Health

A Former Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model Just Slammed Ashley Graham

February 26th 2016

By:
Laura Donovan

Sports Illustrated alum Cheryl Tiegs just criticized the magazine's decision to put "full-figured" plus-size model Ashley Graham on its legendary Swimsuit Edition cover.

Though many praised Sports Illustrated for elevating Graham in this way, Tiegs told E! News' Sibley Scoles on Wednesday that she felt the publication had chosen to celebrate an unhealthy lifestyle by placing Graham on its cover.

"I don't like that we're talking about full-figured women because it's glamorizing them, because your waist should be smaller than 35 [inches]," she told E! News. "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."

According to People Magazine, Graham has declined to comment on Tiegs' remarks.

Cheryl Tiegs Twitter

After facing some social media backlash for her remarks, Tiegs tweeted that she was only trying to point out that issues can create health problems:

A lot of people disagreed with Tiegs' justification and accused her of body shaming Graham:

Meanwhile, Graham is the first size 14 model to be in the running for Sports Illustrated's "Rookie of the Year" accolade, and she is currently asking fans and followers to vote for her:

Lane Bryant, which included Graham in its #PlusIsEqual campaign, also encouraged people to vote for Graham:

Though Graham has many supporters who appreciate seeing a diverse range of bodies in media, she told E! News in another recent interview that higher ups in her industry once encouraged her to slim down.

"I had agents tell me, 'you'll never get on the cover of magazines. You'll never be an editorial model,'" she told E! News. "I had agents wave money in my face and say, 'if you drop some pounds, you can have a lot more of this!' And not even THAT was something that encouraged me to lose weight!"

Graham said that once she accepted her body, her career really started taking off.

"I am hopefully going to change the lives of so many different young women," she told E! News. "So many young women who have been told that their cellulite is ugly; that their inner-thighs that jiggle and touch are ugly because I have all those things, and I'm on the cover of Sports Illustrated. So they must be beautiful!"

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