Ashley Graham has been open about her confidence as a model, regardless of the “plus size” label in the industry. Graham spoke during the Urban Arts Partnership 25th anniversary benefit this week about how she relates to the many young women who approach her to discuss being bullied about their weight.
She told People, “Nothing’s actually surprised me. I’ve lived exactly what they’re living. I’ve lived the torment of the names. I’ve lived the torment of boyfriends breaking up with me because they were afraid I was going to be too fat later in life. It’s the same cycle, it doesn’t matter what generation we are in. Every kid is going to go through the same thing.”
Over the years, Graham has grown into a role model who embraces her curves and loves her body, even on days when she is having a bad body image. She went on to say, “I wake up sometimes and I think ‘I’m the fattest woman alive’ – but it’s really about how you handle it when you wake up. I look in the mirror and I have my affirmations…’You are bold. You are brilliant and you are beautiful…Lower pooch, you are cute…I love you too, hips.’”
She shared her opinion that the increase of curvy models in the fashion industry is going to help young girls gain better body confidence, and that her own fame shows that the public really does want to see women who are more accurate of the general population.
“I think that my career has been a huge testament to how the industry is changing right before our eyes. I don’t think that a girl my size, as a model, would ever have been on the cover of Vogue and I’m still so shocked about that.”
Graham’s confidence is inspiring and will most definitely continue to have a positive impact on society, like she is doing through her Urban Arts Partnership involvement.