The magazine released three different covers for its annual Swimsuit Issue, featuring Ronda Rousey, Ashley Graham and Hailey Clauson. “It’s a nod to female empowerment,” a source told E! News of the publication’s decision to change up its routine.
But Tiegs, who has been featured on Sports Illustrated‘s covers multiple times, doesn’t agree with the magazine’s choice to feature Graham. Tiegs opened up to E! News Wednesday at the 13th Annual Global Green USA Pre-Oscar Party and said she felt the magazine was promoting an unhealthy lifestyle by featuring her.
“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]. That’s what Dr. Ozsaid, 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.”
Graham, who has said in the past that she hates to be called “plus-size,” was one of Sports Illustrated‘s “rookies” this year and was thrilled to be part of it. On her cover she wears a skimpy purple and yellow-string bikini while posing in the ocean. “I’ve got plenty of friends [of all sizes] and different shapes and everything,” she recently told E! News. “And I don’t want any of them to feel like they aren’t ‘real women.'”
She has also opened up to us at the debut party for the sexy issue about her struggles in her career and said she realized it would take accepting herself before the modeling industry would.
“I had agents tell me, ‘You’ll never get on the cover of magazines. You’ll never be an editorial model,'” she revealed to us. “I had agents wave money in my face and say, ‘If you drop some pounds, you can have a lot more of this!’ And not even THAT was something that encouraged me to lose weight!”
She continued, “The moment I realized I had to be healthy and happy in who I was, that’s when my career took off.”
When Graham first learned the news that she would be one of the mag’s cover girls, she took to Instagram to express her excitement, calling it a “dream come true.”
What she’s really hoping for, however, is to make a positive impact on girls and women around the world. “I am hopefully going to change the lives of so many different young women,” she said to us. “So many young women who have been told that their cellulite is ugly; that their inner-thighs that jiggle and touch are ugly because I have all those things, and I’m on the cover of Sports Illustrated. So they must be beautiful!”