Sports Illustrated Just Featured Their First Plus Size Model

But why has it taken this long?

By Sharon Lynn Pruitt

Are we entering a new era of body positivity? Plus size model Ashley Graham just made history by being the first plus model to be featured in the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition. While the mag did kinda sorta include a plus size model last year, it was only in an ad for online retailers Swimsuits For All, which advertised their #CurvesInBikinis campaign.

Graham is even in the running to be the magazine's "Rookie of The Year," and expressed her gratitude via Instagram, writing "This is a dream come true. Thank you to everyone who stood up for curves - our voices were heard and together we can help me win Rookie of the Year."

And now it's time for me to rain on this body positive parade, because while it's great to see a greater range of body types depicted in mainstream media, this feels a little depressing to me. Though Graham is indeed a plus size model, she more closely resembles the average body size of women in this country - as so many "plus size" models do. So why on Earth do we have to fight so hard just to see average women represented? How ridiculous is it that reflecting reality within the pages of your magazine makes for headline news?

I'm all for celebrating media for being more inclusive, but boy do we have a long way to go.

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