When you think of a fashion model, the first thing that may come to mind is someone who is tall, beautiful, and size 0-2. This typical stereotype of a model comes as no surprise due to the fact that this has been the profile of most supermodels since the beginning of time. But thanks to new age models like Ashley Graham, these stereotypes are being destroyed one by one.
Ashley Graham for Vogue's September issue.
The most notable plus-sized model that comes to mind is Ashley Graham. The 29-year-old model has fought against the status quo since her first modeling gig in 2001, but has more recently gained attention for her body positivity presence on social media. The beautiful model has garnered a lot of publicity for people who aren't stick figure thin. A recent study shows that 67% of U.S. women are over the size 14, yet ads found in magazines only display those on the opposite end of the spectrum. As a result, people experience body image issues and try and fit into a category that they believe is expected of them. This American-born model is credited for helping so many of her fans accept their bodies for how they are and has helped people realize that it is more important to be healthy than to fit a certain societal expectation. And even the skinniest supermodels face severe discrimination. Tommy Hilfiger received backlash a few seasons ago after claims surfaced that he called Gigi Hadid too fat to walk in his show and decided to put her in an oversized coat to hide her body. It is no wonder this tough industry results in many body image disorders.
Ashley Graham made waves for the world when she graced the cover of Sports Illustrated as the first plus sized model - or 'curvy' - a term she prefers to 'plus size.'
Ashley Graham stunning at Prabal Gurung's Fall 2018 show.
This fashionista is a role model and uses her platform for promoting body positivity for women of all shapes, sizes, and ages. She teaches us that nobody is perfect, and you should not strive for perfection, but strive to better yourself and love yourself, flaws and all. There should not one definition of beauty, and this stunning model from Nebraska proves this.
Her success in modeling has led her to land various hosting gigs, fashion lines, and even her own Barbie! In an interview with Access Hollywood, Ashley talked about her excitement over the inclusion of different body types, as well as skin and hair colors that led to her deal with Mattel, the makers of Barbie. Ashley Graham's very own Barbie rocks rounder arms, legs, and belly, complete with a non-existent thigh gap. The only thing Ashley's Barbie doll is missing is cellulite on her legs, which the model has been extremely outspoken about since day one and asked production to include.
Ashley Graham for V Magazine.
For everyone struggling with body image issues, or people who are unhappy with their appearance in any way, remember that all of us have insecurities and rather than be ashamed and play into them, embrace them because they are what make us beautifully unique! And if you want to learn more about this stunning model, you can follow her story and hilarious insight on instagram @TheAshleyGraham.