Ashley Graham Makes History Again, Appears on Cover of Maxim

March 29th 2016

Laura Donovan

Plus-size model Ashley Graham just made history for the second time in 2016 by becoming the first plus-sized model to grace the April cover of Maxim. Earlier this year, she made headlines for becoming the first ever plus-size model to appear on the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.

Ashley Graham Maxim

"Of course, [Graham] has the curves and the presence to pull it off," Maxim wrote for its cover story. "And in spite of her unassailable sex appeal, Graham exudes an approachability that’s put her on the fast track to a one-woman brand."

Though the past few months have been exciting for Graham, she has faced challenges on the road to covering Maxim and Sports Illustrated. Last month, Sports Illustrated alum Cheryl Tiegs slammed the publication for placing Graham on the Swimsuit Edition cover, claiming Graham's presence would promote an unhealthy lifestyle.

"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]," Tiegs 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."

After these remarks stirred up outrage on social media, Teigs apologized via Twitter, but the comments were nothing new to Graham, who told E! News in a separate interview that she has weathered a lot of put-downs in the past.

"Cheryl Tiegs may have said what she said, and it may have hurt a lot of peoples' feelings," Graham said. "But my skin is so thick. I kind of rolled my eyes, I was like, 'oh whatever, another one of these ladies.' But what's great is that — the fact that she said it — it means that other women think like her. And what that means is that we really need to change the industry."

Graham also referenced Tiegs' deleted tweet about her, which warned of the perceived health risks associated with being overweight.

"There are too many people thinking they can look at a girl my size and say that we are unhealthy," Graham told E! News. "You can't, only my doctor can!"

Graham isn't alone in facing stereotypes for her size. Plus-size model Tess Holliday has also fought against the idea that heavier women are "unhealthy" by default. Holliday, who works out with a trainer a couple times a week, recently faced criticism for looking "unhealthy" during her pregnancy by fitness Instagrammer Ashy Bines. Holliday has since been posting exercise photos to her Instagram page to show that she breaks a sweat and takes care of herself despite what people might think based on her appearance.

"When people criticize or belittle us it says more about them than us, remember that," Holliday wrote in her caption. "Don't let anyone dull your shine or underestimate what you are capable of."

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