Ashley Graham, the 29-year-old Lincoln, Nebraska native who has become the most famous “plus size” supermodel in the world, has made it to the top of her profession not in spite of, but because of her size 14 (and occasionally size 16) figure, defying modeling industry standards that call for models to reach minuscule dimensions which for most of the population would be impossibly skinny.
Graham has even parlayed her stunning self-confidence into a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover — the first “plus-size” model to be selected for that position — as well as another first for her size when she graced the cover of Vogue Magazine, both the British and American editions, earlier this year.
In fact, Ashley’s racy Sports Illustrated photo layout gallery can be viewed by clicking the link.
However, the model, who says that she overcame nonstop bullying as a schoolgirl to rise to the position where she stands today, is facing a new controversy — this time not for being what some judgmental fans and bullies call too heavy — but over her apparent weight loss. Has Graham actually shed pounds in an attempt to come closer to modeling industry demands for thinness — or is she getting a bad rap from her fans?
The most recent example came just before Memorial Day weekend when Graham posted a short, racy video that while proving hat she had seemingly lost nothing in the bustline department, her waist and the rest of her body appears slimmed down. Watch the provocative cleavage-baring display in that video, below.
The video followed earlier shots posted on her own Instagram page, in which she displayed what appeared to be a noticeably slimmer figure. For example, the following selfie posted in late January of this year.
Graham said as recently as last December, just one month before posting the above Instagram pic, that losing weight would be “disloyal,” not to her fans, but rather to herself.
“Do I sometimes wish I were thinner? God, in the old days, absolutely I did,” she said in an interview last year. “But now I feel that to lose weight would be disloyal to myself. A lot of who I am is connected to my size, and I am so happy with who I am.”
However, in response to the Instagram pic above, and others posts by the supermodel whose net worth is now estimated to have reached $1 million, some fans did indeed feel betrayed.
“I knew it you did lose a lot of weight! I am no longer a fan of yours you betrayed a lot of people!” wrote one outraged fan in an Instagram comment. “I’ll find another plus size beautiful woman bcuz yo’re full of s***!!!”
“Why are you changing yourself?” writes another wounded admirer. “I thought you were comfortable being yourself and being plus size. You are clearly losing tons of weight.”
But Graham denies the accusations, saying that while she unashamedly enjoys working out in the gym, she has not been melting the pounds away.
“The reality is I haven’t lost a pound this year,” Graham responded on her Instagram page. “In fact, I’m actually heavier than I was three years ago, but I accept my body as it is today…. People come on my page and body shame me because I’m too big, because I’m too small, because I’m not good enough for their standards. But at the end of the day I’m good enough for me.”
Graham explained that the appearance of slimming down in some of the controversial Instagram, posts was caused simply by camera angles.
[Featured Image By KGC-146/STAR MAX/IPx/AP Images]