Today, Ashley Graham is a successful model, appearing on magazine covers and serving as a judge on America’s Next Top Model, but, just like anyone, there was a time that Ashley was just starting out. Ms. Graham now looks back to those early days and to one of her first modeling jobs in which the photo assistant wanted to do more than snap photos.
Ashley Graham Faced Sexual Harassment On The Job
Entertainment Tonight reported that Ashley was just 17 years old, when she faced sexual harassment on the set of a modeling job. Graham is sharing the story for the first time in a public forum, hoping to educate other up and coming models about the perils they could face with the wrong professionals in the business.
Ashley recalls that the photo assistant coaxed her into a closet under the pretense that he had something to show her and, while that was true, it wasn’t related to the job. The America’s Next Top Model judge says the unnamed assistant pulled out his penis, as soon as the two of them were alone in the closet.
Graham says she was overwhelmed with disgust, when he began pressuring her to grab his penis.
“I freaked out,” recalled Ashley. “And thank God I was closer to the door, and I just bolted out.”
Ashley Graham Isn’t Opposed To Nudity In Modeling
While Graham is hoping to build a safer work environment for models by speaking publicly about incidents of sexism and sexual assault, she tells Glamour that her views on nudity have changed. Previously, Ashley was adamant about not bearing her lady parts for a modeling job, but the latest edition of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition challenges this rule. Ashley did bear her nipple for the shoot.
Graham says she still holds true to that rule and explains that it was intended to refer to crude or vulgar displays of nudity. The model says she might bare her full breasts from time to time, as long as it’s tastefully done, but that’s as far as it’s going to go.
“But trust me: You will never see my vagina!” adds Graham.
Ashley also touched on her Christian beliefs in relation to the sexual nature of much of her modeling. Ms. Graham says she trusts her own intuition to guide her and discusses everything with her husband. Ms. Graham says it has to feel right for her to go through with it and it has to be in line with the kind of image she wishes to present.
[Featured Image by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images]