Who is Ashley Graham, after all? There has been a lot of talk about Ashley Graham, a plus size model making it to the cover of Sports Illustrated, and there has also been a lot of talk about her size. But a lot of people still asking the question: Who is Ashley Graham?
Sure, she surely isn’t in the same league as a mainstream model, and that’s why people are asking who she really is. Well, let’s be honest, if she wasn’t picked up to appear in the Sports Illustrated issue, people would still be ignorant about her existence.
This girl is from Lincoln, Nebraska and has been on the covers of magazines such as Elle, The Sunday Times Style, Cover Magazine and Ne-a-Porter’s The Edit. She was also photographed for a lingerie-themed editorial for Vogue. Lane Bryant has also shot the #ImNoAngel campaign with her, IMG Models has said.
In 2015, she made history by appearing in the 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She was the first ever curvy model to appear in a print advertisement.
It does look like Graham is certainly proud and excited about appearing on Sports Illustrated Cover. She expressed her happiness to her fans via an Instagram post caption that said: “Truly speechless!!! This cover is for every woman who felt like she wasn’t beautiful enough because of her size. You can do and achieve anything you put your mind to. Thank you so much to the entire @si_swimsuit team! I’m so excited to be a part of your family. I love you all!!!! #siswim #beautybeyondsize.”
It has been more than once that the phrase “real woman” has been employed to describe Ashley’s body type. But she says she does not like that term.
“I don’t like to use the words ‘real women,’ honestly,” she told Elle in February. “I like to use the word ‘woman.’ And I say that because there are so many women out there who are naturally thin, or are naturally curvy.”
“I think when we start putting a label on the type of woman it gets misconstrued and starts to offend people,” she continued. “At the end of the day we just all want to be known as women or models or actresses or whatever.”
That’s where Ashley’s journey began and hasn’t really stopped since. She is an active advocate for positive body images in media. Her TEDx talk in Spain was one of the milestones as someone who speaks for a positive body image.
She said in her speech that: “I felt free once I realized I was never going to fit the mold that society wanted me to fit in,” she said. “I was never going to be perfect enough for an industry that defines perfection from the outside and that’s okay. Rolls, curves, cellulite, all of it – I love every part of me,” People reported.
“This is the generation of body diversity,” Graham concluded. “The current is changing.”
She launcehed “Ashley Graham for Addition Elle” and also did advertisements for them for four seasons.
She came into prominence when she appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno after she debuted in a lingerie campaign which was banned from TV.
She said she got her first start modeling lengerie.
“I was born plus-size,” Graham told Yahoo! Style. “My first [modeling] job ever was lingerie. My mom had to sign a petition that said they would airbrush my nipples out!”
Ashley Graham wants to be and can certainly be a spokesperson for a lot of women who are not thin as most models that appear on several fashion magazines. Will Sports Illustrated’s stint with plus-size models here to stay? Only time will tell.
[Photo By Andrew H Walker/Getty Images]