Ashley Graham Speaks Out About the Model Who Threw Shade at Her 2016 ‘Sports Illustrated’ Cover

ashley graham sports illustrated 2016 cover
Ashley Graham Sports Illustrated

Ashley Graham may forgive, but she never forgets. In a video interview with Naomi Campbell, live-streamed on Thursday, April 9, the supermodel spoke about a hurtful comment made by another model in the industry.

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As part of the fashion icon’s new YouTube series called No Filter With Naomi, the two ladies talked about confidence, breaking barriers in the modeling industry and working as hard as possible to achieve personal goals.

One of those goals for Graham was landing a spot on the cover of Sports Illustrated, which she achieved in 2016. She was the first size 16 model to land the coveted gig.

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But there was one individual who was outspoken about her disapproval for Graham’s cover. In the interview with Campbell, Graham said, “There was another model who was so upset that I had gotten the cover and she said I was very large and that women my size should not be on the cover.”

“Of course you’re going to get negativity,” Graham told the fashion icon. “It brought up a great conversation about what is health? What is beauty? What is sexy?”

Graham didn’t disclose who made the hurtful comments and playfully told Campbell that she could “go look it up.” The model did, however, hint that the critic’s name starts with “C.”

It’s likely that Graham was talking about Cheryl Tiegs, who told E News! that she was unhappy with Sports Illustrated’s decision to put Graham on the cover.

During an interview with the outlet in February of 2016, the ‘80s supermodel said, “I don’t like that we’re talking about full-figured women because it’s glamorizing them because your waist should be smaller than 35 [inches].”

The former Sports Illustrated model continued, “That’s what Dr. Oz said, and I’m sticking to it. 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 a twitter apology issued that same month, Tiegs wrote, “My sincere apologies to everyone I have hurt. I truly just want everyone to be healthy & happy.”

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The following month, Graham responded to Tiegs’ comment in another interview with the outlet. The mom of one said, “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.”

She continued, “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.”

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