Last week, veteran supermodel Cheryl Tiegs found herself in some hot water over disparaging comments she made about plus-size model Ashley Graham.
Graham had recently made history as the first plus-size model to grace the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
While many considered it a welcome departure from the unattainable, super skinny physique of models past, Tiegs was not a fan.
“Her face is beautiful, beautiful,” said Tiegs. “But I don’t think it’s healthy in the long run.”
“I don’t like that we’re talking about full-figured women because it’s glamorizing them because your waist should be smaller than 35 [inches],” she added.
Tiegs later tried to explain her comments on Twitter, writing, “To clarify re bodyweight. Being anorexic/bulimic/overweight all connected to health problems. I want all to be as healthy as they can.”
But Graham was not impressed. “People are saying she apologized. But I never heard one,” she said.
Tiegs has now written an open letter to Graham, published on HuffPost in an attempt to explain her thoughts on the issue and officially apologize.
She begins by blaming the media for twisting her words.
“Here is the question that was asked of me: ‘Do you love the fact that we are actually stepping outside our comfort zone of what we know is like the model figure and we are actually using full figured women and making that a thing now?’
“This was a generic question, and I said that I did not love it.
“My answer was based on health concerns because of our nation’s increasing problems with weight linked to diabetes, heart issues and cancer. At no time was I thinking of a specific person.”
She continues by saying that her concerns remain centered around health, not standards of beauty.
“I was not equating beauty to weight or size, but unfortunately that is what the media reported in headlines.
“I was trying to express my concern over media images and the lack of education in America about healthy choices, thus the reference to the 35-inch waist as a guideline to health.”
And then came this shocker:
“And by the way, my waist is 37 inches.”
She concludes by apologizing directly to Graham.
“Please accept my deepest apology if you were offended or in any way think I was referring to you. I commend you on the positive influence you have on helping women to love themselves.”
What do you think about Tieg’s comments? Is she expressing valid concerns over health or simply body shaming?