Sports Illustrated swimsuit features 3 separate cover models

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Kemberly Richardson is in the Flatiron District with the story

For the first time in the magazine's history, this year's Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue features not one, but three cover models, and one of them is plus-sized.

Ronda Rousey, Ashley Graham and Hailey Clauson all share the front page in separate issues, and the magazine says all three are beautiful, sexy and strong.

"I'm very hourglass, and I hold everything in all the right places," Graham said.

With body confidence to the one-millionth degree, Graham is no doubt making waves and turning heads.

The 28-year-old now holds the prestigious title of being the first plus-sized model to ever appear on the cover of the swimsuit issue. And she says the magazine was ready to make a bold statement.

"There are 16 million women who actually read the issue, and we're letting these woman know there's no such thing as perfect," she said. "Perfect comes in so many different sizes."

In her case, it's a size 14. The brunette bombshell worked the crowd at the magazine's celebration, Sports Illustrated calling her a "feminine masterpiece."

And to a group of 14-year-old high school students, she's an inspiration.

"When you see Ashley on the cover, it sort of changes your perspective," one student said. "Like you can be just as beautiful and just as healthy and still be a model."

Graham started modeling when she was 12, but she says at one point, she jumped from size 14 to 18 and was incredibly insecure about the weight gain.

"I didn't like the woman I saw in the mirror," she said. "I had to tell her you are beautiful, and I had to grasp what was happening in the moment. And now, I can look at her and say you are bold, you are brilliant, you are beautiful, and cellulite, I love you."

Her biggest supporter is her mom.

"She never looked in the mirror and said she was ugly," Graham said. "She never went on a diet. So why would I?"

For now, she's living in the moment, honored to be front and center.

"I am soaring," she said. "I am on the cover of Sports Illustrated."

The 2016 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue hits newsstands Monday.
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