Plus-size model Ashley Graham is absolutely killing the modeling game. She’s posed for Elle and Vogue (among other awesome mags) and was also the first model chosen for Jennifer Lopez’s plus-size clothing campaign. After a truly awesome empowering, body positive, essay she wrote for “The Edit,” Net-a-Porter’s online magazine came out a few weeks back, she’s also turned into a total viral role model.
Her message is clear: love yourself, no matter your size. Graham is a size 14, her weight fluctuates from 10 to 15 pounds, she’s cool with ALL OF THAT (she writes in the essay, “I love my body, I love my super-hourglass shape and I love showing it off.”), and she wants you to be cool with whatever size you are, too. Today she sent a tweet into the universe (a quote from the essay) that basically sums up her whole badass and beautiful mantra:
We are SO on board with each and every one of those words.
ICYMI (you should totally read the whole essay if you did), the section that Graham is getting the most attention for has to do with body image role models and how today’s media world just doesn’t have a spectrum of sizes. She gives big ups to Marilyn Monroe and Jennifer Lopez for being icons who made curves sexy, but is worried that girls today don’t have enough role models embodying different body types. As she puts it:
“Young girls don’t have much to look at, curvy women are not on covers of magazines, they’re not talked about on social media as much as other celebrities. Jennifer Lawrence is the media’s poster girl for curves — she’s tiny.”
Without skinny-shaming Lawrence (Graham seems like the last girl who would body-shame ANYONE), she brings up a killer point: we need more women in entertainment and the media looking like more women in America. We need to expand the definition of what it means to have a beautiful body. The status quo is not working, it never worked, and the time for change is now.
Even though Graham is frustrated with body image in the media, she’s all kinds of optimistic about the moment we’re living in, a moment when it feels like things are finally starting to change:
“Things are happening, it’s exciting. Now is the time: people want to know about curvy women. We are in the middle of a great conversation, and we still have years before we hit the peak, but this is the beginning of a great adventure that is going to go on and on, I really believe that. Curves are here to stay.”
A standing ovation is in order for Ashley Graham, who is proving to be a dazzling force of good for the body positivity movement. Keep sharing your wisdom, Ashley, we’re all listening.