Ashley Graham doesn’t want to be labelled as a "plus-size" model and says she hates constantly having to talk about her body.
Speaking to WSJ Magazine, Graham detailed how frustrating it is constantly answering questions about her figure, and pointed out that she doesn't know "any man that has to do that". Instead of being introduced as a "plus-size" woman, she said she'd prefer to simply be referred to as "a woman", adding: "I hate that I constantly have to discuss my body."
But, she explains, she will continue to talk about it, because she knows how important it is.
"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," she explained.
"This is why I don’t post the 'perfect' Instagram photos," she continued. "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."
Despite now being such a body-positivity role model for many, Graham remembers being told from an early age that she needed to lose weight in order to be successful in her career. She first started modelling at the age of 17.
"My self-esteem plummeted, and I had my agents telling me, 'If you don’t lose weight, then you’re not going to work,” she recalls.
"The lowest part of realising that I didn’t get a job because I was 'too fat' actually gave me the courage and the ambition to go and fill a void in an industry."
Graham became a mother for the first time last year after giving birth to her son Isaac Menelik Giovanni, with husband Justin Ervin. She added that she's not putting any pressure on herself to lose any "baby weight" during the pandemic.
"I am a full-fledged 16. I haven't been a full-fledged 16 since I got married," she said. "I have like 25 pounds on me that I still have from before I was pregnant. 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."
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