The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is a tradition not unlike, say, Vogue’s September issue, or People’s Sexiest Man/Woman Alive issue. People crave these things, and will step outside of their print-media-is-dying bubble to spend real, physical money for the opportunity to flip through the pages.
In the case of the swimsuit issue, however, there have been some hiccups. There has been much talk over the years about how lacking in diversity the issue is – it’s the #OscarsSoWhite of the glossies, critics might say.
And we see their point, absolutely. For example, Beyonce was the last person of colour to get a solo cover of the much-anticipated issue, and that was in 2007.
But in 2016, the magazine has decided to promote diversity in a couple of ways. First of all, plus-size model Ashley Graham has been selected as one of the models:
And not only that, but the glossy has included a series of ads for Swimsuits for All, featuring a 56-year-old Nicola Griffin, The Lily Project founder Philomena Kwao, and, once again, Ashley Graham – they all wear the same gold lamé bikini, and they all look ridiculously good.
So, yeah, it may have taken a while, but we think it’s pretty cool that Sports Illustrated is making some ch-ch-changes.