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Bikini-clad plus-sized model graces Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition

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A plus-sized model in a bikini graced this year's Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, but there's a catch. She's in an advertisement.

A plus-sized model in a bikini graced this year's Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, but there's a catch. She's in an advertisement.

Ashley Graham is a size 16 model and she will be wearing a bikini in the 2015 Sports illustrated swimsuit edition.

She's in an advertisement for online retailer Swimsuits for All. ABC7 News showed the ad to shoppers in San Bruno, Calif. to see their reaction.

"With all the skinny models, this tells girls with curves it's OK to be thick and I think it's showing and portraying a positive body image," Kim Wise-Gastinell said.

"I think she looks cute," Rebecca Harper said. "She looks like a woman, a regular woman."

The president and CEO of Swimsuits For All, Moshe Laniado, calls it a big step for the curvy girl movement.

"To represent that idea with such an impactful image in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition feels like a huge achievement," Laniado said.

Men who spoke to ABC7 News liked what they saw.

"She's very beautiful," one man said.

The catch is men aren't buying the swimsuits. Consumer psychologist Kit Yarrow calls it a publicity ploy.

"They're so-called challenging the concept of what America considers to be beautiful, but they're not really because woman aren't reading that issue, it's a men's issue primarily," Yarrow said.

The magazine comes out on Monday.

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