Ashley Graham has been schooling everyone in body confidence throughout her career, but things haven't always been so easy for the famous model.
Ashley Graham is undoubtedly the reigning queen of body-positivity. She made history by becoming the first curvy model on the cover of Sports Illustrated's Swimsuit Issue and has since been promoting awareness about #beautybeyondsize and encouraging women to love and accept their bodies just as they are—cellulite and all. But despite her charismatic personality and confidence, Graham didn't always feel so comfortable in the industry that she has successfully taken by storm.
In a recent interview with V Magazine, the supermodel opened up about how she's felt like an "outsider" in the modeling world and the difficulties she's faced for not conforming to society's ideal beauty standard.
"For so long I have been an outsider because of my size," she told the mag. "And I think that fashion has always in some way catered to celebrities or to a thinner idealistic model." Having understood that going into her career, Graham says she was determined to break that mold. "I think now it's changing because of voices like mine," she said. We most definitely agree.
Putting her words into action, Graham founded the modeling agency ALDA back in 2014 to promote inclusivity in fashion. "[It's] a collective of models that embrace this idea that beauty exists without regard to color, size, or any number of categories within our industry rooted in exclusion," she explained. "In our shared pasts, we were always all told, 'You're just catalog girls. You are never going to be on the covers, you will never be able to be who you want.'"
"Ultimately, what we do is encourage women to be proactive about themselves because, now more than ever, it is time to build up and support the women around you and encourage each other to be who you want to be, to not take no for an answer, and to not let society's stereotypes take you down."
She's truly a girl after our #LoveMyShape hearts.