Vintage Bridge Swimsuit Edition: On Ashley Graham in the Actual Swimsuit Edition & the Exciting Expansion and Evolution of Our Notions of Beauty

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Being Body Positive in Plus Size Pin Up Retro Style Leopard Print Bikini at Revere Beach on my 36th Birthday
Ashley Graham in the 2016 Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition

Hooray for Ashey Graham, Plus Size Bikinis and Body Positivity

I've been floating on a happy cloud of Body Positivity since this image of plus size model Ashley Graham graced the cover of Sport Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. It came at just the right time. 

On Wearing a Plus Size Pin Up Fashion Bikini and Being a Size 12-16 Dress Size

For me, I'm totally fine with being on the very end of "healthy" on the BMI index. That's how my doctor's measures healthy weight. That's where my body "lives" naturally. And I love being a "bbw" (even though I do have my reservations about objectivity and fetishization of a person in general). I love how well pin up fashion works with my curvy body. Hence an entire plus size pin up style website dedicated to it! But after I went on heart medication for my cardiac arrhythmia, I gained weight because it makes it more difficult to get very active very quickly. Like, no 80s dancing without a slow build, or else I could faint. Haha. As a result I gained about 15 pounds, putting me just into the low end of the "obesity" category. I've gone back down to that "end of the the healthy spectrum" weight since December, when I realized I'd gained a bunch, by making sure to eat 5 servings of fruits and/or vegetables every day.

What Ashley Graham's Plus Size Modeling Career Means to Me (and probably other plus size women)

Between being healthier and getting back to the weight I'm comfortable with, and this amazing cover photo with a woman who pretty much has exactly my measurements, not to mention how many compliments and how much interest you Vintage Bridge Style followers show me, I feel so good about things. 

I feel like Ashley on the cover of SISE is an exclamation mark to the point of what I've been observing more and more often: that what we conceive of as, not just acceptable, but beautiful is more diverse and encourging than in the past couple decades. It was not easy to grow up with an hour-glass figure in the 90s and 00s. Thanks to "Joan"/ Christina Hendricks, and lifestyle icons who run the gamut of the UK's Nigella Lawson to Hip Hop's Queen Latifah, things have evolved. Which isn't to say that Giselle isn't as beautiful as ever, or any other new super thin Victoria's Secret model. There's room enough for everyone if we think of beauty as a Spectrum instead of an either/or. 

Here's to the exciting expansion and evolving notions of beauty!