Plus-Sized Bikini

6 Feb

For the first time in its 50 years of existence, Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit issue will feature a “plus-sized” model. I use quotes because, well…

This is Robyn Lawley. And while she’s curvier than your Chanel Imans and Joan Smalls of the world, it’s a bit of a stretch to call her “plus sized.” And I’m not alone. Lawley herself says she’s just a model, adding plus-size to the title isn’t necessary. At a size 12, she meets the industry’s definition of a plus-sized model. But by the looks of it, she could go either way.

Small confession: I used to watch the making of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition when I was a kid. I thought those women were gorgeous and modeling always intrigued me. It could be because I couldn’t take a decent picture to save my life. But it could also be because I was envious of their locations and their bodies. I grew up watching Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Tyra Banks and Heidi Klum. They were all slim and fit and looked nothing like me.

So imagine my surprise to find out SI finally added a woman with a little more meat on her bones to the issue. And then imagine my surprise to see it was Lawley. This is knot a knock against her because her photos are stunning. It’s more a knock at Sports Illustrated for not taking the opportunity to showcase a woman who can rock a bikini and still reflect another portion of society. Instead of featuring a model of a larger size, SI sold an ad featuring  larger model.

Meet  Asheley Graham, the plus-sized model that stole Lawleys’s thunder earlier in the day. There was some confusion over who the plus-sized model was and Graham got a lot of the early laurels.

I say good for the both of them. They look fantastic, the shoots are gorgeous and they are doing the damn thing.

This little confusion spawned one of my favorite hashtags Thursday: #Pluskini

For us mere mortals, wearing a bikini can be a heady thing. We don’t all have the bodies of Victoria’s Secret models, nor should we. Variety is the spice of life. So when I saw images like this…

and this…

I was reminded that we all look good, no matter what. I even contributed my bikini photo from the strip above because Sports Illustrated doesn’t have to define what I see as beautiful. The magazine only adds to it.

Wearing a two piece is a mental battle you’ll fight with yourself. I know I did. Eventually, you’ll have to tell the negative voice to shut the hell up so you can strut your stuff on the beach.

I applaud SI for expanding its definition of beauty, but I’ll be glad when the plus-sized model isn’t an anomaly.

What did you think of the plus-sized models, both featured and advertised?

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One Response to “Plus-Sized Bikini”

  1. Balancing Jane February 8, 2015 at 11:08 am #

    I think they both look beautiful, and I’m happy to see more body diversity in the mainstream representation. I don’t think I’ll be wearing a bikini ever, but whether it’s the result of getting older and thus less concerned with people’s opinions or the body positivity messages I seek out, I did find myself buying a cute, playful one piece this year instead of the “HIDE IT ALL” suits I usually buy.

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