After the swimsuit competition wrapped at Miss USA 2016, host Ashley Graham huddled up with some of the contestants backstage to discuss the segment, and to quietly advocate for a cause close to her heart: an increase in body diversity in the world of modeling and pageantry.
Graham, a former Sports Illustrated swimsuit model, commented as the 15 finalists exited the stage that the swimsuit portion of the competition was a nerve-wracking experience, but lamented the fact that it was so typical for only one type of body to be represented.
"Pageants now, I'm hoping, are going to start putting curvy and plus-size women in front of the camera," she said.
For her part, Graham is no stranger to the controversy surrounding full-figured women proudly displaying their bodies. After Maxim featured Graham as the first plus-size model to grace its cover in March, many critics, including former model Cheryl Tiegs, were vocally opposed to the decision — saying that it "glamorized" being overweight.