And in This Swimsuit Issue of Sports Illustrated Comes Another Group of Positive, Plus Size Body Images

And in This Swimsuit Issue of Sports Illustrated Comes Another Group of Positive, Plus Size Body Images

Bravo to SI for realizing their audience both female and male has a great appreciation for what a real woman actually looks like and has decided to wade into the new reality full force.

Led by Ashley Graham, who established a first in last year’s issue with her Swimsuitsforall advertisement, the plus size woman is striding straight into the middle of the swimsuit issue this year, loud and proud. Actually there are two other ladies with Ashley in this year’s ad in the SI issue: 55 year old Nicola Griffin (she says she has a bit of a tummy but has had twins after all) and 26 year old Philomena Kwao (she is proud and all stoked being both Black and curvy). Ashley’s 28 so seems they have pretty much tagged several of the age bases as well as body shapes in the curvylicious trifecta.

Ashley Graham, Nicola Griffin and Philomena Kwao post for swimsuitsforall campaign- #ibbiwoman

Capturing the cover (one of three), Ashley has earned the title of ‘rookie of the year’ which guarantees her a spot in next year’s issue. And the really important part of that designation is the lock down it has on guaranteeing the continuum and inclusion of plus size models going forward. At some point, it one hopes the editors will realize those women designated as ‘plus size’ are in fact the new average and that their tiny sized sisters are not.

A personal aside is my meeting Ashley at last year’s Curvy Con: She was gracious, quick, intelligent, good humored. All the bits you would want in a role model. Being thrust to the forefront can be a daunting experience and I’m happy to say Ashley carries the mantel well.

In the everyday world what does all this mean? It would seem the combination of fearless bloggers, outspoken fashionistas (the new wave of influencers) and the attention being paid to plus size entertainers (from Adele to Rebel Wilson to Melissa McCartney to Gayle King and on) has created an ‘aha’ moment: Plus size women are fit and fierce, bold and beautiful, fashionable and fiesty. And there are a boat load of us around so pay attention.

One of our great rewards is seeing how quickly the i.b.b.i. collection is slotting into the market of options for plus ladies. We are filling a void offering sophisticated, high quality, body con, runway translations in better dresses specifically designed for all you bold, beautiful and irresistible i.b.b.i. women.

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