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Sports Illustrated Features First Plus-Size Model As ‘Rookie Of The Year’

For the first time ever, Sports Illustrated will feature a plus-size model in its February 2016 edition.

Nebraska native Ashley Graham will be the model to make history in a bikini, gracing the pages of the publication’s famous Swimsuit Issue as the 2016 Rookie of the Year. As you might expect, the 26-year-old looks like an otherworldly goddess.

But am I the only one shocked that this is news?

Maybe I’m just ignorant when it comes to the fashion world, but I assumed Sports Illustrated featured a plus-size model years ago.

It’s 2016; we should be seeing models of all shapes, sizes and skin tones without it being categorized as history-making.

Sorry for being a downer, but I also have a hard time believing Ashley Graham is “plus-size.”

Just kidding. I’m not sorry. I’d like to make the simple request that we banish the word “plus-size” for the rest of eternity because it so often misrepresents very normal female bodies.

At a size 16, Graham better represents the majority of American women than “plus” anything.

Ultimately, it all comes down to the commodification of women’s bodies, which have been used time and time again to create and reinforce an impossible ideal.

Don’t get me wrong; Graham looked gorgeous in the campaign video released last year, but it almost entirely centers on her attracting the gaze of a bunch of male models.

Because how else will women know they’re beautiful unless a panel of dudes approves?

I’m just suggesting we take a step back and expect a little more accountability from major publications and ad campaigns.

Let’s not mix the very real issue of women’s self-esteem with buzz words and misogynistic tropes to sell a few bikinis. It’s not worth it.

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Kate Ryan

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Kate Ryan is a Senior Trending News Writer. Previously, she wrote about death, walked dogs, and taught middle-aged women how to paint sunsets. Be a dear and check out her Twitter: @kateryanthereal.
Kate Ryan is a Senior Trending News Writer. Previously, she wrote about death, walked dogs, and taught middle-aged women how to paint sunsets. Be a dear and check out her Twitter: @kateryanthereal.

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