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Ashley Graham reveals how Naomi Campbell defended her when modelling icon Cheryl Tiegs criticized her size

Naomi Campbell replied to her, saying 'I don't think that person had the right to say that. It's your time now'
UPDATED APR 11, 2020
Ashley Graham, Naomi Campbell and Cheryl Tiegs (Getty Images)
Ashley Graham, Naomi Campbell and Cheryl Tiegs (Getty Images)

Ashley Graham, who is known to be the first size-16 model to be featured on the cover of 'Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Edition, recalled in an interview that she was criticized for being a plus-sized model. 

During an interview on Thursday for fellow supermodel Naomi Campbell's 'No Filter With Naomi' YouTube series, Graham discussed the controversy surrounding her 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit cover. "There was another model who was so upset that I had gotten the cover and she said I was very large and that women my size should not be on the cover," Graham recalled. 

"You can go look it up," she said, while refusing to reveal the name of the person, but hinted that it begins with the letter 'C'. 

Graham's fans took no time in identifying the culprit. "The model that Ashley was talking about I believe was Cheryl Tiegs. She was the model who was not in favor with Ashley's body for Sports Illustrated," commented a fan. 

In February 2016, supermodel Cheryl Tiegs had criticized Graham being on the cover. "Actually I don’t like it that we're talking about full-figured women because it's glamorizing them and your waist should be smaller than 35 [inches]," the model had notoriously said

Tiegs was featured on multiple Sports Illustrated covers through the 70s and the 80s and had thought that Graham's full figure was unhealthy. "Her face is beautiful - beautiful - but I don't think it's healthy in the long run," she had said. 

It is not surprising that Tiegs' old, orthodox views had received a lot of flak. She later tweeted, "My sincere apologies to everyone I have hurt. I truly just want everyone to be healthy & happy."

Graham was courteous throughout her interview discussing the incident with Campbell. "Of course you’re going to get negativity," she said, adding that it brought to fore more important issues about body health. "It brought up a great conversation about what is health? What is beauty? What is sexy?" she added.

Campbell, however, was more frank. "I don't think that person had the right to say that. It's your time now," she said.