Instagram | @ashleygraham

Ashley Graham Reveals She Was Told To Be 'Too Large' For Sports Illustrated Cover

While Ashley Graham's claim to fame was becoming the first plus-size model to land on the cover of Sports Illustrated, back in 2016, getting there wasn't easy...

She recently opened up on an episode of No Filter With Naomi, a YouTube series hosted by Naomi Campbell, about being initially told she was "too large" to model for Sports Illustrated.

Ashley Graham has become a household name ever since becoming the first plus-size model to end up on the front cover of *Sports Illustrated* back in 2016.

But she recently revealed that there was some protest over the decision to put her on the cover.

On the latest epsiode of *No Filter With Naomi*, a YouTube series hosted by Naomi Campbell, Ashley explained the harsh realities of being the first plus-size model to be on the cover of such a prestigious magazine.

“You know what, Naomi, actually it was right after that [Sports Illustrated] cover that I met you,” Ashley began.

“It was at the CFDAs and we were walking onto a red carpet," she explained.

She recalled there being another model who was unhappy with the decision to have Ashley on the front cover.

She explained that their first introduction was, unfortunately, cut short.

"We had just had a quick conversation because there was another model who was so upset that I had gotten the cover".

Ashley explained that there was another, successful model, who was openly unimpressed with the idea of having a plus-size woman on the cover of a magazine.

"She said I was very large and that women my size should not be on the cover.”

Naomi urged Ashley to reveal the name of the model who was disapproving of her cover shoot.

“You can go look it up," Ashley responded.

And "look it up" I did.

Since Ashley didn't want to call anybody out by name, I followed her instructions — running a quick Google search on who the aforementioned model is.

She was referring to Cheryl Tiegs, a former ‘70s supermodel.

Cheryl, who has also appeared on the front cover of *Sports Illustrated* in the past, has openly spoken about her opinion of Ashley's figure before.

In a brief interview with E! News at a pre-Oscar party in 2016, she had some choice words for Ashley and all other full-figured women.

“I don't like that we're talking about full-figured women because it's glamorizing them," she said.

YouTube | E! News

"Because your waist should be smaller than 35 (inches)," she insisted.

“That's what Dr. Oz said, and I'm sticking to it," she added.

YouTube | E! News

"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.”

“You told me, ‘I just want to let you know that I was talking about you and I defended you,’” Ashley recalled about Naomi.

“First of all, I’m meeting Naomi Campbell for the first time and she just defended me. Heart is racing! Thank you!”

Naomi doubled down on her original defense, confirming she did, in fact, defend Ashley after hearing Cheryl's comments.

And she explained that she would defend her again in a heartbeat.

“Well, I’ll defend you again right now," Naomi said.

"Because I don’t think that person had the right to say that. It’s your time now."

Thanks to Ashley's 2016 *Sports Illustrated* cover, curvy models are rightfully becoming more accepted and normalized in the modeling industry.

Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and that is something that I hope to see recognized on more magazine covers and runways.

What do you think of Ashley Graham being told by Cheryl Tiegs that she was "too large" to be on the cover of *Sports Illustrated*?

Instagram | @ashleygraham

Sound off in the comments below!