This 56-year-old isn’t ashamed of her body. When she showed up in a bikini, people around the world turned their heads.

Many subscribers to the American sports magazine, "Sports Illustrated", anxiously await one particular special edition each year: the swimsuit issue, which features many scantily-clad beauties. This year, the publishers thought they'd try something different to change its normal perception.

But the publishers decided to try and answer some of the critics. This year, they chose a very special cover model: 56-year-old, Nicola Griffin. Last year, they opted for a plus-size model on their cover and this year marks another big step. Nicola Griffin is by far the oldest woman to ever appear in any swimsuit edition. She's easily 20-30 years older than the average cover model, but she still manages to hold her own.

There were two other unexpected models at the Caribbean-based photoshoot: 28-year-old, 
Ashley Graham and 26-year-old, Philomena Kwao from Ghana. 

Both women are plus-size by Sports Illustrated standards, but Nicola is super confident, "It's n
ot about being 20 years old and 5'10". That gets boring eventually. We're all different ages and builds. That's what makes a real woman."

 At first, Nicola was nervous being surrounded by so many beautiful, young women. But it quickly started to feel like one big family, she said. Her adult daughters are so proud of their mom, but Nicola admits, "To be called the oldest woman ever, I feel like I'm at least 80."

She stopped modelling three years ago, but Nicola still works to encourage campaigns to consider using diverse and realistic women. And she's one very good example that women of all ages can be beautiful. Whether they're in their bikinis...
 Bravo! Hopefully other magazines and brands follow suit and start mixing things up with "normal" women, letting it become the norm rather than just a one-off thing. Our compliments to these three beautiful women.