Former Sports Illustrated cover model Cheryl Tiegs isn’t happy with the magazine’s decision to run plus-size model Ashley Graham on one of three covers for this year’s swimsuit issue.
“I don’t like that we’re talking about full-figured women because it’s glamorizing them, and your waist should be smaller than 35 [inches],” the 68-year-old told E!
Tiegs was featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue multiple times in the 1970s and ’80s, and now says that the publication is promoting an unhealthy lifestyle by choosing to feature Graham.
“That’s what Dr. Oz said, and I’m sticking to it,” she explained. “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.”
The magazine elected to run three different covers as a “nod to female empowerment” for its annual swimsuit issue, which also feature MMA fighter Ronda Rousey and model Hailey Clauson.
On Graham’s cover, the model is pictured wearing a purple and yellow-string bikini. She recently told E! News that she’s “got plenty of friends [of all sizes] and different shapes and everything. And I don’t want any of them to feel like they aren’t ‘real women.”
A week ago, Graham posted her cover to Instagram, captioning the image, “Truly speechless!!! This cover is for every woman who felt like she wasn’t beautiful enough because of her size. You can do and achieve anything you put your mind to. Thank you so much to the entire @si_swimsuit team! I’m so excited to be a part of your family. I love you all!!!
See the cover and Tiegs’ interview below.