Model and entrepreneur Ashley Graham made headlines when she appeared on one of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition covers, modeling revealing beachwear for the annual special edition. In spite of the criticism she received with hateful comments making an ordeal over her curvy body type, Graham is at it again. This time, Ashley is featured in Maxim and wearing far less.
Ashley Graham Models Absolutely Nothing For Maxim
Ashley Graham's latest photo spread and cover for Maxim is her first appearance in the pages of this particular magazine, but it may not be her last, considering how much attention just the seductive cover is already garnering. Draped in a sheet and nothing else, Ashley is drawing the ogling stares of both men and women, proving curvy models are just as alluring as thin women.
Within Maxim's pages, more of Graham can be seen in both a literal and figurative sense. While Ms. Graham is receiving attention for her nearly nude Maxim photos, her hope is that the magazine's consumers will also take the time to read the article.
Ashley runs a business of her own when she's not modeling, and that business specializes in creating sexy and comfortable apparel for curvy women. Her photoshoots for magazines like Maxim and Sports Illustrated draw attention to that business, but they also draw attention to the issues of fat shaming and bullying that create self-confidence issues in many women. Graham is hoping to change society's views of curvy women, as much as she's trying to build up her own empire.
Ashley says she believes building her empire will require branding herself in social media, as well as making a statement with her modeling.
"I know these celebrity entrepreneurs are just people," Graham said in her Maxim interview. "They've just been given the right opportunities and have soared with them. And that's what I'm trying to do. I'm in total build-the-empire mode right now."
Molly Sims Speaks Out For Ashley Graham
Ms. Graham may be fighting an uphill battle with some segments of the population, those holding onto the "thin is in" mentality, but that doesn't mean Ashley hasn't already earned her fair share of supporters as well. Among them is fellow Sports Illustrated swimsuit model and Las Vegas actress Molly Sims, and Sims is making no secret of her love for Graham's curves.
Sims said in a recent interview that she thinks Ashley's willingness to put herself out there in these kinds of photoshoots is a truly positive thing. The model believes having more plus-size models in the industry can only lead to a better experience for models and beneficial changes in society's views.
"Ashley Graham is probably one of the prettiest people. She is STUN-NING," Molly says. "She has this beautiful olive complexion. She deserves it. She's beautiful."
Molly Sims isn't the only model to weigh in on the topic of Ashley Graham. When the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition hit stands, supermodel Cheryl Tiegs was among the first to publicly criticize Graham's body type. Tiegs said Graham was unhealthy and that celebrating her body type was doing a disservice to the public, many of whom are overweight themselves.
"Ashley Graham is not unhealthy," Sims says. "Plus-size, thin-size, 0-size, 20-size – yes, there is a point [when someone is unhealthy], but I know overweight people who are healthy."
Sims adds that she was pressured to maintain a very thin body type when she first began modeling, saying such pressure can lead to very unhealthy lifestyles, as well. Molly adds that simply being overweight may not be unhealthy and that it really depends on the person's lifestyle and how they feel about themselves.
Molly hopes models like Ashley Graham will help to make modeling more accepting of women who aren't necessarily a size 2. Certainly, Ms. Graham helped to further that notion wit her sexy new Maxim feature.
[Image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]