Ashley Graham is baring all, with the plus-sized model appearing nude in a new magazine spread and sharing her love of her body.
The 29-year-old has become one of the most popular figures in the modeling world, a representative for women of all sizes and a strong backer for body inclusivity. In her latest appearance, where she appears fully nude in an accompanying photo spread, Ashley Graham said she learned at an early age to love her body.
“I remember my first signs of cellulite, in middle school. I remember telling my mom ‘Isn’t it disgusting? It’s so ugly.’ She pulled her pants down and said, ‘Look, I have it, too. And I was like, ‘Gasp!’ ” Graham said in the interview with V magazine.”She looked at me, then at it, and just rolled her eyes,” Graham says. “She didn’t tell me that it’s beautiful or ugly. She just made it a nonissue.”
In the issue, Graham appeared nude in a series of black-and-white shots, including one that shows the model topless in a mesh shirt. The pictures quickly went viral after hitting the internet early this week, with many sharing censored versions on social media.
It was quite a good week for the model, even before the viral photo were published. Just before her nude pictures hit the internet, Ashley Graham was making headlines for her elegant appearance at the annual Met Gala.
Graham earned high marks for her fashion at the event, which draws the top from the modeling world and Hollywood.
The nude photo spread represented another step in a quickly exploding career for Ashley Graham, who first emerged close to five years ago in a modeling scene not known for its diversity in body images. Graham quickly gained popularity and also became an advocate for women who don’t fit traditional sizes.
As Glamour magazine noted, she moved from modeling spreads to television sets as a judge on America’s Next Top Model and has visions of a talk show one day.
And along the way, Graham has done everything she can to promote diversity in body sizes and promote love of women of all shapes.
“Graham plans to keep pushing for change on behalf of all the women who believe in size diversity and expect the fashion business to get on board. She’s campaigning for ‘curvy girls’—her term of choice—to be included in more major runway shows; 16 plus-size models walked the shows at New York Fashion Week this fall, a record, and she’d like to see that number climb (she personally has her sights set on Givenchy and Dolce & Gabbana). Graham has also created multiple clothing lines (for lingerie and swimsuits, and a dress collection, sizes 4 to 24, for Dress Barn). ‘I’m really trying to make a change in the industry,’ she says. ‘I’m trying to have more quality clothing for curvy women. A lot of it [isn’t available] in my size.’ “
Ashley Graham said her message is particularly aimed at young girls, who may not otherwise be surrounded by a lot of positive images about themselves or their bodies.
“I hope they look in the mirror and say, ‘I am beautiful,’ ” she told the magazine. “When you do that, it’s a whole other ball game—you start to understand that your words have power.”
Those looking for the nude pictures of Ashley Graham in V magazine may run into some difficulty this week. The magazine’s website had crashed on Wednesday afternoon — possibly as the result of the rush of people looking for her photos spread — though the pictures were still spreading quickly on Twitter.
[Featured Image by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for TIME]