Pop Culture

Retired Model Cheryl Tiegs Criticizes Sports Illustrated For Putting A Plus-Size Model On The Cover

Tiegs doesn't think it's healthy to "glamorize" full-figured women.

Sports Illustrated made history when they featured plus-size model Ashley Graham on the cover of their annual swimsuit issue, but not everyone is thrilled with the changing landscape of the modeling world.
Retired model Cheryl Tiegs made her distaste known in an interview with E! News.
"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]," said Tiegs, who modeled often for SI during the '60s and '70s. "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."
You know what's not healthy? "Glamorizing" only one type of female body type. Women come in all shapes and sizes, and there's no reason only one body type should be celebrated.
Better yet, when did Tiegs take Graham's waist measurement? Better yet, has she had a talk with Graham's doctor? Because if she hasn't done any of those things, I don't see how she's in any position to discuss a stranger's health, since she knows literally nothing about it.

What seems to be lost on Tiegs (and many, many others) is that you can no sooner gauge how healthy a plus-size model is than you could any other model. But I'd guess that Tiegs' issue with Graham's success isn't about health at all - no, this is plain old fashioned fatphobia, hiding, as it always does, behind a paternalistic concern for the health of people whom you know nothing about.
Thanks to the wonders of genetics, full-figured women can eat healthy and exercise and their thighs will still be thick. At the same time, some naturally slim women will remain slim even if their diet consists primarily of cigarettes and Cheetos. You just don't know, and you want to know why you don't know? Because someone else's body is not your business.
But again, it's not really about health, because otherwise fat and famous men would be insulted instead of respected for their accomplishments. It's only women whose health seems to rouse the concern of strangers so very often, because there's nothing more offensive a woman can do than deviate away from what the world has told you is beautiful.
Cheryl Tiegs doesn't like the world is "talking about" full-figured women? As a movement, body positivity is gaining more and more traction every day, with women everywhere finally learning to love and accept their natural body types, rather than killing themselves in the never-ending quest to look like a Victoria's Secret model. So, sorry Tiegs - you just might have to get used to it.

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