Ashley Graham Stands Up for Plus-Sized Women at the Miss USA Pageant
"What is stopping us from having a very curvaceous woman come in and win?"
Model and activist, Ashley Graham, has become a voice for curvaceous women (see why she has a problem with the plus-size label), making her the unofficial ambassador for the body positivity movement, a title she has definitely lived up to.
The young role model knows an opportunity to speak out when she sees one. Last night, Graham hosted the backstage segment of this year's Miss USA pageant, covering the behind-the-scenes excitement with all 52 contestants. During the swimsuit competition, she stole a quick moment to say a few words about a cause that is close to her heart. "Pageants now, I'm hoping, are going to start putting curvy and plus-sized women in front of the camera," she said.
Still, Graham told People that she felt ecstatic about the opportunity to host the event. "The fact that they've asked me to come and speak backstage means that there is more feeling of diversity of beauty," she said. "It's opened up this door and this question of 'Well, why haven't we had anybody? What is stopping us from having a very curvaceous woman come in and win Miss USA or even be a contestant?'"
The show's co-host and creative producer, Julianne Hough, expressed similar sentiments to USA Today regarding the bathing suit competition. "There's def some work I think still to be done, that's where we've been talking with the producers. In the next few years, we may grow from that, but let's see where this year goes."