think Ashley is beautiful and I wish people would just leave her the hell alone, man. Worry about yourself yo.

      • littlemissnaughty says:

        Kitten, but don’t you know that people are only concerned??? They only want to help and point out to people who know they’re overweight that they’re overweight! Or underweight. Because we don’t know. Because we don’t own a scale or a mirror or have access to the same information on health and weight that they do. We need to be educated on this. I can’t stand it, frankly. Nobody needs to tell me I’ve got a few pounds too many on my a**. It’s an opportunity to judge, that’s all it is. F*ck those of us who spend half our lives feeling bad about ourselves. It’s only science, right?

      • Jenny says:

        I really don’t understand this “There aren’t overweigt people in the developing world, so we know it’s not healthy.” that many seem to be so confident in asserting. Quick research would tell you all that upwards of 60% of all obese people in this world currently reside in developing countries. Have you ever traveled to any of these places? I have and I see overweight/obese people everywhere I have been.
        PS- to act like putting someone on the cover who is well within the range of what everyone here is arguing to be healthy is encouraging people to be obese…I’m sorry, that is strait up ridiculous. If her waist was 40 inches maybe I could give that some credence.

    • noway says:

      Here’s the problem with the complaints about her being unhealthy, I think society has just seen so many ultra thin models and doesn’t even realize what a true healthy body image looks like. Cheryl not even knowing that Ashley’s waist is five inches smaller than her unhealthy range just proves that we have all seen too many ultra thin models and our point of view is wrong. First of all Ashley’s bmi is in the overweight range not obese, but both Kendall Jenner and Karlie Kloss, neither one considered very thin models, are in the underweight range with one bordering on a percentage that if she fell the other way and was overweight would fall in the obese category. There are many health studies that state that underweight BMI is as bad and probably worse than overweight. Both are unhealthy images just from different angles. Having both images may just balance it out.

      Another good example of how our view is skewed is Serena Williams. A lot of people think she look fat, and she get razzed a lot about her body. Granted she is a world class athlete and muscle does weigh more than fat. Still I believed she probably falls in the overweight category for a regular bmi calculator since she was so muscular and sometimes that happens and you would have to measure the fat to muscle ratio. Guess what of all the people I mentioned she is the only one with a weight and height that falls in the normal range on even a standard bmi calculator.

      • Truthful says:

        Noway: I talk just for myself on this thread, but I didn’t compare her to models but to women from the real life, I live in France and travel a lot to Italy and Sweden and in these 3 countries she is clearly overweighted, While Serena Williams is not.

        I think people were trying to be just mean to Serena Williams.

        ps: I am just trying to explaining my perception

  15. Jen43 says:

    Tieg’s mistake was giving her honest opinion. And based on her honest opinion, she thinks Ashley is fat. Whether or not Ashley is healthy, we have no basis to judge, and neither does Tiegs.

    • The Eternal Side-Eye says:


      Plenty of skinny models have come forward over the years to admit to the dangerous diets and weight loss strategies they subject themselves to but they’re the ‘appealing’ form of unhealthy and the world keeps spinning.

      This isn’t about being healthy. If Ashley was a size 2 surviving on a meal plan of cotton balls and water Tiegs wouldn’t have said boo.

      • boredblond says:

        Hehehe..wouldn’t that cotton ball diet lead to water retention? Thanks for the morning laugh, Eternal.
        As for Tieg–she should just admit she hit the genetic jackpot, and be thankful ‘modern medicine’ has allowed her to stop nature’s clock.

    • Breakfast Margaritas says:

      But Ashley represents herself as a plus size or curvy model. She doesn’t go around saying she should be the standard for the modeling industry. Someone has to model clothing for plus size women. Ashley has a beautiful face and hour glass figure, why shouldn’t it be her? Why isn’t this type of shaming directed at male “Big and Tall” models?

      Ashley isn’t trying to represent mainstream models. She represents beautifully for full figured people who have quite a bit of spending power and want nice, fashionable clothing designed to fit fuller figures. I don’t see the need for concern trolling.

      • outhousecat says:

        I love this comment. I’m new to plus-size, and don’t plan to park here too long, but I see there isn’t anything to choose from. The cute clothes are too small. The plus-size clothes are shapeless blobs. I wouldn’t put those ugly clothes on my horse lest he be lost in all that extraneous fabric that I can only assume is in place to hide our cellulite and stretch marks. Oh, and our FIGURES!! I’m going to be back in the “misses” before long, I hope, but in the meantime there isn’t much to choose from here in Plus Land.

  16. Lucy2 says:

    Well, I don’t think Cheryl Tiegs is Ashley’s doctor. Or completely sober in that clip.

  17. kimbers says:

    Hate that pose bc it makes her head look disproportionate to her body.

  18. Denise says:

    Cheryl, take a seat. The Cheryl Tiegs at her peek would be lucky to get catalogue work today.

  19. Convexed says:

    As far as waist size goes, ratio matters. The size of yr frame vs the proportion of adipose tissue you carry in yr abdomen BC it can mean fatty tissue in and around yr organs, which, yes, is dangerous. However, Tiegs is greatly oversimplifying it. Nothing in body composition, metabolism, and health is quite that simple. Simple rules of thumb like waist size are made to be a very general indicator so you know when you might need to follow up w a doctor or consider lifestyle changes, not so you can point at strangers and declare them healthy or unhealthy.

  20. Anon says:

    There have been many peer reviwed studies, published in respected journals, that show a correlation between an increased waist size (> 35 inches) and an increased risk for health disease and other conditions.
    That being said, a person’s health status is very personal and should be between his/her doctor.
    As a health care provider, I’ve also learned that there are many other factors to someone’s overall health such as environment and genetics.
    The takeaway from all of this is that people should be mindful of their own health and not look to celebrities and vapid magazines for what’s ideal for them.

    • Truthful says:

      Thank you for the link. Weight is a very sensitive matter, offering a medical and documented perspective on it is super helpful

    • noway says:

      Granted 35 waist may be a problem, but Ashley’s is a 30, and the fact that Cheryl is 5 inches wrong, which in a waist is a lot, just shows that her image is skewed.

  21. KikiGee says:

    Riiight, but being a sozzled mess with a face full of Botox and fillers IS healthy.

  22. Nicole says:

    She’s right.

    Ashley Graham’s body looks good but she’s a model, an exception. She probably works out and watches what she eats, actually. Most women at her size are overweight or obese. Convincing these women that their size is healthy is a mistake.

    • Truthful says:

      Totally! I agree to everything you said!

    • Wren says:

      What about those of us who DO look like AG? (Well, minus the boobs.) Have the same body type, eat healthy and exercise but are still “fat” by arbitrary American standards? It doesn’t take a genius to tell the difference between someone who is a size 16 because they are obese and someone who is a size 16 because they are already a larger (read: tall) person and carry their weight on their lower half.

