Ashley Graham On The Importance Of Normalising All Bodies
In the age of social media where filters have become so normalised, it’s hard to even look at our un-filtered faces anymore, model Ashley Graham’s message of body positivity and unattainable beauty standards is a refreshing one. Having recently become a new mum, the model has once again used her platform to spread a message of inclusivity as she acknowledged even her own negative views of her body and how she overcame them with some helping words from her mum.
In an interview with Stellar, the model said that after putting her one-year-old son down to sleep at 8:30pm, she immediately had to get back to work. “He went down early because I have this late-night interview,” she said. “I didn’t realise I could be this organised or that I could run on this little sleep. You really see a superpower inside yourself because you have to do it.”
While it’s a conversation most parents are familiar with, what resonates even more strongly is Graham’s message of body positivity. A US size 12/Australian size 16, Graham has revealed her cellulite on social media and proved that even models aren’t without their flaws. Whereas others are quick to refrain from posting anything that shows them not in their best light, Graham embraces such traits – traits that are simply part of being human.
“If you go to some celebrities’ [social media], they’re getting tagged in their own photos, but if I go to mine, it’s a bunch of random women who are excited and celebrating being themselves,” she told the publication. “I’m like, yesss! That inspires me. It’s important to normalise bodies of all shapes, sizes, genders and race.”
Many will be familiar with Graham’s 2015 Ted Talk, Plus Size? More Like My Size, in which she talked about the issues surrounding the modelling industry and body size – particularly as it applies to women. Graham may have spent a lot of her career talking about her body, but it’s a conversation she doesn’t tire of having – particularly if it means inspiring others. “It’s a woman thing. We’re told to talk about our bodies, we’re told we have to discuss them and we’re also told we have to apologise for them,” said Graham.
“There was a point when I had to tell myself, if you’re the one who’s pioneering something that’s changing the industry, you’re going to have to talk about your body for the rest of your life. I understand that.”
“So, yes, there are days when I don’t want to talk about my body, my cellulite, or my weird-shaped butt. But at a very young age, when I wanted to give it all up, my mum told me, ‘Your body is going to change someone’s life.’ If I’m going to sit here and talk about my cube-butt and round cellulite arms and it makes someone out there go, ‘Thank goodness she’s talking about that because I don’t have to,’ or if it makes someone say, ‘Who cares?’ then I don’t care.”
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