This year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue is breaking all the rules. After news broke on February 9 that the mag would feature plus-size model and body activist Ashley Graham as one of its five rookies, now comes an announcement that an over-50 plus-size model will also grace the pages of the glossy.
Nicola Griffin, 56, will appear in an ad — clad only in a liquid gold bikini — for Swimsuits for All. The swimwear brand’s #SwimSexy campaign promotes body positivity as well as inclusion of all types of women.
“It’s not all about being 20 and five-foot-ten. We’re bored of that!” Griffin, who has also appeared in campaigns for FabuLift and Anna Scholz, told the Daily Mail. “We are all different ages and sizes and that’s the beauty of it. We’re real women.”
Griffin isn’t the only outlier getting in on the action. Graham will reprise her role in the #SwimSexy campaign, and another plus-size model, Philomena Kwao, will appear as well. Graham’s 2015 ads, as well as a rookie spread with plus-size model Robyn Lawley, marked the first time the sports mag featured curvy models.
Despite the confident look of her pictures, Griffin admits that posing alongside the younger women worried her a little. “I was nervous because all the girls I was with were very young. I was anxious about what they were going to do with me,” she said. “And they did put me in a gold bikini! But it was fine, I had no reason to be nervous.”
Among the most supportive of her choice to be photographed are her children. “[They] can’t believe it,” Griffin said. “They text me and they’re like, ‘Mom, is it true?’ They keep asking me to double check. They both think it’s marvelous though.”
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