      I don’t think she’s sending the wrong message because those who would internalize this “wrong message” wouldn’t get the difference anyway. Just focusing on her size (which is also pretty arbitrary and varies widely depending on what brand of clothing you try) and saying “welp, we’re totally the same size and she looks great so I must look great! *guzzles soda and stuffs chips in face*” isn’t exactly the best measure of health.

      • Truthful says:

        @Wren; Why there are so many size 16 only in America, Canada, UK, Germany, France and Scandinavia (mainly) and why not so much in other countries… maybe it’s not just “arbitrary american standards” don’t you think?

      • Wren says:

        Is size 16 the same everywhere? I’m simultaneously size 14, 16 and 18 depending on what brand and cut of jeans I buy. This leads into a whole other rant about women’s sizes and how stupid they are. Again, it’s not that hard to distinguish between unhealthfully obese and carrying some weight on your hips. I’m fully aware of how unhealthy the western diet is and that many larger people are not healthy, but strictly going off of size is a highly misguided way of judging health.

    • Breakfast Margaritas says:

      But convincing them that they deserve good fitting and fashionable clothing as they go about their work, school, church, fitness and leisure activities is not a mistake. Everyone deserves to look their best at every stage of fitness and perhaps having someone as beautiful and proportional as Ashley wearing fun plus size clothing, nice makeup and styled hair can be inspirational to plus sized women.

      • Nicole says:

        Thanks you Breakfast Margaritas… you changed my mind on this. People have the right to live their lives. Size 16 doesn’t have to be a healthy or ideal size for beautiful Ashley Graham to look fashionable. Point taken.

    • Jib says:

      Thanks for telling me I’m unhealthy as I go out for a 5 mile run today, and a 20 mile bike ride tomorrow and a hour swim on Sunday. I am 5ft5in and 180. What are you doing this weekend??

      • Nicole says:

        I work out every day, if that was addressed to me. I’m 5’4 and 126 pounds with 25.4 lbs Body Fat Mass and 56.2 lbs Skeletal Muscle Mass, since you feel the need to compare. ;) Looking at this handy Body Composition Analysis, that puts me in the “Normal Weight – Strong Type” category. If you are in the Over Weight – Strong Type category, as it sounds like you are, no one is telling you that you are weak. This weekend, I will be doing one hour of cardio and one of strength along with an hour or so of yoga.

        The message, that being over weight is not good for you, is not a personal insult. It is a health warning. Just as anti-smoking campaign would be justified if you were a healthy weight and physically active but smoked.

  23. paranormalgirl says:

    And it’s so healthy to be pumped full of silcone and toxins, not to mention the unnecessary surgeries.

  24. lovemesseg says:

    I agree with Cheryl clarified comments.

    There is nothing healthy about being under or overweight.

    A few exceptions don’t break the rule.

  25. lowercaselois says:

    A girlfriend of mine is a size 8/10, eats healthy and exercises a few times a, week has a normal blood pressure, no really health issues and she went for a. blood test to get her cholestero/triglycerides/Ldl/HDLl taken and all her numbers are dangerously high. Dr says there is a genetic component to health. There are many parts to being healthy.

  26. HeyThere! says:

    Shesh, that wasn’t smart. There is NOTHING wrong with glamorizing Ashley’s amazing, gorgeous body. Maybe look her stays up before you just assume her waist is 36+ inches?? And to just assume she is unhealthy? Illness can hit anyone. Genetics have A LOT to do with it, not just your waist line number. Really rude thing to to assume about someone. “Oh she’s a bigger girl, she must funnel pizza and Doritos down her throat 24/7 and that is unhealthy”, is pretty much what she was thinking.

  27. cari says:

    I agree. A healthy weight is best..not to skinny, not too fat. If you look in the senior homes, where the average person is 80+, you don’t see many obese people there. And if they are overweight, they just got that way in the last few years. Obese people are unhealthy, and don’t live to a late age.

    • Truthful says:

      so true

    • noway says:

      Unfortunately, this is not true. A lot of seniors are obese. In fact my friend is a nurse at a nursing home and she said they needed to get newer beds and more people to handle some of the weight issues with patients. Yes obesity can shorten your life and shouldn’t be a goal, but the reality is medical science is advancing and a lot of people do live with this issue for a very long time, and we probably need to find better solutions than just shaming people or ignoring it.

      • Amelie says:

        ” A lot of seniors are obese.” There’s an epidemic of diabetes-especially among lower socio-economic groups who eat primarily highly processed, high fat foods, don’t exercise etc. It’s also occurring among children–I think these situations are very different from ones where folks eat healthy. Lidia Bastianich is an example of someone who eats healthy; some would be consider her overweight. What I see is someone who loves food and she reflects that.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      A lot of the people who are 80+ or in senior homes sadly have health problems anyway, regardless of weight. That’s why the whole “Putting Ashley Graham types on magazine covers is unhealthy because judging by their weight, these people will have health problems in their 60′s, 70′s, and 80′s” argument seems a little silly.
      Also, part of the reason why you may see less overweight seniors may not be because all overweight people are dying at 50, but because back when the 80+ crowd were kids/teens/20-somethings, they had different access to food and people were smaller then (girls probably got their periods a little later too) and were less likely to be overweight or obese during the earlier parts of their lives.

      • Jwoolman says:

        People can also lose interest in food as they age due to diminished taste sensitivity and various health problems, or just not wanting to exert the effort to prepare better food and clean up. So past a certain age, we might be seeing a certain percentage of people who are losing weight unintentionally. Any kind of discomfort certainly kills my appetite and desire to cook/wash dishes (not that the latter has ever been a great interest of mine…).

  28. Donna says:

    I think filling your face with chemicals to recapture your glory days speaks to issues aplenty, Cheryl, dear.

  29. Colette says:

    Hailey Clauson,one of the other two 2016 SI cover models is almost 6ft tall and reportedly weighs about 130.Isn’t she underweight? Is she healthy? Obviously we don’t know.

  30. Adrien says:

    I actually agree with Dr. Oz. He dispenses some wacky medical advice on his show but he’s a cardio surgeon most of his medical life. As for Tiegs’ statement, she’s in her 60s. She’s like my gwamma who thinks all gay men should wear scarves and colorful skinny jeans. Like DVF and Karl L, she’s very insular when it comes to beauty and fashion ideals. It’s funny she’s telling us who should and shouldn’t model. I don’t really get Cheryl at all. I think she was appealing back then because she’s a very safe looking model. She had a great body, nice looking face but she’s not sensuous.

