UPDATE: Ms. Tiegs has responded to Graham in an open letter featured on Huffington Post:
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.
What has ensued is yet another "manufactured media feud" that is needed to feed websites and empty air time.
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. I did hear that on Dr. Oz, but it's also stated on websites such as The Center For Disease Control, Harvard University and The American Diabetes Association.
And by the way, my waist is 37 inches.
I worry about the influence that print media has on this issue and I care about the health of all Americans. If it becomes the norm, then what happens with rates of diabetes, cancer and heart disease? This has nothing to do with beauty.
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.
I care about health and longevity for everyone.
Rising supermodel Ashley Graham, who is currently walking the runways of Paris Fashion Week, and recently landed herself one of the three covers of Sports Illustrated's 2016 Swimsuit Issue...
broke her silence on former S.I. model Cheryl Tiegs' terrible comments about Graham's weight.
If you'll remember, a reporter at a pre-Oscars party red carpet asked Tiegs what she thought of Ashley's game-changing cover.
"I don't like that we're talking about full-figured women. It's glamorizing them because your waist should be smaller than 35 [inches]. That's what Dr. Oz said, and I'm sticking to it. 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"
Tiegs has since attempted some half-assed damage control.
Ms. Graham gave a perfect response to E! News:
"Cheryl Tiegs may have said what she said and it may have hurt a lot of peoples feelings., but my skin is so thick. I kind of rolled my eyes, I was like, 'Oh whatever, another one of these ladies.' But what's great is that—the fact that she said it—it means that other women think like her. And what that means is that we really need to change the industry."She adds, "There are too many people thinking they can look at a girl my size and say that we are unhealthy. You can't, only my doctor can!"
"I've never personally heard from (Cheryl). She said her comment about me, then never heard a follow up. People are saying she apologized. But I never heard one."
"You never know, and I will go up to her and say hello, and all the SI girls, I've always looked up to them. They are classic, amazing, beautiful women and it's a shame that we have to bring other people down, but that's why I'm here. I've got to bring other women up."