"Cheryl Tiegs may have said what she said and it may have hurt a lot of people's feelings, but my skin is so thick," Graham said. "I kind of rolled my eyes, I was like, 'Oh whatever, another one of these ladies.'"
"What's great is that -- the fact that she said it -- it means that other women think like her," she added. "And what that means is that we really need to change the industry."
Tiegs criticized Sports Illustrated last week after Graham appeared on one of three covers for the 2016 swimsuit issue. The 68-year-old former model, known for her multiple swimsuit issue covers, claimed putting Graham on the cover promoted unhealthy living.
"I don't like that we're talking about full-figured women because it's glamorizing them because your waist should be smaller than 35 inches," she said. "I don't think it's healthy. [Ashley's] face is beautiful. Beautiful. But I don't think it's healthy in the long run."
Tiegs went on to tweet "being anorexic/bulimic/overweight [are] all connected to health problems," but later replaced the post with an apology. Graham responded by saying her doctor is the only person qualified to determine if her weight is healthy.
My sincere apologies to everyone I have hurt. I truly just want everyone to be healthy & happy.— Cheryl Tiegs (@CherylTiegs) February 26, 2016
Graham walked for H&M at Paris Fashion Week on Wednesday and considers the event her "first major show" because it wasn't plus-size-specific. The model has appeared in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar and partnered with Addition Elle on a lingerie line in 2013.