  31. Sam says:

    The real problem is that SI picked a “plus size woman” who is really not representative of plus-size women. Ashley Graham is very attractive – but she also has a rare body type for a plus-size woman – she has a small waist with ample hips and breasts. She’s hourglass shaped. But that type of body is also rare at her size – far more women in her size and weight group have the pear or apple shape going on. And those body shapes do predispose you to higher risk of cardiovascular disease, among other things. I don’t think Cheryl should be laying into Ashley solely because Ashley is not really a good representation of the actual problem.

  32. WTF says:

    What bothers me is, has Tiegs EVER criticized models that are under weight? Then have a big steaming cup of STFU!

    • KV says:

      It’s ok to talk about the big girl but god forbid she’s ever critqued the ones that look like Alexa Chung…

  33. Illyra says:

    It seems that “plus-sized” is really only pushed as something you’re supposed to find attractive in women. Remember Chris Pratt? Sure a lot of people thought he was cute as the plump Andy Dwyer, but not remotely the same number that fangirled over his ripped “Guardians” physique. Ben Affleck—same thing. Why aren’t we expected to find fleshy men attractive in the same way as fleshy women?

    People don’t choose their physical preferences, they’re (for the most part) innate… and I can’t help but notice what seems to be a really obvious double standard in the expectations of what society as a whole “should” find attractive in male vs female body-fat composition.

    • OGBklynGirl says:

      There’s actually research which talks about the mathematical waist to hip ratio in women that men have been genetically predisposed to find ideal. (Something to do with the fertility of a potential mate.) That doesn’t speak to what we’ve been socially conditioned to think is attractive in modern times. Unfortunately some people (the ‘**ASSian family and others) have taken it to a cartoonland extreme!

      • Illyra says:

        Yep, the 0.7 hip-to-waist ratio seems to be universally considered beautiful. A woman can be heavy or thin, but if she has that ratio men will generally find her attractive… seems to be hardwired for them to see it as a sign of health and fertility.

        “Unfortunately some people (the ‘**Assian family and others) have taken it to a cartoonland extreme!”

        LOL too true!

    • Bridget says:

      Have you turned your TV on in the last couple of decades? Men with a less than ideal physique are paired with much more attractive women all the time. And consider this: How many men are allowed to be successful in spite of being heavier or unattractive (like Ed Sheeran) while female counterparts are still expected to groom and glam it up, no matter how talented they are?

      • Illyra says:

        There’s truth to what you say, but I stand by my post. Both men *and* women can be considered sex symbols in spite of their looks: the difference is we’re not made to feel guilty if we find a man’s flab physically unappealing, but when it’s a woman that’s called “body shaming”. Very few on this site, for instance, seem to have any compunctions about ridiculing men who’ve let themselves go and packed on a few pounds. Check out any Ben Affleck post if you want evidence… I know a lot of people think he’s an asshole, but they’re still pretty brutal about his weight fluctuations too.

      • Petunia says:

        Trust me, I’ve seen plenty of places on the internet where they tear apart women for not looking up to “standard”…just because this is a pretty pro-women site doesn’t mean there aren’t a hundred others that like to savage women’s bodies all the time. So to say only men can be safely ridiculed for their bodies is a bit much imo.

      • Illyra says:

        “I’ve seen plenty of places on the internet where they tear apart women for not looking up to “standard”"

        Oh trust me, I have too! People can be vicious. My point is it’s usually considered politically incorrect and/or bullying to criticize women for their appearance (“fat shaming”, “body shaming”, “slut shaming” if they’re wearing revealing clothes, etc.), while men are expected to just tough out the insults.

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        @Illyra: If the point you’re trying to make is that nobody should be body-shamed regardless of gender, I totally agree with you.
        And I don’t think it’s wrong that people (of any gender) have certain physical preferences when it comes to which body types they consider most or least attractive. The problem comes in when people feel entitled to be rude to, discriminate against, or disrespect people for not meeting that standard, or when they pressure people to meet unhealthy or unnecessary standards.

    • Breakfast Margaritas says:

      Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Marlon Brandi, Elvis Presley, Joaquin Phoenix, Tyler Perry, Seth Rogen, John Goodman, Zack Galifinackis, Drew Carey, and Kevin James all work pretty regularly without having ideal bodies. There is even a term for celebrity guys having less than ideal fitness being considered still attractive; Dad Bod.

  34. mj says:

    I don’t know who is paying attention her but I know the message is rampant and messed up. I can’t quote her because it’s painful. Body policing is not okay, ever, on a red carpet, while discussing amounts of butter for your popcorn, when being told you really shouldn’t shop at a certain store. Body policing is not an accomplishment. It’s detrimental and quite frankly horrible.I recall Beth Ditto had an interview a while back and she was like lol what? You’re talking to me about body con? Similarly, Mindy Kaling has things to say about when a reporter asks her how she feels so accomplished as a woman of color. She owns being Indian but her response was spot on, something along the lines of, I have so much success, I’m grateful for it, I worked hard, so why do you make these assumptions? On one hand, I get the interviewer’s take because it’s not like Hollywood is diverse. On the other hand, how do we dispel the stigmata of not being hetero cis white straight without praising and upholding talent? And yes talent can also include a woman on the cover of SI who looks different from the gamut of the usual models.

  35. QQ says:

    HEY CHERYL! How about you mind your body and your face… how about THAT?? get in a vat of suncreen and ask Sharon Stone for her dr.’s digits instead of talking about Ashley’s body

  36. colleen says:

    She looks vibrant and healthy to me, but then health really can’t be measured by the eye, can it?

  37. Allie May says:

    Wow, with the amount of sun damage in Cheryl Tieg’s face, and she has the nerve to discuss health? How many visits during the year must she make to the dermatologists to keep precancerous lesions under control? Disgusting.

    • Giddy says:

      Cheryl’s terrible sun damage was the first thing I noticed, then that she seemed drunk. So I am not impressed with her medical opinion, especially since I don’t recall her being concerned when the “heroin chic” look was all over Vogue, etc. I think it’s lovely to see a vibrant, healthy woman on SI.

    • isabelle says:

      Giving her grace there. Barely anyone used sunscreen in her day, up until the 90s it was very sporadic and not used by most. Believe it or not common sunscreen use is a very current recent thing.

  38. kri says:

    I just wanted to see someone on that cover who was glowing and happy and curvy. Ashley, you did a great job. Thank you.

  39. Gardenia says:

    Cheryl might have been tactless in the way she worded her response, but she’s not wrong. Ashley Graham is beautiful, but she is at an unhealthy weight. That is undeniable. Contrary to what’s said in this post, waist size IS significant, as it is directly correlated to type 2 diabetes and other problems.

    Abdominal fat is the most dangerous kind of fat.

    From Harvard Health Publications:

    “Abdominal, or visceral fat is of particular concern because it’s a key player in a variety of health problems — much more so than subcutaneous fat, the kind you can grasp with your hand. Visceral fat, on the other hand, lies out of reach, deep within the abdominal cavity, where it pads the spaces between our abdominal organs. Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery.”

