Model Cheryl Tiegs Criticizes Sports Illustrated for Putting 'Full Figured' Ashley Graham on Swimsuit Cover | NBC Connecticut

Model Cheryl Tiegs Criticizes Sports Illustrated for Putting 'Full Figured' Ashley Graham on Swimsuit Cover

"Your waist should be smaller than 35 [inches]," she says



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    Cheryl Tiegs and Ashley Graham

    Cheryl Tiegs isn't happy with Sports Illustrated.

    The magazine released three different covers for its annual Swimsuit Issue, featuring Ronda Rousey, Ashley Graham and Hailey Clauson. "It's a nod to female empowerment," a source told E! News of the publication's decision to change up its routine.

    But Tiegs, a three-time Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue covermodel in the 1970s and '80s, doesn't agree with the magazine's choice to feature Graham. Tiegs, 68, opened up to E! News Wednesday at the 13th Annual Global Green USA Pre-Oscar Party and said she felt the magazine was promoting an unhealthy lifestyle by featuring her.

    "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]. That's what Dr. Oz said, and I'm sticking to it," she explained. "No, I don't think it's healthy. Her face is beautiful. Beautiful. But I don't think it's healthy in the long run."

    Graham, who has said in the past that she hates to be called "plus-size," was one of Sports Illustrated's "rookies" this year and was thrilled to be part of it. On her cover she wears a skimpy purple and yellow-string bikini while posing in the ocean. "I've got plenty of friends [of all sizes] and different shapes and everything," she recently told E! News. "And I don't want any of them to feel like they aren't 'real women.'"

    She has also opened up to E! at the debut party for the sexy issue about her struggles in her career and said she realized it would take accepting herself before the modeling industry would.

    "I had agents tell me, 'You'll never get on the cover of magazines. You'll never be an editorial model,'" she revealed to us. "I had agents wave money in my face and say, 'If you drop some pounds, you can have a lot more of this!' And not even THAT was something that encouraged me to lose weight!"

    She continued, "The moment I realized I had to be healthy and happy in who I was, that's when my career took off."

    Neither Graham nor Sports Illustrated has commented on the opinion Tiegs shared.

    Tiegs, who is active in environmental and health-related causes, took to Twitter Thursday evening to explain herself. "To clarify re bodyweight. Being anorexic/bulimic/overweight all connected to health problems. I want all to be as healthy as they can," she wrote.

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