Ashley Graham Calls Out The Sexism Of ‘Constantly’ Having To Discuss Her Body

Katie O'Malley
·3-min read
Photo credit: Frazer Harrison - Getty Images
Photo credit: Frazer Harrison - Getty Images

From ELLE

Ashley Graham has opened up about her dislike of conversations centred solely on her body, noting that it's something men would never be expected to engage with.

In a recent interview with the WSJ, the 33-year-old opened up about why she chooses to talk about her body, despite knowing full well that a man would never have to.

‘I hate that I constantly have to discuss my body, because I don’t know any man that has to do that,’ she told the publication.

‘But what motivates me to continue to talk about my body is that I didn’t have someone talking about their body when I was young. This is why I don’t post like the “perfect” Instagram photos.

Photo credit: Dia Dipasupil - Getty Images
Photo credit: Dia Dipasupil - Getty Images

‘I keep it real and raw constantly because I want [people] to know that there are women with cellulite, with back fat, with stretch marks.... There are a lot of curvy women, plus-size women, fat women, whatever you want to call them.’

When asked what she prefers to be called, Graham noted: ‘A woman.’

This isn’t the first time Graham has spoken about her negative opinion of the word ‘plus-size’ when it comes to discussing a person’s body.

‘I think the word "plus-size" is so divisive to women,’ she told CBS Sunday Morning in 2017. ‘I think that when you use the word “plus-size” you're putting all these women into a category: “You don't eat well.” “You don't work out.” “You could care less about your body.” “You're insecure.” “You have no confidence.” And that is none of this,’ she added, gesturing to her body.

Photo credit: Frazer Harrison - Getty Images
Photo credit: Frazer Harrison - Getty Images

Two years prior, Graham spoke about the term ‘plus-size’ during her 2015 TED x BerkleeValencia talk.

‘The fashion industry may persist to label me as “plus-size”, but I like to think of it as “my size”,’ she said at the time. ‘Curvy models are becoming more and more vocal about the isolating nature of the term “plus-size”. We are calling ourselves what we want to be called — women, with shapes that are our own.’

Last January, the model gave birth to her first child, a baby named Isaac, who she co-parents with her husband, cinematographer Justin Ervin. Over the last year, Graham has opened up about the realities of becoming a mother, from showing her stretch marks to breastfeeding her child on Instagram.

Discussing her changing body over the last year with the WSJ, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit model subtly hit back at expectations for mothers to work towards their ‘pre-baby’ figures – a view that has similarly been echoed by Gigi Hadid and Black Lively.

‘I have like 25 pounds on me that I still have from before I was pregnant,’ she told the news outlet. ‘I don’t know one person that actually lost weight in quarantine. So then to go and try to lose baby weight in quarantine is an epic fail.’

Her comments come weeks after she discussed the lessons she's learnt since becoming a mother in a YouTube video titled '12 Things I Learned In The First 12 Months'.

'I don't need to achieve a "post-partum goal weight, that's some BS,"' the model said to camera.

We couldn’t agree more.

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