    And yeah, no way she has a 30 inch waist. Again, beautiful woman, and she shouldn’t be fat-shamed, but it doesn’t do anyone any good to pretend that this is a healthy weight.

    • FingerBinger says:

      She’s not at an unhealthy weight. She’s 5’9 with a large frame. I surmise she’s 10 lbs over what her weight should be.

    • Breakfast Margaritas says:

      She has a nearly flat stomach in most modeling ads I’ve seen her in. What visceral fat are you talking about? I’ve also seen shots of her working out in the gym but people continue to insist that a 5’9 twenty nine year old with a 30 inch waist who works out is “unhealthy” just from glancing at her.

    • Tina says:

      Agree with you 100% — and with Cheryl. I definitely would not phrase it like Cheryl did (or mention Dr. Oz at all! Lol!) but I don’t think being a size 16 is healthy. If you eat right and work out 3-5 times a week, there’s absolutely no reason you should be that big. Normalizing this behavior is really worrisome to me.

      I’m personally the most impressed by Ronda Rousey’s cover — she is not a great person, but she works SO hard for that body. Awesome!

      • Jib says:

        I eat right, and work out more than three times a week and I’m a size 16. With all due respect, you are making HUGE and very insulting generalizations. Have you hear of menopause??

      • Truthful says:

        @ Tina :co-sign! Ronda’s cover is amazing !!! that’s super fit.
        @Jib: my mom has been in menopause for sometimes and she is a size 8, she eats properly and even indulge on week-ends , she is very active as, she bikes and walks through town to work or shopping or going out and does pilates consistently, she has a good figure and is a true inspiration to me!

  40. anniefannie says:

    I saw her recently on Today show recently and she was an arrogant ,smug bitch ! Got very busy spouting her 1sts in the modeling world. She so far up her own ass no amount of feedback will pull it out.

  41. Amelie says:

    Firstly, I think Ashley is gorgeous…

    I saw a video report somewhere-I just can’t find it now-and it had to do with the connection between a woman’s shape-i.e., fat deposits around the hips and butt-the role of fat deposits in producing healthy (smart) babies and how a woman’s shape unconsciously communicates to men that a woman is a potential good breeder. I did however find the following in the 17 January 2015/Daily Mail

    “Fat found in women’s bottoms helps to build babies’ brains: Scientists say curvy girls produce more intelligent children”

    So, there is an entire aspect to shape that Dr. Oz and other experts are ignoring…

    I think the culture continues to get messages from the fashion industry that an androgynous body is the beautiful ideal(I can’t help, but think of Amal Clooney), but this runs counter to our biological wiring. For whatever reason, in the African-American culture, voluptuous women is still the ideal.

    The other piece is that women are born with different shapes. Some naturally have a smaller waist and wider hips. My sister-in-law has NO HIPS. Good for her, but that’s not what my genetics gave me. So, I think the medical recommendations break down here because we can’t change some things.

  42. kerry says:

    I love getting advice from an old drunk handbag that watches Dr. Oz.

  43. Lisa says:

    Never thought I’d see the day I would agree with Cheryl Tiegs. Mind you, not that there’s anything healthy about smoking, or making Dr. Oz your #1, but even a hypocrite can be right.

  44. AnotherDirtyMartini says:

    Oh Cheryl, go blow. Pfft! My mother runs around quoting Dr. Oz like he’s the Second Coming too.

    • Sam says:

      Except he’s not wrong when it comes to this. The guy is an actual heart surgeon – he spent years dealing with the consequences of overeating and poor weight management. And he’s right when he says that excess adipose tissue is one of the major contributors to heart disease and other conditions. Ashley Graham might not be in a bad position because her weight is incredibly well-distributed and she actually doesn’t carry much in the abdominal region (judging by some candid pics of her that are out there). But she’s the rare exception. Most women of her weight and size are carrying in the areas that do increase the risk of various diseases. And yes, there is a noted relationship between increasing waist size and disease risk – there are citations in comments above. So I’m not sure what your actual point is.

      • Amelie says:

        “Except he’s not wrong when it comes to this. The guy is an actual heart surgeon – he spent years dealing with the consequences of overeating and poor weight management.”

        I hear what you’re saying….I had to go thru an extensive cardio work-up for a suspected heart attack. I noticed that ALL of the cardiologists at this nationally recognized medical facility were BONE thin. I imagine that they worked 80 hours per week while exercising regularly and eating a diet scientifically proven to protect against heart disease. Well, ever hear of Jim Fixx? He was a well known runner and health-healthy eating & healthy weight- advocate? He died of a heart attack at 52, if I remember due to coronary artery disease. Back to my work up…I had to have an angiogram as it is considered the GOLD STANDARD in diagnosing a heart attack (note, an x-ray during a stress test indicated that an ‘event’ had taken place). Yes, I was overweight, but eat healthily and had consistently (genetically) low cholesterol tests. My great cardiologist stated, that I didn’t fit the clinical profile. So, in I went for an angiogram and guess what? It was completely normal. So, what I am saying is that there are a lot of factors. For me, the lesson is, eat well, avoid stress as much as possible and enjoy life. Full disclosure, I worked in healthcare for over 20 years and have a healthy skepticism re: recommendations of MD’s.

    • AnotherDirtyMartini says:

      Sam: my point is that you can’t generalize. One size doesn’t fit all. There are MANY other factors going on in the human body. For Oz or Tiegs to make a statement about just waist size is ridiculous & lazy.

      Oh, I also hate that Tiegs said “I don’t like that we’re giving attention to full figured women and glamorizing them….” Attention hog! What’s funny is I never thought Cheryl Tiegs had a beautiful or even pretty face. She had a trim body – I’ll give her that – but her face was always bland & she has always had terrible hair. Ashley has a face that makes you go wow & do a double take. I think the pose they put Ashley in isn’t the most flattering – for anyone:

      Now on to Amelie! First of all and most importantly, I’m very glad you’re okay, Amelie! Your situation is what I’m talking about. I agree with your thoughts – well said.

  45. Nancy says:

    Skinny people die too. Beauty fades as well as evidenced by Ms. Tiegs. Can’t imagine going through life with how I look or how much I weigh as the impetus of my existence.

    • MzThunderthighs says:

      Why are we acting like skinny people don’t die? You can be skinny, work out religiously, eat right and still drop dead at 42 because of a heart attack. I have seen it.
      1. Fat shaming disguised as ‘health concern’ is disgusting.
      2. There are many factors that affect an individual’s health, not just the weight.
      3. Encouraging non-skinny people to love themselves does not equal ‘promoting an unhealthy weight to young impressionable minds’. How can some people not see that?? One doe not equal the other. Jeez.
      4. Some people just want to enjoy their life, let them pleeeease. You’re within your ideal weight? Excellent. That’s the only weight you should be minding, not any other person’s. Live and let live for heavens sake!

