For the first time in Sports Illustrated 52-year history, the swimsuit issue will have three covers with Ronda Rousey, Ashley Graham and Hailey Clauson.
“Every single woman that is booked for this magazine is cover worthy,” explained Assistant Managing Editor MJ Day in an article announcing the news on the Sports Illustrated website. “The collective beauty in the magazine is overwhelming. SI has always been and will always be about the models; the pictures you see here are a celebration of them.
Day also explained how the three covers were chosen to celebrate the new SI Swimsuit with three beautiful, sexy and strong women. The new SI would like to advocate that beauty is not cookie cutter and there is no one size that fits all.
In the cover, Ronda Rousey is covered in paint. Back in January, there were speculations if Rousey will cover the SI Swimsuit Issue when she posted one Instagram a photo of her covered in body paint, “I was one of the lucky few chosen to be a canvas for a hand painted masterpiece that took 14 hours to put on, I can’t wait to show you guys the final pics the when the issue hits stands!”
Meanwhile, lingerie model Ashley Graham is in a string bikini. Her cover is an exciting new acceptance of different shapes and sizes of models, as she is a size 16, a far cry from the 00 models often seen in magazines. When she unveiled the cover on Instagram, Graham said it’s for “every woman who felt like she wasn’t beautiful enough because of her size.”
Covered in the good old “hand bra” is 20-year old model Hailey Clauson. “The best part, is that that 3 different types of woman, representing every woman up there. We’re rocking it,” Clauson says while looking at their cover photos during the launch of the three new covers.
Aside from the cover history, SI Swimsuit Issue also received attention for the fact that an ad in the issue for Swimsuits for All features 56-year-old model Nicola Griffin in a bikini.
The issue will be available February 15, along with a series of VR content featuring former Swimsuit cover models Nina Agdal, Irina Shayk and Hannah Davis.