Ashley Graham’s feelings weren’t hurt when Cheryl Tiegs blasted Sports Illustrated for putting Graham, a “full-figured” model, on the cover, but she does believe that Tiegs’ comments should prompt a necessary change in the industry.
“Cheryl Tiegs may have said what she said and it may have hurt a lot of people’s feelings, but my skin is so thick,” Graham told E! News. “I kind of rolled my eyes, I was like, ‘Oh whatever, another one of these ladies.’ But what’s great is that–the fact that she said it–it means that other women think like her. And what that means is that we really need to change the industry.”
Last week, former Sports Illustrated cover model Tiegs told E! that she isn’t happy with the magazine’s decision to run plus-size model 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 model had said.
On Graham’s cover, the model is pictured wearing a purple and yellow string bikini.
“That’s what Dr. Oz said, and I’m sticking to it,” Tiegs added. “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.”
In response, Graham said, “There are too many people thinking they can look at a girl my size and say that we are unhealthy. You can’t, only my doctor can!”
Shortly after Tiegs’ comments, Tiegs took to Twitter to apologize for her comments, stating “I truly just want everyone to be healthy & happy,” but Graham didn’t buy it.
“I’ve never personally heard from her,” she added. “She said her comment about me, then never heard a follow up. People are saying she apologized. But I never heard one.”
See the Sports Illustrated cover below.
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!!! #siswim #beautybeyondsize