    • Sam says:

      I’m sorry, but that’s the argument I always hate. Do we say, “Non-smokers die too, so don’t worry about quitting!” “Non-drug users die too, so who cares about addiction!”? No, we get that stuff is unhealthy.

      Nobody is trying to argue that skinny people don’t die. It’s a QUALITY of life issue. The overweight and obese have far, far more quality of life issues, particularly as they age. The body is not meant to carry large amounts of weight beyond it’s natural limits for very long.

      I’m constantly amazed by generally liberal people who will lambast the right for “science denial” when it comes to things like global warming, birth control, etc. but as soon as you bring up that science also says that being overweight is pretty bad for you, they jump back so fast. You can’t have it both way.

      • Breakfast Margaritas says:

        Ok so you’ve brought it up…again…as if people aren’t aware of the need to choose good foods and exercise. Now what?

      • Illyra says:

        “I’m constantly amazed by generally liberal people who will lambast the right for “science denial” when it comes to things like global warming, birth control, etc. but as soon as you bring up that science also says that being overweight is pretty bad for you, they jump back so fast. You can’t have it both ways.”

        Could not agree more Sam.

      • Jib says:

        People with a BMI lower than 19 die younger than people who are overweight with a BMI between 25 and 30. Here you go:
        The old science is being disproven with the new, more accurate studies.

      • stephanie says:

        You really need to shutup Sam.

      • Truthful says:

        @Jib: yes that means that its best to not be underweight nor overweight! No extremes.

        Sam didn’t even bring underweighted people.

        @sam: couldn’t agree more too.

        This thread is being super sensitive.

  46. Jwoolman says:

    Be cautious about taking the BMI too seriously. It wasn’t developed for individuals and seems rather murky to me near borderlines for the categories. It would seem especially unsatisfactory as an indicator for people who are the most fit- I think it’s commonly said that athletes typically don’t match the BMI guidelines, for instance.

    The inaccuracy must be pretty high for women in general because of the different ways we deposit fat as well as the usual variation in frames. Breast size, hip size for instance can vary so much from person to person. Plus Mother Nature clearly wants us to store some fat, will stop menstruation if we get too lean, and even goes on fat storage overdrive during pregnancy to make sure we can still feed the baby if a famine occurs. (Mother Nature doesn’t know about all our grocery stores and fast food joints…) It’s obviously much more complicated for women than for men. But for everybody, fitness is a much better measure of health. The different fat patterns may seem like handy indicators, but they are just general guidelines and may not apply in a specific case.

    People are usually aware when they are carrying enough extra weight that it actually is a problem today or tomorrow, and when it actually interferes with easy movement and functioning of the body in general. But when a person reports struggling to lose that last ten pounds – maybe they need to consider that the struggle is because that’s not where their body should be. Models and Hollywood types are likely to restrict food and overexercise to get significantly below where their particular body should be, and those are the images we see in magazines, in TV, in movies. So the real distortion isn’t in the direction of glamorizing “overweight”. I look at Ashley and see someone who looks fit and healthy. She is very likely NOT overweight for her particular body even if charts claim otherwise. Cheryl, on the other hand, looks marginal at best to me. She won’t have the reserves to deal with serious illness. Our old vet always said she especially wanted to see cats go into old age with some extra on them, as long as they were active and vigorous. I think humans also need that safety margin.

  47. perplexed says:

    I don’t really get how talking about one plus-sized model glamourizes anything. It’s not like the magazines are strewn with plus-size models galore. The way Cheryl Tiegs phrased her criticism is funny to me (i.e “Actually I don’t like that we’re talking about full-figured women because it’s glamorizing them…”). I get that that body type might not appeal to some or that it’s possible to conclude that a larger stomach might lead to diabetes, but I don’t think just mentioning that a full-figured model can exist is glamorizing. It’s like she thinks just uttering the phrase “full-figured” is the equivalent to glamorizing heroin addiction. Her phrasing sounds dumb here, even if one could cite medical statistics about what a waist larger than 35 inches could lead to.

  48. P says:

    Is this where we wax all nostalgic for the days when a model had to snort her body weight in coke to stay skinny?

    We should totally do that. Or not, and Ms Tiegs can just go ahead and take a seat.

  49. Beckysuz says:

    I really wish we could move past this constant dissection of women’s bodies. It’s exhausting. Having an eating disorder for nearly half my life has just made my tolerance for it very low. We should all be striving for health. Just that. Health. There are many ways to be unhealthy and healthy at all weights and sizes, be it thin or fat. I try so hard to teach my 10 yo daughter that being healthy is the only conversation that should be had when talking about weight. And that really and truly the most important aspect of anyone should be what’s on the inside. I don’t know. I’m in complete recovery, have been for nearly five years now, but sometimes the constant obsession and conversation about women’s bodies really bums me out.

    • Beckysuz says:

      Oh and just an fyi, i wasn’t throwing shade at any of you CB ladies. I realize this is a gossip site, and we talk about a lot of things, including weight. And I am glad that most of the posters have thoughtful, intelligent conversations about it. I just meant the national obsession with womens bodies in general bums me.

    • Christin says:

      I get tired of it for another reason. I’ve personally known more people than I wish to count, who were ‘healthy’ weight, lifestyle, etc., who died or were diagnosed with a life-altering disease at a young age. Some likely had a genetic influence beyond their control, but most seemed to have no rhyme or reason.

      The more of those situations I have seen led me to realize there are risks, but life overall is a gamble.

    • Alix says:

      THIS. Why don’t we spend more time concern-trolling John Goodman, for example, who, despite his massive recent weight loss, is still way heavier than he should be? Surely *glamorizing” obesity by casting him in film after film is sending a poor message to our young people, right?

  50. Jmeow11 says:

    There are so many body types out there, and I honestly find it refreshing to see her on the cover of SI. I grew up with huge shoulders , huge boobs and I’m super tall. I’m not supermodel skinny. I look more like Ashley. And I wok out. And play sports and eat well And even though I’m in a place where I accept who I am, there were a lot of years that sucked! Because I didn’t have confidence because nobody else looked like me. It was hard to only have skinny waif like girls to look up to. It bummed me out. I’m happy that our next generation of girls knows that there are so many body types and that its ok to eat. That you don’t have to starve yourself to have self worth. Although I get what Cheryl is saying it would be interesting to hear what models from her gen went they to stay thin. Cause I bet she would hop off her high horse if that info came out. I’m guessing it was salad and cocaine. Haters gonna hate Ashley. Keep doing what you are doing and there Are millions of us who thin you are beautiful

  51. Christin says:

    Trying to succeed at modeling and healthy habits don’t always go together. Today, it’s fillers, plastic surgery and such. For years, models felt pressure to be very slender.

