Sports Illustrated swimsuit model and body-positive activist Ashley Graham just landed herself on the January cover of Vogue U.K. Graham can add this to her list of accolades, including designing her own Barbie and swimsuit line. Graham has swiftly risen to prominence as a plus-size model constantly speaking out on her own journey in the modeling world and shutting down haters along the way.
Graham’s journey to becoming a cover model was not always easy. She told Vogue, “For 10 years I’d been told I was always going to be a catalogue girl, never a cover girl.” After signing with IMG, Graham “did five covers in a year,” but she says there’s more to the business than just being a pretty face. “I hit the beauty jackpot, I get it, but that’s not enough, you’ve got to have more to have longevity in this business,” she said.
Even as Graham continues to be a spokeswoman for body positivity, she said labeling women plus-size “feels so divisive and purpose-defeating.” That being said, she serves as an inspiration and role model for women of all shapes and sizes around the world.
Graham has come to terms with her body and loves it just the way it is. She claimed “in the old days” she wished she was thinner. Whereas now, “I feel that to lose weight would be disloyal to myself. A lot of who I am is connected to my size, and I am so happy with who I am.”