Sports Illustrated Swim Makes History With First Ever Body Diverse Cover Stars

Sports Illustrated Swim 2016 Cover Stars

Beach babes rebooted: the annual issue reveals not 1, but 3 cover stars for 2016 edition.


For the first time in the 52 year history of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit, the annual issue unveiled not 1, but 3 cover stars in last night’s highly anticipated announcement revealed during a live broadcast TNT special hosted by Nick Cannon and former SI Swim cover model Rebecca Romijn. In a major reboot of the traditional Sports Illustrated Swim beach babe, the 2016 edition will feature athlete and UFC champion Ronda Rousey, fashion model Hailey Clauson and size 16 bombshell + body activist Ashley Graham appearing in 3 separate, powerful covers hitting stands Monday, February 15th. Says SI Swim Editor MJ Day:

“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.” 

Click any image to launch pop-up gallery.

[Related: “These 3 Women Are Revolutionizing the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model”]

Ashley, wearing this Trunkettes bikini on the cover, will also appear in the issue in the groundbreaking 2016 Swimsuitsforall campaign. She tells People:

“I thought Sports Illustrated was taking a risk by putting a girl my size in the pages already, but putting me on the cover? They aren’t just breaking barriers, they are the standard now. This is so beyond epic…To have somebody who has cellulite, who has things that jiggle, who has back fat and actually talk about them and talk about how you can overcome and not let society take you down for all of that — that’s real and that’s what we need…women talking about the things that they’re doing and how they’re changing the world and not judging them only on the outside.”

Get your first look inside the SI Swim 2016 issue:

[Related: see more beach bod diversity in “Beach Babes: Sizzling Summer Edition”]

Ronda, who makes further history as the first SI Swim cover star to bravely bare all in nothing but body paint, tells People:

“This is like a dream I forgot to have and ended up having anyway…it really is just an honor to be in a real historical issue like this that is celebrating all body types of women. I really feel like media presents a very cookie cutter image for women to aspire to, which for certain body types it’s just not realistic or healthy. I love that all the covers are three different body types in their healthiest form.”

Watch the cover reveal and epic reactions from Ronda, Hailey and Ashley, here: