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Friday 19 February 2016

Ashley Graham, Ronda Rousey, Hailey Clauson: 2016 SI Swimsuit Cover Models

Have you seen this historical Sports Illustrated moment?

The first plus-sized model appears on Sport's Illustrated swimsuit cover, and for the first time in 52 years, there are three different SI Swimsuit covers.

"All three women are beautiful, sexy and strong," said SI's assistant managing editor MJ Day of the cover choices. "Beauty is not cookie cutter. Beauty is not 'one size fits all.' Beauty is all around us and that became especially obvious to me while shooting and editing this year's issue." 

Day added that Ashley Graham is a "sultry, feminine masterpiece".  

"She owns her sexiness in a way that every woman should. Her confidence is contagious."
Graham, who is a size 16, said she was "truly speechless" about her selection for the iconic issue.

"This cover is for every woman who felt like she wasn't beautiful enough because of her size."

The 28 year old was also named Rookie of the Year by the magazine, adding that the cover was proof that beauty comes in many shapes and sizes.

"It doesn't matter what size you are or how old you are," Graham said. "Ads tell you that you have to be thin. The word perfect goes around. It's draining."

"Do I consider myself a role model? I call myself a body activist for a reason. I'm the oldest of three girls. Girls are told 'Watch what you do, watch what you say.' My body isn't what is called perfect. I say embrace your curves."

Ultimate Fighting Championship's Ronda Rousey wears nothing but body paint while model Hailey Clauson wears a teensy pair of bikini bottoms.

On choosing Ashley Graham's cover, MJ Day said: " Ashley Graham is a sultry, feminine masterpiece. I dare you not to stare at her. Ashley commands your attention in her photographs. She owns her sexiness in a way that every woman should. Her confidence is contagious."

MJ Day on choosing Ronda Rousey's cover: "Ronda Rousey is a cultural phenomenon. She is the perfect combination of beauty, brains, brawn and humility. She possesses a spirit bigger than the space around her, and it is both infectious and inspiring. She's a Phoenix, as fiery and beautiful as any mythical creature ever depicted."

On choosing Hailey Clauson's cover: "Hailey Clauson is the definition of a modern bombshell. Learn a little about her and you'll appreciate her beauty even more. Even as unsettling as her beauty can be, one minute in her company and you'll feel like you've known her for years." 

And an extended video of the shoots:

And now, the photos:



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