Sports Illustrated Puts First Plus-Size Model On Cover And It's Awesome

Sports Illustrated Puts First Plus-Size Model On Cover And It's Awesome

And it's revolutionarily sexy.
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Everyone is familiar with the annual Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition magazine. Whether it's because you're an 11-year-old boy looking at it in the grocery store secretly while your mom checks out, or because you're a 16-year-old young woman flipping through and self-shaming your own body (I say this from personal experience), it is one of the top selling magazines of the year, generating 7 percent of Sports Illustrated's annual revenue.

But this year, they are making a huge change! For the first time ever, Sports Illustrated has put plus-size model, body activist and designer Ashley Graham on the 2016 Swimsuit Edition cover. While Graham has appeared in the Swimsuit Edition before in an ad for Curves in Bikinis, a swimsuit company for all sizes, this is the first time she will have her own spread and cover in the magazine. In fact, it is the first time Sports Illustrated has ever had a plus-size model featured and on the cover.

So, why is this so amazing?

Because I was one of those 16-year-old girls looking at the Swimsuit Edition, wanting to morph my body into the 23-inch waist that stared back at me. My curvier friends no longer have to cry saying that they are fat and not sexy or beautiful because they only see tiny women on the covers of magazines. Because my male friends were the 11-year-old boys thinking that the Swimsuit Edition is an accurate representation of women's bodies, and were shocked to realize it isn't. My brothers can now recognize the beauty in a curvy woman and their differences. This plus-size cover is so amazing because it is the first time women with curves can look at the magazine and see themselves — sexy and beautiful — staring back at them.

Sports Illustrated is changing the magazine and fashion industry because they are showing the beauty of women of all sizes, 00-22!

Ashley Graham and Swimsuit Edition editor MJ Day said it's equally as amazing in an interview with People Magazine.

“I thought Sports Illustrated was taking a risk by putting a girl my size in the pages,” Graham said. “But putting me on the cover? They aren’t just breaking barriers; they are the standard now. This is beyond epic.”

In addition, Day's reaction was equally as supportive. Graham said, “MJ came over to me and she had tears in her eyes and she said, "This is going to make history." Graham continued on to say "in that moment, I knew that I wasn’t just there as a favor, I wasn’t there just like Oh, let’s put the big girl in. I was there because I was supposed to be there.”

Ultimately, Day is right — Sports Illustrated made history. The girls with 23-inch waists now stand next to those with 46-inch waists, looking sexier and stronger than ever before. Sports Illustrated is taking the leap of straying from the boxed confines of underweight models to women of health, and on top of it all, do it in a breathtaking way. Graham is now a part of a big movement that we all hope is going to follow this cover — that women of any size will now feel their most beautiful because they are who they are; not someone else.

Thank you, Sports Illustrated, for having the plus-size heart to make this change.


Cover Image Credit: Time Inc.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won’t see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won’t laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won’t go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They’ll miss you. They’ll cry.

You won’t fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won’t get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won’t be there to wipe away your mother’s tears when she finds out that you’re gone.

You won’t be able to hug the ones that love you while they’re waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won’t be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won’t find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won’t celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won’t turn another year older.

You will never see the places you’ve always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You’ll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it’s not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don’t let today be the end.

You don’t have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It’s not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I’m sure you’re no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won’t do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you’ll be fine.” Because when they aren’t, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

For help, call 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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Stop And Enjoy Where You Are

Yesterday is done and tomorrow cannot be planned

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I work at a summer camp, I spend every single day of the summer interacting with young people. They talk about everything; jobs, dating, marriage, kids, houses, college. One day I was talking to one of my campers and she was telling me all about her future life. Who she wanted to marry, what she wanted to be and her kid's names. She told me all about what college was going to be like for her, and she even had the car she was going to drive planned out. I sat there in awe at the fact she knew all of this (I barely know what I want for dinner tonight let alone what I will be doing in 10+ years). And then after the awe wore off the sadness came over me.

Why do we so often want to rush the rest of our lives?

Why do kids especially think the future will be so much more exciting?

As I grew up I was guilty of it too. I wanted my life to start, I wanted to be done with the crap, I wanted to be grown - it seemed so much more fun than being told what to do and when to do it. But now that I am (kind of) grown, and seldom told what to do or when to do it, I wish I could go back.

But at the same time, I do not.

As I sit here now I have learned to become content on where I am, maybe it is partly because I am petrified of the future. Or maybe it is because going back would mean losing all freedom. But after realizing the past and future have happened and will happen, I have learned to live in the moment. The now is better than the 'has been' or 'will be'

I guess the point of everything is stop wishing for tomorrow, stop wishing Monday's were Friday's and stop wishing winter was summer. Stop wishing your life away and be where you are now with the incredible people surrounding you. Take that random bus to nowhere, take that picture (even if someone complains), and always take a look around and realize everything you have. Because your so desired tomorrow may not have it. You only have control of right now, at this moment - make this moment worth something.

"Remember then: there is only one time that is important - Now! It is the most important time because it is the only time when we have any power." - Leo Tolstoy

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