For years we have seen all around us the idea that to be beautiful, you need to be slim, fit and skinny. We have gone through such terrible conditioning that women who are not slim and fit are not considered to be beautiful. At some level we know that this is not true but we have failed to acknowledge it as the messages all around us point to the opposite. Every magazine cover, billboards, movies, etc mainly portray slim women as beautiful.
This is now changing. The fact that beauty comes in all sizes is penetrating the mainstream media. Kudos to Sports Illustrated for taking the initiative. The magazine’s 52nd swimsuit issue showcases three different covers with three different models with different body sizes. One of the models is the size 16 model Ashley Graham. Also the issue futures another plus size model: Robyn Lawley.
The magazine calls the issue historic as it is moving away from the age old idea that only women with athletic bodies are hot and sexy or you can only wear a swimsuit if you have a “Bikini Body.”
MJ Day, magazine’s assistant managing editor, recently said about the covers, “All three women are beautiful, sexy and strong. Beauty is not cookie cutter. Beauty is not ‘one size fits all.’ Beauty is all around us and that became especially obvious to me while shooting and editing this year’s issue.”
This is commendable on the magazine’s part. This body diversity has been long overdue. This is going to help women and girls, mainly teenage girls, to have a healthy body image. A healthy body image infuses self confidence. We need more such initiatives.