Modeling: ‘Full-figured’ and older women in the spotlight

So why shouldn’t “full-figured” women grace the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated and other such publications?

Because it “glamorizes them,” says former model Cheryl Tiegs in a UPI report.

She’s speaking out after Sports Illustrated highlighted one such model, Ashley Graham, in an attempt “to empower women and show there is no single beautiful body type,” the UPI report says.

But Cheryl disagrees.

“I don’t like that we’re talking about full-figured women because it’s glamorizing them because your waist should be smaller than 35 [inches],” UPI reports Tiegs saying at the 13th Annual Global Green USA Pre-Oscar Party. “That’s what Dr. Oz said, and I’m sticking to it. I don’t think it’s healthy. Her face is beautiful. Beautiful. But I don’t think it’s healthy in the long run.”

Hmm . . .

Objectively (i.e. journalistically) speaking, I sorta get what Cheryl is saying, from a narrow health perspective.

But I imagine many feminists just rolled their eyes — and perhaps threw up their hands in despair — because of a) Cheryl’s apparent double standard, and b) the idea that Sports Illustrated may be now sexually objectifying “full-figured” women, too.

In all fairness to the magazine, I think their motives are purer than sexploitation. After all, in the same issue, they featured a photo of a 56-year-old woman, Nicola Griffin, in a gold bikini — making her the oldest swimsuit model in their mag. The theme was “Swimsuits for All.”

From a naturist’s perspective, well, we stress the importance of not getting hung up on body image issues. Because we know that everybody is beautiful in their own way. And most naturist publications put little, if no, emphasis on sex appeal.

Still, Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue is what it is: eye candy with a degree of sexual titillation. And they are showing that woman are attractive — on the surface — in all shapes and sizes and ages.

Of course, we all know that beauty is only skin deep, don’t we . . .

— Jillian

11 thoughts on “Modeling: ‘Full-figured’ and older women in the spotlight

  1. It’s probably more a case of how much they make in profiting from the exploitation of the human body,just like most things today 😩


  2. These magazines are all about companies selling their products to people, and larger people have money, too. People that like to look at larger people also have money.

    I have no idea who Dr. Oz or Cheryl Tiegs are. I suspect Cheryl is concerned that someone else might be “glamorized” other than her.


  3. You’d think Cheryl Tiegs would have mellowed out a bit by now. If you’re still talking about waist size at 67, your therapist hasn’t been doing a good job


  4. Personally, I salute SI, Ashley Graham and Nicola Griffin no matter the motivation. Certainly SI wants to sell magazines but the fact that they give prime space to people other than what one expects to see in the swimsuit issue and that the two women put themselves out there (beautiful women they are) is outstanding! Health is certainly an issue but I honestly believe that, if SI did a retrospective when Ashley is in her 56th year, she will be alive and well and just as beautiful as she is now.

    There was a full-figured woman in my (5th ever) yoga class today. I would give my left something to have the flexibility and strength she has.

    And, as a naturist, I again salute Ashley and Nicola. They are beautiful!!


  5. I just don’t get what Cheryl Tiegs is saying about being healthy.
    I would be willing to bet Ashley Graham is a healthier person that she is.
    The fad diets, the crash diet, (at least every other month,) the, “My agent (told me I had to diet to make the swimsuit addition) diet, plastic surgery, botox, breast enhancements, etc, etc, etc. Yes, Cheryl, you are so much healthier because your waist is smaller.than Ashley’s. Keep working on that, it never ends.

    In my opinion, Ashley is not that big, more curvy, hardly fit the bill to qualify as full-figured.


  6. I expected that the Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover would generate discussion, and while I’m surprised to hear another model criticizing the full-figured model, I’m rather glad that such criticism is coming from a prominent former-model because it should draw even more attention to the issue, (bad publicity is still publicity and can attract the attention of intelligent people, sometimes with positive results.)

    It’s interesting that the swimsuit issue comes out at this time of year, it’s also the time when several of the art schools I model for in Boston do art exhibits around body-image. I hadn’t thought of the two things together before, but now with this cover model there is some connection here.

    I always love seeing the work that comes out in these exhibits from the students who work from the figure a lot. They’re taking it beyond just what they normally do drawing, painting, sculpting what’s right in front of them in class and giving more thought to the human figure and how it is depicted in art. Often the pieces in these exhibits are of various figures, far more varied than those the students usually work with in their classes. They do self-figure studies, they ask friends who are not necessarily slim or super-fit to pose for them, they stretch the idea of which bodies should be in art.

    It’s always good to see popular culture doing a little of this, too. Hopefully, more will come, and not just at this time of year.


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