Lincoln woman is first plus-size SI cover model

Posted at 7:35 PM, Feb 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-15 21:27:52-05

A Lincoln, Nebraska native is making headlines for being one of three Sports Illustrated cover models for this year's swimsuit edition. Ashley Graham is the first plus-size model to appear on the cover.

Graham was discovered at an Omaha mall at the age of 12. According to her website, she was named to Forbes Magazine's 30 under 30 list in January 2016. Graham is reportedly a size 16. 

In addition to Graham's cover. There are editions featuring Ronda Rousey and Hailey Clauson. 

Assistant Managing Editor MJ Day is quoted on Sports Illustrated's web site as saying, "The three covers of Hailey, Ronda and Ashley celebrate the new SI Swimsuit. 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. "

On choosing Ashley Graham's cover, Day is quoted as saying, "Ashley Graham is a sultry, feminine masterpiece. I dare you not to stare at her. Ashley commands your attention in her photographs. She owns her sexiness in a way that every woman should. Her confidence is contagious."

Ashley Graham and Hailey Clauson will appear on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight.