Finally! The long wait is over as Sports Illustrated began announcing their selections of Swimsuit Rookie models for 2016. One of the new faces to watch out for is none other than model Ashley Graham. Ashley began modeling at the tender age of 12. She was discovered during a modeling gig at a Mall in Nebraska. It wasn’t long before the dark haired beauty had her own modeling contract with an international modeling agency, so Ashley continued to model throughout high school gaining exposure and experience. Her parents were always very supportive of her modeling career, but told her if she wasn’t successful, she would return to Nebraska and go to college. Never loving school, failure wasn’t an option for the bikini babe, and she was willing to do whatever it took to make it to the big time.
Ashley has strutted her stuff on fashion catwalks, posed for numerous magazine covers, but she is probably most well known (at least before her Sports Illustrated photo shoot) for her Lane Bryant campaigns. Always on the lookout for opportunities to expand her brand, Ashley most recently collaborated with Canadian brand ‘Addition Elle’ to develop her own size conscious lingerie line, available in upscale stores like Nordstroms.
The 28 year old model is ecstatic to be chosen for SI but has made it clear even though she is a curvier model, she doesn’t want to be categorized as a “plus size” model because she doesn’t feel a connection to the term. She thinks that since every woman comes in different shapes, sizes and body structures, no one should be labeled. In fact, Ashley has made it part of her life’s work to educate teen girls on the importance of self love and acceptance of their bodies. As more and more campaigns are including and embracing non typical models, Ashley is excited to be a part of the industry because she believes we are entering a new modeling era where the curvier girls rule.
How ever you want to label this lovely model, we are pretty sure that Ashley and the rest of the swimsuit rookies will rock this month’s Sports Illustrated issue!