Ad in SI swimsuit edition features plus-size bikini model

Ad in SI swimsuit edition features plus-size bikini model
Model Ashley Graham in an advertisement set to appear in the Feb. 9 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. (Swimsuitsforall)

When Sports Illustrated's 2015 swimsuit issue hits newsstands next week the standard-issue bikini babes will be accompanied by at least one model whose body is closer to that of the average American woman -- plus-size model Ashley Graham.

But don't start popping the Champagne corks for full-figure acceptance just yet. Graham isn't actually being featured in the magazine's editorial coverage -- the annual lineup of lithe ladies that has, over the years, included the barely clad likes of Cheryl Tiegs, Tyra Banks and Kate Upton. No, Graham appears in a bought-and-paid-for advertisement for a label called Swimsuitsforall.

For that reason alone we have a hard time seeing it as the kind of "ground-breaking," "first-ever" or "historic" occasion the Internet is currently abuzz with over the ad. We'll break out the bubbly when models like Graham finally smash through that sand ceiling and are allowed to frolic in the surf of the magazine's editorial pages. In the meantime, we're giving  Swimsuitsforall  -- and its PR machine - mad props for the spin.

And if even a fraction of the fellows flipping through the issue mistake her for just another one of the annual issue's bikini-clad babes, we'll consider that one step closer to kicking the "plus-size" qualifier to the curb altogether.

And really, when you think about it, when the average American woman wears a size 14 dress, aren't the rest of those models technically "minus-size"?

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