She started to work as a model at the age of twelve, and today she is one of the best known and most sympathetic curvy models of the world. Ashley Graham from Nebraska (USA) is now 29, and had problems to be accepted the way she is, because of her figure (she wears size 16).
“Actually you are quite pretty for your size!” or “You could earn much more money if you lost weight!” These sort of sentences made her feel angry and hurt. But she transformed this hurt into strength and made it on to the international catwalks. However, she did not only go this path for herself, but to represent many other women who are unhappy with their bodies because they do not correspond with the current ideal of beauty.
Obviously Ashley’s development did not happen overnight. She had doubts about her appearance, and lost faith in herself as she was continually made to feel insecure by others. Even her ex-partner did not accept her as she was.
Ashley overcame these crises with the help of friends, and her mother, who kept telling her what a precious person she was, and that she was able to do anything she wanted. Her current husband has also given her the strength to be herself, and accept and love herself for the way she is.
THE WORLD WAS NOT READY FOR CURVY WOMEN
Today Ashley knows why it took so long for her career to start, and why fashion photographers and magazines noticed her relatively late to book her as plus-size-model. The world was not ready for strong women like her (with a positive double meaning).
Only in recent years – and this is down to social media – have fashion companies started to get interested in using Ashley as model. She is representing a large group of women who have so far been neglected by designers as potential customers. So far, well-built women simply did not fit into the fashion world’s rigid ideas of ideal body sizes, and shapes.
AGAINST SLIMNESS MANIA AND FOR A NEW BODY FEELING
Therefore, Ashley stands for a new method of emancipation which wants to guide women away from slimness mania to a positive body feeling. Many women confirm her success. Ashley has been overwhelmed with grateful responses from them. She encourages them to stand up for themselves, and their curves. And due to Ashley’s role model effect these women dare to wear bikinis in public for the first time.
Ashley, “Beauty is a question of attitude! I do not see myself as model only but also as body activist! And it is not only about sizes! I want every woman to know, no matter what skin colour, or problems they have got: there are many out there who feel like you. So show what you have got!”
Source: myself 4/2017, Photo:telemundo.com