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Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue included a plus-size model – in a paid advertisement

When the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue hit newsstands on Feb. 9, readers noticed something a little different. For the first time ever, the magazine included a plus-size model — in a paid advertisement.

Ashley Graham, 27, was the first size 14-16 model to appear in the much-hyped annual issue. Graham’s appearance is part of an ad for the plus-size bathing-suit company Swimsuits For All.

She said in a statement: “I know my curves are sexy and I want everyone else to know that theirs are too. There is no reason to hide and every reason to flaunt.”