At this point, there’s no question that Ashley Graham is a body-positive icon and badass disrupter in the fashion world. To name just one of her long list of accomplishments, earlier this year, Graham was featured on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, sending an important message that beauty is not defined by a specific size and shape.
Graham’s groundbreaking role in this year's swimsuit issue was yet again brought into the spotlight yesterday when SI Swimsuit 2016: Breaking Barriers—a behind-the-scenes look at the production of the magazine—premiered on PEN: People/Entertainment Weekly Network.
As part of the inside access peek at the making of the historic three-part cover, Graham speaks about the significance of featuring all kinds of women, and strongly states: “It’s time to finally have a variety of beauty, because there’s not just one standard."
And according to Graham, the same rules apply when it comes to picking out the perfect swimsuit. In one part of the video, she calls out false stereotypes about the kind of swimwear girls with curves “should” be wearing. “The myth is, the bigger the bikini, the smaller looking the body,” she says. “But I’m a fan of the smaller the bikini, the better. I’m a very curvy woman, and I think if you put a big bikini on me, it cuts in the wrong places.”
In the video MJ Day, the editor of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue backs up Graham’s stance on swimsuit standards, saying, “Just because you have curves, it doesn’t mean you want a bigger suit. It just means you want something that hugs everything in the right way.”
In other words, take everything you've ever been told about bikini shopping and throw it out the window. Instead pick out a suit you actually like—one that makes you feel confident and sexy. And when in doubt, just remember Graham's words of wisdom: "Beauty is not one size fits all."