There are so many reasons to love model and "every" body advocate Ashley Graham, but it looks like we just found yet another. Even though she gives off crazy-confident vibes in public and consistently proves that she's not only hilarious and smart but also fit as hell, Graham isn't afraid to get real about dealing with self-doubt. (BTW, we also have to give her major props for proving that she's not ashamed of her cellulite.)
"I wake up sometimes and I think 'I'm the fattest woman alive,'" Graham said during an interview with People. "But it's really about how you handle it when you wake up." For anyone who has struggled with body image issues, this feeling might sound all too familiar. So how does she deal with it? "I look in the mirror and I have my affirmations. And mine are simple. 'You are bold. You are brilliant, and you are beautiful.'" And she doesn't stop there."If my lower pooch is really puffing out that day, I say 'Lower pooch you are cute.' And we have a moment. And if the hips are really popping I say 'I love you too hips.'" Now that's how you turn something negative into a positive real quick.
Using affirmations can help women find their worth internally instead of through how other people view them, Graham told ITV's Lorraine. "I tell young girls all the time," she said. "I'm like first of all, your likes is not your worth. You worth has to come from within."
Graham's powerful method of zeroing in on any physical characteristics she's feeling insecure about and consciously declaring her love for them is a tactic that anyone can use. Research shows that repeating positive affirmations can do everything from help reduce stress to improve your overall health. What's more, positive thinking can also help you stick to your healthy habits, according to one recent study. Seems like a pretty good idea to us—simply tell yourself how much you adore your strong thighs or your unique nose and repeat as necessary.
As for why she's sharing this genius trick with the world, the model told People that part of the effort to improve body image for young women and girls is having more public figures speak out on these sometimes uncomfortable topics. "Having more role models, more women who are like 'Yeah, I have cellulite. Yeah, it's even on my arms, not just my legs. My butt is a really bizarre shape but you know what, whatever, I'm just going to go rock it.' I think if we had more role models like that, that were really just speaking their truth about their body and the skin that they're in, then maybe young America would be different," she explained. She makes a really good point—fat shaming does *not* work, so why not give acceptance and self-love a try? (If you're not sure where to start, try one of these healthy affirmations on for size.)