Ashley Graham has made a significant impact on the fashion industry throughout her career, paving the way for curvy women by appearing on the covers of esteemed publications such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
The model is no stranger to being body-shamed, having previously shut down trolls on several occasions who felt the need to criticize her shape.
Despite Graham’s immense success, she’s still frequently told that she’s “FEARLESS” for demonstrating that she feels comfortable in her own skin, something that she finds extremely frustrating.
While speaking to Fashion weekday, Graham revealed the annoyance of being praised for displaying levels of confidence that people may not expect of her.
“It’s exhausting to have to always talk about how ‘brave’ you are for getting into a bikini because your cellulite is hanging out,” she said.
“The worst question I get asked all the time is, ‘How did you find the confidence to get into that bikini and get photographed and not get your cellulite retouched?’”
Graham’s response is simple: “I got over it.”
Acknowledging the positive effect that her modeling career is continuing to have on girls and women who may have body image issues is one of her main sources of motivation.
“I mean, we all have our insecurities, but you learn to grow and love yourself, and I consider every one of the ladies whose lives are being changed by observing that photograph and by observing me simply being sure and presenting. That is the reason I do this,” she said. Earlier this year, Graham, who became the first curvy model to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue in 2016, shot down an Instagram account who compared her to a “Real Model”
The Instagram account shared collages of slimmer models placed alongside pictures of curvier models, describing the slimmer models as “real” and the curvier models as “fat”.
Graham expressed her irritation over the situation by addressing the online troll directly.
“I know I’m being a little petty by posting these stupid photos of somebody who wrote real model and fat model in any case, I will tell you nothing characterizes what a genuine model or a fat model or phony model is,” she said in a video shared on her Instagram story. “Your weight, your skin, your hair, your religious foundation, none of that decides if you’re a genuine model or not, so every one of those young ladies out there who have dreams and expectations, continue battling for them.”.