News & Runway

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Features Its Curviest Rookie Ever for 2017

Like Vogue’s March edition, the theme of the 2017 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is diversity. More specifically, body diversity and age inclusion. Plus-size models Ashley Graham, Robyn Lawley, Myla Dalbesio and Hunter McGrady bring the former, retired supermodel Christie Brinkley the latter. The issue features a breathtaking, groundbreaking compilation of models. Our only complaint is that all three of the publication’s “collector’s” covers feature white, essentially straight-sized (though “curvy” by industry standards) model Kate Upton. (Although, in SI’’s defense, Page Six reports that the publisher originally intended to feature Serena Williams and Christie Brinkley on two of the three covers, then amended its decision after Upton “threw a fit.”)

Magazine Covers Were More Diverse Than Ever in 2016 (Report) ]

But let’s focus on the positive. Hunter McGrady, the brand’s curviest rookie ever, makes her Sports Illustrated debut naked as the day she was born, save for a tie-dye monokini done in body paint by artists Joanne Gair, Marissa Jade Willinsky and Stephanie McGathy. McGrady, now a contender for Sports Illustrated’s 2018 rookie class, is the curviest model ever to be featured by the men’s magazine.

This is a surreal moment for me. You guys I have been bursting to tell you all about this! I want to thank @MJ_Day for an opportunity like this to do the SI model search and for being a force in this industry and everyone at @si_swimsuit for promoting that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Beauty is not a number. It has no limits. I have never felt sexier than I did in this shoot. Thank you to @joannegair and team @therealmarissajade and @trendytribals for working your magic on my body. These women painted this suit for 12 hours and I never wanted to take it off. Women, for anyone who has ever felt uncomfortable or insecure because of rolls, or stretch marks, or cellulite, or acne, or felt like you didn’t measure up because you weren’t represented in the magazines–THIS IS FOR YOU! You are beautiful. You are STRONG. You are powerful and together we need to lift eachother up and inspire one another. There’s too much going on on this world to let eachother fall by the wayside. Shot by another incredible woman- @josie_clough amazing sexy beach hair by @adammaclay thank you to my agents @uralucky1 @marissamuscari @ginabaronedirectorofficial @jaimegoldberg_ @wilhelminamodels for being such hard working and dedicated team! We did it ! #breakingboundaries #siswim

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In an Instagram post announcing the news, McGrady stressed the importance of body confidence, especially given the current political climate. “Women, for anyone who has ever felt uncomfortable or insecure because of rolls, or stretch marks, or cellulite, or acne, or felt like you didn’t measure up because you weren’t represented in the magazines — THIS IS FOR YOU!” she wrote. “You are beautiful. You are STRONG. You are powerful and together we need to lift each other up and inspire one another. There’s too much going on on (sic) this world to let each other fall by the wayside.”

Originally created in 1964 as a way to boost sales, Sports Illustrated‘s Swimsuit Issue, like Pirelli’s annual calendar, has made the leap from pin-up fodder to social statement. True, plus-size women remain a minority in the Sports Illustrated — and fashion runway — world, but every day brings new progress.

Sports Illustrated‘s 2017 Swimsuit Issue hit newsstands yesterday. Scroll down for a look at some of its more diverse swimwear models.

Ashley Graham

It’s going down in #Houston the next two days! You comin?! #SportsIllustratedSwim VIBES

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Serena Williams

#SISwim @si_swimsuit #body

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Simone Biles

SI Swim

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Robyn Lawley

Myla Dalbesio

Rise and shine! @si_swimsuit is out today! #siswimsuit2017 #thotpolice

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