Ladies and gentlemen, 2015 is starting to shape into the year of positive body image. Rolling over from last year, songs like “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor and “Try” by Colbie Caillat are shaping the music industry and the world toward more self-loving messages.

Sports Illustrated's decision to feature plus-sized model Robyn Lawley is a complete 180 from last year's 50th anniversary cover, which featured Barbie. PHOTO VIA GOOGLE IMAGES

Sports Illustrated’s decision to feature plus-sized model Robyn Lawley is a complete 180 from last year’s 50th anniversary cover, which featured Barbie. PHOTO VIA GOOGLE IMAGES

These influences have flowed into the magazine industry. After what seems like lifetimes, Sports Illustrated has finally featured Robyn Lawley, a plus-sized model, for its 2015 Swimsuit issue.

Lawley is a size 12, which is considered plus-sized. Body confinement terms such as those should not be used in general, but I digress.

Ashley Graham, another plus-sized model, is featured in an ad in this issue for #CurvesInBikinis. In the commercial, she walks proud, clad in a bikini, while three hunky men admire her.

Honestly, it’s all a mindset. Everyone has body issues. No one is perfect, yet media portrays an unhealthy standard for women of all ages, and it affects us all. Healthy women should be portrayed realistically on the covers of our magazines and billboards.

Societal standards and media projection affect the smallest of children and can latch onto a child like a parasite to fester and grow as a negative, self-loathing mindset. That’s not the message that anyone should be giving to all children.

It seems that after Sports Illustrated’s 50th anniversary featuring Barbie in all her glory, this 2015 issue is a complete 180.

The Barbie issue was controversial due to both the positive and negative connotations of Barbie as a doll. She represents novelty and is a classic beacon of popularity for little girls. However, she has changed over the years to become yet another example of unrealistic body types and societal norms.

But Lawley and Graham are headed for greatness and are paving the way for women of all types to be represented in the media. Hopefully, more who look like the average woman can be portrayed in mass media, just like these two have done.

I’m a curvy girl. There was never a time in my life when I wasn’t a curvy girl. In all my years, there hasn’t been much representation of people who look like me in the media. I appreciate what Sports Illustrated has done, but they have a long way to go in this journey. We all do.