Sports Illustrated Model Ashley Graham Responds to Cheryl Tiegs' Criticism of Her Body

Graham, 28, was recently featured in the magazine's swimsuit edition.

March 3, 2016, 3:13 PM

— -- Ashley Graham is revealing that she doesn't let her critics get to her and she actually believes criticism is "great."

In an interview with E! News on Wednesday, the curvaceous model responded to the criticism that former swimsuit model Cheryl Tiegs said about her body.

Graham, 28, was recently featured on Sports Illustrated's swimsuit edition, which many hailed as a milestone for plus-size models. Tiegs, however, did not feel the same way, telling an E! News reporter that she thought the magazine was "glamorizing" full-figured women and she doesn't "think [Graham's weight] is healthy in the long run."

"Your waist should be smaller than 35 [inches]. That's what Dr. Oz said and I'm sticking to it," Tiegs said.

Graham said she was aware of Tiegs' remarks, but brushed off the comments.

"Cheryl Tiegs may have said what she said, and it may have hurt a lot of people's feelings but my skin is so thick," Graham said.

"I kind of rolled my eyes, I was like, 'Oh whatever, another one of these ladies,'" she continued. "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."

After receiving backlash for her original comments, Tiegs' issued an apology via Twitter, where she wished "sincere apologies to everyone I have hurt."

Graham said Tiegs had not yet reached out to apologize to her personally.

"I've never personally heard from her," Graham said. "She said her comment about me, then never heard a follow up. People are saying she apologized. But I never heard one."

Graham noted that if she ever crossed paths with Tiegs that she would approach her and "say hello," because she's always looked up to the Sports Illustrated models.

"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," Graham said. "I've got to bring other women up."

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