    Many years ago, my mother’s cousin was ‘discovered’ on a college campus by a modeling scout. She was signed by the leading agency in NYC. Success as she worked at making contacts and had a good work ethic. But part of that dedication involved constant dieting, plus she took the only antibiotic available at the time, just to keep her skin clear. She died of pneumonia before her 21st birthday, with the dieting and antibiotic use believed to be contributing factors.

    I never associate modeling with healthy habits, because I grew up hearing about the beautiful cousin (and she was stunning) who died from trying to meet or exceed expectations in a shallow profession. I located an interview the cousin did with her hometown newspaper, and she made it clear that her work involved her looks, dieting and being seen by the right people. Shallow.

  52. SusanneToo says:

    This is weird coming from Cheryl Tiegs. We’re near the same age and I remember her from her glory days. She was never the thinnest of models and was occasionally a bit heavy. I would have thought she’d laud this SI cover.

  53. One2 says:

    I don’t think Cheryl was coming from a place of ” Health conciousness” i think she was being mean. I do think that showing a fuller figured women helps the self esteem of women who don’t have the “traditional model body”. If CT really wanted to speak on health she would’ve quoted a better source. Also Ashely Grahams wasit size is 30. she meets the guidelines.

  54. nicegirl says:

    Ashley is so beautiful and SMART as a whip. Obvs, Cheryl is jelly. She used to be ‘the smart one’. LOL.


    Ashley is legit. LOVE HER

  55. Lambda says:

    Yeah, Ashley is definitely not healthy, because she refuses to engage in a hearthy diet of amphetamines, cigarettes, and cocaine, like in the glory days!
    F-ck this Cheryl woman! I think we can agree she doesn’t give a turd about anyone’s health. It’s all about what she perceives as beautiful. In fact, I pity her, because she’s capable to appreciate only a tiny sliver of what female beauty is.
    Health is a different topic, and it should be talked about with respect and not be muddied by such assholes. I think my waist is around 25, so I’m in the “clear” medically but if I gained weight, and pass the 30 or 35 figure, I’d hope I can see myself as hot and have a representation in the media.

  56. Bridget says:

    Blech. How about we don’t discuss someone’s body under the guise of being concerned about their health? It’s gross.

  57. Josefina says:

    Fat-shaming is always disguised as health concerns. Nothing new here.

  58. NotSoSocialButterfly says:

    She’s a real life version of Lemmon or Matthau in Grumpy Old Men.

    She also sounds a bit dotty.

  59. isabelle says:

    I’m a nurse and that is information is correct, your waist should be smaller than 35 inches for optimal heart health. Being obese or overweight is damaging to your health. It damages everything from your bones to infertility. The you are just a heathy as a person within their weight limits (or a bit over) if your obese or very overweight isn’t true….but she was on the wrong the platform when she said it. She also said it about someone that isn’t too much overweight, probably just a few pounds outside their weight range. Cheryl isn’t a health professional so it looks catty when another model criticizes another models size. Also for someone Cheryl’s age it’s actually been proven that being about 10lbs overweight can be optimal for health rather than being underweight or at your weight range. Would imagine as well Cheryl didn’t live a life of a perfectly “healthy” model. Models back her day were a lot like rockstars and were abusive with drugs, alcohol and yes starvation diets.

  60. Otaku Fairy says:

    Completely healthy or not, overweight people with different levels of healthiness exist, just like slim people with different levels of healthiness and underweight people exist. That’s reality. The idea that society should try to hide that reality by only allowing women within a limited size range to appear on magazine covers “In Order To Avoid Glamorizing Being Overweight” is a ridiculous one. (As if the occasional representation that a woman built like Ashley Graham gets on these kinds of covers is going to drown out the size 0/2/4 ideal that’s promoted and represented the most in magazines and by Hollywood starlets.) Should we also arbitrarily decide that any starlet or model under a size 4 MUST be doing something less than healthy (drugs, unhealthy eating habits, purging through vomit, pills, or excessive exercise, etc.) to look like that and banish those women from magazine covers out of health concerns? Should we also do the same with any model or starlet who has had any work done, to avoid glamorizing plastic surgery?
    If Cheryl thinks Ashley Graham shouldn’t be on these magazine covers “Because Health Concerns”, then it’s only fair that she argues that women like Bella Hadid, The Olsen Twins, Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus, Kim Kardashian, and Kylie Jenner don’t get magazine covers out of “Health Concerns” too. Because all of those women are either under a size 4 or have had some type of plastic surgery.

  61. babs says:

    Studies are irrelevant, as they change from decade to decade. Health is a relevant term, and I find that traditional medicine doesn’t know everything – in fact it seems to be way behind the times in many ways. Isn’t it interesting that all people are talking about is her health, but she’s probably healthier than the skinny model.

  62. Anon says:

    She’s right though. Ashley is clearly overweight. I think our cultural idea of what is “normal” is extremely skewed now that the majority Americans are overweight. Look at weight and waist-size statistics from past decades compared to now. It’s a major problem. Just because she might not have health issues related to her weight now does not mean the strain on her body will event take a toll. People like to point out that not everyone who is thin is healthy, and that’s true. However, almost everyone who is overweight will never be healthy in the long run.

    • OrigialTessa says:

      This is exactly how I feel. The new normal is getting to be pretty dang heavy if you ask me, and it seems really unhealthy as a general trend. Not every overweight person is unhealthy, no, but a good majority are, or will be, and that’s not a good thing. Looking around the local suburban mall you see the amount of overweight people is getting to a pretty alarming rate. It’s not just a small percentage anymore. Cheryl has always been a health and exercise person, a branded fitness guru in the 80′s and 90′s, so imagine if Gillian Michaels had said this on The Biggest Loser? No one would bat an eye. It’s just the cold hard truth, and not one that people necessarily want to hear. It was absolutely rude and offside in the context of the event, but not out of line in the context of where we’re headed as a society, and as humans. Looking at photos of Ashley, she appears to be carrying around a lot of extra fat on her tummy, hips and thighs. Not just a bit of pudge, but like 50+ lbs of excess fat. Should we celebrate her body? I honestly don’t think so. Do I think she’s hot? Yes. Beautiful? Yes absolutely. Healthy? Err, not so sure.

      That said, I feel icky even stating my opinion on the matter. I feel like it’s such a personal thing for every person, and just the thought of someone dissecting my body and writing about it on a gossip blog sounds awful. Ashley is a gorgeous girl and her photos are beautiful, and I think Cheryl should have left it at that, and maybe went on Dr. OZ at a later time to make her point.

    • TessD says:

      @Anon and @OrigialTessa – +100.

    • Illyra says:

      @ Anon and OriginalTessa

      Hear, hear!

