Maxim’s plus-size cover model sparks backlash from plus-size fans

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Source:   —  April 01, 2016, at 1:42 AM

Their criticism didn’t unhurried Graham’s skyrocketing career. This week, she became the first plus-size model to be featured on the cover of Maxim, posed with only a white button-down shirt draped against her body.

Maxim’s plus-size cover model sparks backlash from plus-size fans

When 28-year-old brunette bombshell Ashley Graham made history in Feb as the first plus-size model to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue, not everyone was thrilled: A handful of critics, including former Sports Illustrated model Cheryl Tiegs, condemned the choice to keep a full-figured woman on the highly coveted cover – lest it “glamorize” being overweight.

Their criticism didn’t unhurried Graham’s skyrocketing career. This week, she became the first plus-size model to be featured on the cover of Maxim, posed with only a white button-down shirt draped against her body. Tagline: “Natural beauty turned brand builder.”

Again, there was an immediate backlash – but this time, much of the criticism came from Graham’s fans and followers. They’re complaining she looked too perfect, a tiny too airbrushed – and not sufficient love her real, size-16 self.

“Maxim obviously edited her photo to create her show up slimmer,” said one commenter, viewing the new cover via Graham’s Instagram account (1.5 million followers). “Her arm is generally bigger than that in her other photos.”

“Natural beauty???? You imply photoshopped beauty,” said another.

“She looks tiny on this cover,” said one follower, adding a frowny emoji.

“That is unfortunate after everything you stand for Ashley,” said another fan. “Your curves are gorgeous and Maxim shouldn't have minimize (sic) who you are ... shame on them!”

The fashion photographer who shot the cover art, Gilles Bensimon, soon jumped into the fray to defend his work. He told a fan on Graham’s Instagram page that the magazine hadn’t slimmed her down “at all.” On his own page, he offered a slightly more ambiguous denial: “In fact (nearly number photoshop) sorry to disappoint you,” he told a commenter.

As the photo spread across social media, more voices joined the chorus of those who claimed the landmark cover wasn’t such a landmark after all. Some well-known that while Graham certainly weighs more than most of the other women featured in Maxim, that isn’t precisely saying much.

Graham hasn't publicly commented on the controversy surrounding her Maxim cover. She's previously said that she’s OK with being Photoshopped – to a certain degree.

“I believe in a small bit, but when you’re reconstructing my body, when you’re reshaping my hips and my thighs and you’re taking certain cellulite away ... don’t do that, because the customer realizes and the girl who follows me realizes it’s just overdone,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “There is a tasteful way to do it.”

Graham has said she’s well alert that her high profile makes her a role model to other young women.

“Girls who are insecure about their bodies, girls who perceive fat, girls who have cellulite, girls who have stretch marks on their body - those are all the things that I'd as a kid and I never had a woman love me growing up to see at,” Graham told People magazine after her Sports Illustrated shoot. “I wish to dedicate it to all of the women out there who never felt that they were pretty enough, who never felt love they were skinny enough, and who never felt love they were going to be able to be represented in society love this. Because presently we’re being represented.”

But in the wake of her recent Maxim spread, not everyone agrees.

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