Plus-size model Ashley Graham has a lot to smile about these days. The 28-year-old was recently gifted a look-alike Barbie by Mattel that replicates her style and figure. The doll is being praised as one of the company’s first Barbies to not have a thigh gap, according to Sports Illustrated.
Graham, who has worked with Sports Illustrated, said she was thrilled when she received the doll at the Glamour Women Of The Year 2016 LIVE Summit in Hollywood. The magazine quoted Graham calling the Barbie an honor for all women looking to change standards.
“I’m thrilled Barbie has not only evolved their product, but also has continued to honor women who are pushing boundaries. It’s an honor to be immortalized in plastic.”
Ashley is one of a handful of plus-size models who are striving to promote body acceptance among women and work towards a “more inclusive world.” The doll in her likeness is being labeled a “body positive step” in the right direction, according to Sports Illustrated. In fact, Ashley played a major role in helping create the doll to her standards.
Glamour reports the model requested the Barbie have no thigh gap and come complete with cellulite. While Mattel was able to meet her request of touching thighs, they were not able to add the cellulite as it would look more like a manufacturing error. Despite this, Ashley was still stoked when the final product was revealed.
“Thighs touching, round hips, arms and tummy!! Thank you @Mattel and @Barbie for immortalizing me into plastic! #beautybeyondsize”
Graham chose one of her skin-tight looks for the Barbie to wear as well. The doll comes in a hip-hugging gray dress with bedazzled jean jacket. Glamour quoted Ashley as saying she doesn’t cover up her body, and she didn’t want the doll to be covered, either.
“I’ve never been a girl to cover up my body. [My Barbie’s] not covered up. She’s just being her fashionable self.”
Sports Illustrated reported Graham wants the doll to help young girls cope with societal norms placed on them. She said she hopes the drastic change to the “iconic doll” will encourage acceptance of all body types.
“The thighs touching was one way to show young girls that it’s okay for your thighs to touch, despite society saying that a ‘thigh gap’ is more beautiful.”
Graham is obviously very excited over her Barbie as she has shared a few photos on Instagram. She’s taken to using the hashtag “beauty beyond size” to really drive the fact she is promoting acceptance for all women.
The size 16 model rose to fame in 2015 after being featured in a Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition advertisement. This year, the curvy Graham made history as she graces the cover of the issue. She applauds the magazine with breaking barriers to become the new norm as it continues to feature plus-size models, according to People.
“I thought Sports Illustrated was taking a risk by putting a girl my size in the pages. But putting me on the cover? They aren’t just breaking barriers; they are the standard now. This is beyond epic.”
Graham has been vocal about her love of bikinis, having even launched a line of her own in collaboration with Swimsuitsforall.
Ashley continues to share bikini photos on Instagram as her body acceptance campaign gains more and more traction. She seeks to show women they can have a “Barbie body” in spite of societal norms and proves there’s no such thing as a “bikini body.” Sports Illustrated quoted Graham as saying now every girl does look like Barbie thanks to Mattel’s latest creation.
“It’s not an unattainable thing. Now, they can say, ‘That’s my Barbie. I look like that one.'”
[Featured Image by Cindy Ord/Getty Images]