  63. Melody says:

    Oh FFS, let me just eat cotton balls soaked in orange juice until CT and Oz think I’m healthy…

  64. hogtowngooner says:

    But the emaciated stick-insects they often have on magazines and runways are A-OK?

    (I’m not saying skinny is unhealthy in an of itself because I totally get that some people are naturally skinny, I’m talking about the truly malnourished-looking ones)

  65. Goo says:

    I could care less whether she is healthy or unhealthy… Not my circus, not my monkey’s! What I do care about is the fact that there was a “curvy” model on the cover of SI. Sick and tired of women thinking /believing that their bodies MUST look like pencil thin print and runway models. It is not the norm! Clothing manufacturers cutting clothes smaller and smaller thus, woman having to go up a size or two which, only deflates a woman’s ego. Kudos to Sports Illustrated!

  66. Loo says:

    Yes Obesity is a huge problem in America and no obesity shouldn’t be glamorized. I am against lying and saying that obesity is healthy but Teig calling out Ashley Graham was very mean spirited. She seems like a very cruel and hatfeful person.

    Also I’ve seen size 6-8 women get called fat in Hollywood so let’s not pretend that people in Hollywood are concerned with health and only talk about women over the size of 14. Let’s admit that anything above the size of 2 in Hollywood is seen as obese. Let’s not play games here, Hollywood’s ideal weight is size 0 not size 4 and not size 6 but size 0.

  67. HeyThere! says:

    So I just watch the clip. What a total bitch! Don’t tell fat women they are pretty please, we don’t want a lot of fat people having an confidence what so ever. That is what she said really. It’s like she’s standing on a glass pedestal throwing bricks at people. I can’t get over the level of rude and unnecessary that comment was. I won’t say anything about her looks because I don’t want to stoop to her level but damn.

  68. maggie says:

    I think AG is beautiful but obviously overweight. If she’s this heavy at her age what’s she going to be in ten years? I was a dancer for years and have seen a lot of girls who had eating disorders to stay thin. That’s not healthy either. Eat healthy sensible portions, exercise and your weight is what it is.

  69. Ashley says:

    The thing is, she’s just correct. She could have approached it more tactfully, but she did say she thinks Graham’s beautiful (she should have lead with that – Graham is breathtakingly beautiful). It’s just, no one should really attempt to be honest in this day and age because what you say will be twisted and held against you. Obviously Dr. Oz is a quack and not citable, but waist size is (as several people have pointed out above) a very reliable way to measure risk for certain diseases down the road. It’s good to have models more representative of a healthy, non model body type, but I don’t think that necessarily means, as she said, we should glamorize body types that meet the current national average since we’re a largely obese (read: at risk of death) country.

    All that said, I think Graham is probably perfectly healthy/within the healthy size range – this was an inappropriate time to bring up the issue of encouraging unhealthy body types and embracing their beauty.

  70. HK9 says:

    What irks me about this is people who feign concern when they’re just being bitchy because they feel they can openly shame those who they deem overweight. I hate to be captain obvious here but fat people know they’re fat. (And I don’t think Ashley Graham is fat BTW) They don’t need to be told that their waist measurements are too big and they’ll be first to buy the farm. They are aware of their circumstance and don’t need the unsolicited advice of others.

  71. AngelaH says:

    Since when is the SI Swimsuit Edition about being healthy? It’s about looking hot. I get so tired of people justifying their prejudice against people that are overweight by bringing up their health. Spare me. This is about Cheryl Tiegs not wanting the fatties to feel good about themselves. I’m tired of it.

    I am obese and have been for my entire adult life. I have horrible self esteem, years of depression and anxiety that have really messed with my life. Should I not be able to find myself attractive? Am I only attractive at the weight that someone else says I should be? No. Guess what? Ashley Graham can be overweight and still sexy and attractive. Look at the cover. She can also be active and intelligent and any number of other things. Cheryl Tiegs doesn’t like that and she can suck it.

    The SI Swimsuit edition is not about being healthy and she was just trying to insult this woman and defend it by talking about health. She should just be honest and say that she doesn’t find overweight people attractive because I’m not buying what she’s selling.

    • MzThunderthighs says:

      ^^^^ This. Thank you. I don’t understand why people don’t get that encouraging people to accept and love themselves does not equal encouraging them to be unhealthy. Jeez. Let’s not have fatties with self esteem and confidence! It’s unhealthy! Please!

  72. wow says:

    Figures. Why couldn’t she just be supportive over a positive move within the industry? I swear sometimes women are our own worse critics. The rude and catty comments about these SI covers that I’ve read have come from other women.

    And Cheryl should already know that being a thin model in this industry does not mean those models are healthy. It also doesn’t mean thin models are all anorexic either.

  73. Original Kay says:

    The amount of food, the volume, needed to maintain a size 16 is too much food for 1 person, every day. It doesn’t matter if it’s vegetables or chips it is too much food. We don’t need to physically consume that much food, every day, to just maintain that weight and size.
    So for that fact alone it’s selfish and unhealthy to me, just my opinion, to be celebrating that.
    People even in our country do not have enough to eat and here are some physically over eating, every day.

    • HK9 says:

      Just a question, why do you need to judge how much someone else is eating?

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      Weight isn’t always just about the amount of food a person is eating in a day though. It can also be about what’s being eating, how many calories and how much fat (which is different from just “amount of food” being eaten), daily activity level, metabolism, beverages, the way different body types carry fat, health, and all kinds of other factors that effect people’s weight. That’s why you can look at two teenagers and have one that seems to eat a crapload of whatever he or she wants while still maintaining a lean, athletic, or just non-overweight figure while the other teenager seems to only eat a little unhealthy but is still 12-20 pounds overweight. I don’t think the fact that their are people starving in America makes it selfish to put Ashley Graham on a magazine cover any more than the fact that there are people with breast cancer or sad, serious fertility problems makes it selfish to put large-breasted women or pregnant stars and their babies on magazine covers.

      • Amelie says:

        Otaku Fairy’s response to Original Kay:
        “Weight isn’t always just about the amount of food a person is eating in a day though. It can also be about what’s being eating, how many calories and how much fat (which is different from just “amount of food” being eaten), daily activity level, metabolism…”

        I think Weight Watchers would agree with you. I would also add that there is an emotional component to why we eat and what we eat.

    • Aren says:

      This is what I was thinking about as well. She can be as unhealthy was she wants, but compulsive eating is not fun, and eating disorders are a terrible thing to happen to a person.

  74. Naddie says:

    Has this woman ever complained about skeletal models or old women filling their bodies with plastic and botox? She sounds bitter cause her beauty type is becoming just one among many, not the ultimate anymore.

