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Story highlights

Ashley Graham is a size 16, and her inclusion comes a year after a size 12 model was included in the SI swimsuit issue

Graham thanks "everyone who stood up for curves"

CNN —  

Last year Ashley Graham was in the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. In an ad.

This year the plus-sized model is one of the stars, a 2016 SI Swimsuit rookie.

She’s not the first model in the issue’s history who is considered plus-sized, but her inclusion signals a trend for the 52-year-old tradition.

Last year Robyn Lawley, a size 12, broke the SI swimsuit mold. Size 12 is pretty average for most women, but not when you’re in the same profession as Elle Macpherson and Tyra Banks.

Graham, a size 16, was the first plus-sized model in an ad in the issue’s history (and will be in another ad this year).

“Thank you to everyone who stood up for curves – our voices were heard and together we can help me win Rookie of the Year,” she wrote on Instagram.

Other models and fans celebrated her inclusion.

Gigi Hadid, who is on the cover of French Vogue and was in the swimsuit issue in 2014 and 2015, tweeted, “YESSSS TO THIS.”

Singer Lily Lane wrote on Twitter: “so proud of you babe.”

Graham, 28, also has her own line of lingerie and is the co-founder of a group for larger models.

Plus-size models give SI’s 2015 swimsuit edition more curves