ALDA's New Sportswear Editorial For 'BUST Magazine' Features Plus Size Models — Is Very Important And Far Too Rare

I was flipping through the newest issue of BUST Magazine when it arrived in my mailbox last week, and was unfortunately irked just as I had been by previous issues. Sure, the content touched upon positive body image and featured women who weren't only of a singular size — but for a feminist magazine, I guess I expect a little more. Like, you know, multiple representations of clearly plus-size women. My jaw dropped when I came to an activewear spread, though. I had to double take because I was pretty sure that I saw plus-size model superstar Ashley Graham on those pages. And then I had to double take again, because I thought I saw Julie Henderson beside her. I wasn't hallucinating, though: The 10-page "Let's Get Physical" editorial was just chock full of the gorgeous plus-size models from ALDA Models (a collaborative of models who represent beauty without divisions).

The modeling collaborative came into existence over a year ago when Ford Models dropped their plus-size division completely. The women banded together, took their name from Icelandic model Inga Eirkisdottir (which means "curve"), and then signed to IMG models six months later. In the time since, the collaborative has not only been a champion of plus work, but it has also been sending the models to straight-size castings. Since the move, three of their models have appeared in that groundbreaking Vogue shoot, Graham covered Elle Quebec in a bikini, and all of the women are now on their way to continuing to pave more ground for plus models everywhere. So I'm thinking we're going to see a lot more triumphant stories, like Tess Munster's in the near future.

Although they look dewy and fierce in the activewear that spans swimsuits to sweatshirts to sports bras, it's not just seeing these women in the magazine that's important: It's seeing them being active. Take that, health concern trolls. Not only are we seeing plus women in the context of working out and being active, but they are also being showcased in fashionable plus-size activewear — and this seems like an important step in the body acceptance movement. You best believe these women are active, but still gorgeous and plus-size at the same time. As Graham says, “What ALDA wants to do is change the perception of what beauty is, whether that's a different age, a different race, or a different size. Changing what's going on in fashion is going to end up changing the world." All bodies are different and it's pretty amazing to see that represented in the pages of BUST. Next up: Pages of the world.

Images: BUST Magazine/Danielle St. Laurent; Giphy