  75. Susan says:

    Legit question, no snark:
    Would all of the discussions on this board be in agreement ( I suppose Ms. Tiegs as well) if the cover model was “curvy” meaning has natural nice boobs and butt, but still not “plus sized” or overweight? I’m thinking a size 10 ish ? Would that quell the disagreements?

    Please don’t lash out at me, I’m not taking sides nor bashing anyone, just a sincere question.

  76. vanessa says:

    If you are willing to risk the chance that you may develop an obesity related illness, go ahead and eat whatever you want. I know having that extra glass of wine isn’t great for me, but I want to enjoy life. It’s a risk I take. My friend is a heavy drinker, but her medical tests show that she has the liver of a non-drinker. Will it catch up with her eventually…probably. I try to do everything in moderation. If you are overweight, there’s a good chance you are taking in too many calories, or the wrong kind of calories. If you still feel good, keep at it, and if you don’t make a change. It’s nobody’s business but your own.

  77. Shannon says:

    The bottom line, imo, is who cares? I’m not wondering when I look at a magazine about the model’s eating habits, exercise habits, whether or not he/she does drugs or is healthy in any other sense. Her health is between her and her doctor, not Cheryl Tiegs or any other random. Her job, as a model, is to be aesthetically pleasing, and she accomplished that.

  78. JP says:

    Not all thin people are healthy and not all heavy people are unhealthy. Also, I love Dr. Oz. I had too many downward spirals using traditional allopathic medicine. Misdiagnosis and the wrong drugs ruined my life. Now I’m healthier than I’ve ever been using natural supplements and revamping my diet. However, when it comes to broken bones, I’ve had awesome treatment from orthopedic surgeons. I believe my bones are stronger now since I’ve changed my diet and use proper supplements.

  79. radeon12 says:

    I think Ashley is very, very pretty. Beautiful, in fact.

    But there’s little doubt in my mind, based on that cover photo, that she’s obese. And obesity is not healthy. I reached that kind of weight years back and after a zillion warnings from my doctor that I was getting into real major problem areas with my health, I took off over 40 pounds. I’m really happy today that medical reports come back looking infinitely better than they used to. And I ‘m happy to feel a little better about how I look.

    So, the point is as loopy as Cheryl Tiegs might act nowadays (it seems to be fairly well known that she knows how to drink), I kinda think she’s right. Being that overweight isn’t being in a state of health. And I see little point in sending a message to people that obesity is okay, even when it comes in as pretty a package as Ashley. It’s not okay, and its not healthy.

  80. Aren says:

    She can be as fat as she wants but that’s far from normal. Most women in the world don’t weight that much (or aren’t as pretty), so it’s okay if she’s an exception (like skinny models are), but it would’ve been better to add an average woman along with the ‘slender’ and ‘athletic’ type.

  81. Nimbolicious says:

    LMFAO!! Because, um, how many swimsuit models of Cheryl’s generation maintained their “healthy” waist sizes via nicotine, blow and not much else? Chick needs to STFU.

  82. Elizabeth says:

    Not sure I’m going to take health advice from someone who has had so much plastic surgery, botox and fillers that she can barely move her mouth enough to speak.

  83. Timbuktu says:

    Oh, come on. Magazine covers are full of anorexic models, and no one says “boo” about their health. Any time regular women chirp anything about how that’s unhealthy, they immediately get called fat lazy yoga-pants Moms who should shut up.
    But put 1 woman who’s larger than size 4 on the cover, and suddenly everyone is concerned about her health? RIiiight.

    • Veronica says:

      Curious that concerns about the “health” of women fails to mention that eating disorder rates have increased significantly in the past couple decades as model culture became more prevalent.

  84. Burpee says:

    Ok, I’m sorry but this is a sports illustrated magazine highlighting sporty ,ATHLETIC bodies. You can think she is beautiful, but let’s call a spade a spade-she is fat.

  85. Dizzybenny says:

    Oh sure Ashley looks good now, she’s still young but when 30 hits everything drops to the basement.
    Joints start to hurt, little harder to walk, going up a flight of stairs a bit more difficult.
    100% with Cheryl!

  86. Lauren says:

    I have been overweight a lot of my life. The origins of this problem lie in severe abuse by my mother. I tried to kill myself in middle school – it was that bad. I went for two years without looking in a mirror after being told over and over that I was fat and lazy and ugly. I am also dealing with being on the BP spectrum (very luckily, it is controlled by meds.)

    I don’t look at that SI cover and think “Gee, it must be okay/healthy/desirable to be overweight.”I see a pretty and curvy woman. Those of us who are overweight – we KNOW we are overweight. Sometimes the point isn’t about waist size/ratio. I am highly educated and quite beautiful, and I still deal with all the weight crap. I am still occasionally suicidal after all these years of therapy and medication.

    When I see that cover, I am reminded that self-love and healthy self esteem are possibilities for me. It’s an incredibly freeing feeling, and it means ever so much more to me for that.

  87. Veronica says:

    I’m not going to touch the comments on this one with even a meter-long pole, haha.

  88. Ginger says:

    The main thing in life is to be happy and peaceful. If you can achieve this then all of the extraneous BS will NOT matter. I could be a size 2, tall and blonde but if I’m miserable and stressed out all the time my immune system will not work properly, I can come down with cancer and die. You absolutely cannot judge someones health just by looking at them.

  89. jinglebellsmell says:

    It’s funny…what girls did in the Cheryl Tiegs era to have that tiny waist: Diet pills, water pills, smoking, vomiting, starvation, watermelon and popcorn diets…the list goes ON. How many women have perished from the results of trying to stay thinner than their bodies truly allowed? This model most likely has a healthier lifetstyle than Cheryl and her bones EVER promoted.

  90. Lillylizard says:

    Pharmacist speaking hear : Body Mass Index (the percentage of fat in the body) once the holy grail of body health has recently been proven to be basically rubbish and the waist size (fat around the middle/lower abdomen) is the key factor in maintaining a healthy body. Unless you suffer from giantism or other growth disorder it applies equally to everyone regardless of basic body type.

    For women waist size should be no more than 33″ and 37″ for men to avoid serious health problems. As per usual, everyone including semi-quacks and ex models are getting on the waist band wagon each with their own waist size definition which is starting to make the whole thing very confusing to the general public but the original research studies say 33″

    BTW the plus size model maybe size 16 in the US but in Britain she would be size 20 and I doubt very much that she has a 30inch waist at that size, in the modern uncorseted world 28″ is the average waist for a normal weight range woman size 10US or 14UK. I think she would be at least 33″ at size 16US

  91. Meme says:

    I am sorry Ashley is not obese and she is not a size 16 she is actually smaller. I tell that by looking at other pictures of her and because I am a 16 myself. I thought the SI pictures make her look bigger than she is

  92. Tw says:

    The modeling industry seems to think there are two sizes – 0 and 14. There’s a healthy in-between, which goes largely unrepresented.