There’s a lot of buzz going around ahead of Sports Illustrated releasing its upcoming 2018 Swimsuit Issue. It’s not just because there’s going to be plenty of scantily-clad models plastered across each page (although that’s part of the reason for its evergreen appeal); no, we can thank barrier-breaking models Ashley Graham and Danielle Herrington for our eagerness to celebrate the 2018 issue.
The first major reason to get hyped for the Swimsuit Issue is that fact that Graham looks all kinds of stunning, svelte, and sexy from the initial images that have been released.
Ever since Graham grabbed our attention of the cover of the SI 2016 Swimsuit Issue, she’s become our go-to for uplifting, body-positive role models who know exactly how to make beauty look effortless, regardless of size. And honestly, if you look at her latest Swimsuit Issue shots—and I urge you to do so ASAP—then you’ll see that she is looking more stunning and radiant than ever. Honestly, homegirl is killin’ it.
And speaking of killin’ it, let’s take a moment to appreciate history-making newcomer Herrington. Upon learning that Herrington would be on the cover of this year’s Swimsuit Issue, we also got to add her name to the short list of just three women of color who have appeared on the SI Swimsuit Issue cover since it began (previous models of color on the cover were Tyra Banks and Valeria Mazza).
Speaking to People magazine, the 24-year-old model said of her achievement that, “[T]wo of my role models are Tyra Banks and Beyoncé, so the fact that I get to join this incredible group of women as I become the third black model on the cover of SI Swimsuit is a dream come true. I am so excited to be part of this iconic brand that has long given identity and voice to women of all shapes, colors and beliefs. I hope that young girls who look at this cover are inspired to dream as big as I did and work hard to attain all their goals.”
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THANK YOU @si_swimsuit for having me on your COVER. This is my first cover ever and I am beyond speechless! I dedicate this to all the young girls out there. Work hard, surround yourself with good people who believe in you and your DREAMS WILL COME TRUE! To @mj_day and your amazing team at @si_swimsuit #FamilyForever, thank you! To my my parents, family and friends, I LOVE YOU, thank you! To my agent @sandrasperka thank you for not only being the best agent, but also my mentor and friend! To @bodybymato for supporting me for the last 2 years and always being there for me! To my agency @women360mgmt you guys are the bomb! I am the luckiest and most grateful girl DREAM BIG. WORK HARD. BE RESPECTFUL. LOVE EACH OTHER. OWN IT!
Seriously, both Graham and Herrington are literal #BeautyGoals and #BodyGoals, not only because of how great they look in the Swimsuit Issue, but because of the confidence they exude doing it. Slay all day, ladies!