Ashley Graham
Ashley Graham has become the first plus-size model to grace the cover of Sports IllustratedGustavo Caballero/Getty Images

Sports Illustrated has been applauded for featuring plus-size model Ashley Graham on its latest cover, but one of the magazine's former models, Cheryl Tiegs, is unimpressed. Graham, 28, became the first plus-size model to front the iconic publication, but Tiegs, 68, believes it promotes an unhealthy body image.

Tiegs has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated multiple times throughout her career but she is strictly against diversification. Expressing her views to E! News, Tiegs said: "I don't like that we're talking about full-figured women because it's glamourising 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."

According to Ford Models, Graham, who is signed to the modelling agency, has a waist of 29.5 inches and wears a dress size of either 14 and 16. Sports Illustrated released three different covers for their latest issue, starring Graham, MMA star Ronda Rousey and Hailey Clauson on the front pages.

Heralding the publication for breaking with tradition of featuring slimmer models, Graham said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show: "I believe that Sports Illustrated is what is bridging the gap between what I call straight sized models and what they call plus-size models, and it is really showing that women of all shapes and sizes – and hopefully races now – can be on the cover of Sports Illustrated."

Alongside a photo of cover, which features Graham wearing a two-piece bikini, the model wrote of her achievement: "Truly speechless!!! This cover is for every woman who felt like she wasn't beautiful enough because of her size. You can do and achieve anything you put your mind to. Thank you so much to the entire@si_swimsuit team! I'm so excited to be a part of your family. I love you all!!!#siswim #beautybeyondsize."

Although it is her first cover, Graham has previously appeared in the pages of Sports Illustrated fronting the Swimsuits For All advertising campaign, with the hashtag #curvesinbikinis.