What can we say about women like Ashley Graham? Her success and perseverance in an industry where the standards of beauty rarely move beyond a size 8 has been inspiring to thousands of women. Couple that with a message of body positivity and self-love, and hard business proof that women who we can relate to sell things better to us than those that don’t, and she’s changing the face of the industry itself, too.
Her nude shoot for V Magazine serves to further hammer home that sentiment, and we couldn’t be more moved by it.
The black and white images of the 29-year-old are real, un-retouched and beautiful. As is the interview she gave the magazine, in which she admits the road to supermodel stardom hasn’t always been easy for her.
“I think I hit bottom around 18. I was disgusted with myself and told my mum I was coming home.”
“She told me, ‘No, you’re not, because you told me that this was what you wanted and I know you’re supposed to do this. It doesn’t matter what you think about your body, because your body is supposed to change somebody’s life.’ To this day that sticks with me because I’m here today and I feel that it’s okay to have cellulite.”
Ah, cellulite. The bumps we revile like disease, and yet pretty much all of us have it. Like fingers or toes. Should we really be that ashamed of it? Or embrace it like we embrace the rest of our body?
“I remember my first signs of cellulite, in middle school,” Ashley continued. “I remember telling my mom, ‘Isn’t it disgusting? It’s so ugly.’ She pulled her pants down and said, ‘Look, I have it, too.’ And I was like, ‘Gasp!’ She looked at me, then at it, and just rolled her eyes.”
“She didn’t tell me that it’s beautiful or ugly,” she continued. “She just made it a nonissue. It doesn’t define my worth. If women like you and me continue to preach that, then I feel like younger girls are going to grasp it and they’re going to be like, ‘Who cares!'”
See more and read the interview on V Magazine here.
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