The news that Ronda Rousey would cover Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue made a clear statement: SI cares (at least a little) about body diversity. When we learned they'd feature several plus-sized models — not to mention the oldest model ever to grace the pages of the Swimsuit Issue — we started to think maybe this year's bikini roundup would give us something more than a token curve model (a size 12, at most) or a predictably lithe athlete.
The long-anticipated release of this year's three covers — yep, three of 'em — appears to be proving us right. The SI Swimsuit Issue has been maligned (arguably justly) for perpetuating unhealthy body image standards since it was first published in 1964. These covers, featuring a champion UFC fighter (Rousey), a size-16 body-image activist (Graham) and an outspoken, body-positive runway/editorial model (Clauson) mark one of the biggest strides towards body acceptance the publication has ever taken.
Now, whether or not we need a magazine full of bikini-clad models in the first place is an entirely different question. But let's celebrate the wins where we can get 'em, right? Check out the three stunning covers below. And remember your body is worth so much more than anyone else's opinion of it.