Ashley Graham is one of the most in-demand plus-size models in the industry right now and has used her fame to spread the message that no one is perfect – and that’s perfectly okay!
Too often we can log onto Instagram or open a magazine and get the disheartening thought that “I’ll never look like that.”
Glossy magazines have come under fire for encouraging women, especially young girls, for feeling inadequate due to the unrealistic representations of women depicted within their pages; women whose photographs are doctored carefully by a Photoshop expert before publication.
These ‘perfect’ women don’t exist; their perfect skin generated via software, their tiny waist achieved by clever editing.
An eye-opening video was put together by Global Democracy, who launched an internet campaign to make advertisers disclose the airbrushing of models. The photograph they end up with looks nothing like the original model who posed for the photograph.
The same can now be said for Instagram models who carefully curate their online image.
It’s supermodels like Ashley Graham who are going against the current and spreading the word that it’s okay to have “lumps and bumps.”
Comments on the image include, “empowering”, “love your confidence and honesty”, and “loving yourself is all that matters.”
On another one of her body positive photos she said; “someone once told me my thighs were ‘cellulite city’. But I now realize these thighs tell a story of victory and courage. I will not let others dictate what they think my body should look like for their own comfort, and neither should you.”
Ashley has previously written about the double standards of body shaming as she is always criticised for being too skinny or two fat; never just right.
In her article, she outlines how “to some I’m too curvy. To others I’m too tall, too busty, too loud, and, now, too small — too much, but at the same time not enough. When I post a photo from a “good angle,” I receive criticism for looking smaller and selling out. When I post photos showing my cellulite, stretch marks, and rolls, I’m accused of promoting obesity.
“The cycle of body-shaming needs to end. I’m over it.”
“I’m very proud of my work as a model, and I’m even more proud of the work we’ve all done to raise awareness for body positivity and size diversity within the fashion industry.
“I understand that people follow me and look at my photos to see a different representation of beauty, one that is often excluded from mainstream media and advertising.
“When they look at me, they see themselves, and maybe that’s why seeing me eat a cheeseburger makes some people feel good about eating whatever they want.
“However, I refuse to let others dictate how I live my life and what my body should look like for their own comfort. And neither should you.”