Ashley Graham, one of the most popular plus size models in the industry right now has appeared on the covers of fashion magazines such as Vogue, Glamour and Elle. Born in Nebraska, USA she was discovered by the I & I agency whilst shopping in an American mall in 2000. Her career started when she signed a deal with Ford Models, then in 2007 she was profiled in Vogue magazine which really got her name out there. In 2009 Ashley featured in the Glamour editorial “These Bodies are Beautiful at Every Size” along with other plus size models. Throughout her career she has worked alongside companies such as Levi’s, Macys, Simply Be and Calvin Klein creating memorable campaigns. In more recent years she has been on the cover of the June 2014 cover of Elle and in 2016 was even the first plus size model to appear on Sports Illustrated – the swimsuit edition – which was a great achievement for her in this modern industry.
“Why Ashley’s our Girl”
Now in 2017 she has bagged herself a cover page on Vogue and an article called “Why Ashley’s our Girl”. This great piece was written by Scarlett Conlon, a news editor at Vogue. She believes Ashley has got the looks, style and energy to be seen on the front page of Vogue. Ashley stated in the interview “For 10 years I’d been told I was always going to be a catalogue girl, never a cover girl. Well, I got with IMG and did five covers in a year, boom, boom, boom". Showing she has the charisma to keep becoming better in the industry.
As well as being a plus size model she is also a body activist. She wanted to get into the industry, yet she didn’t want to get into the industry as a size 2 or 4. Her way of doing this was through putting her own name out there, posting all over social media using the hashtag “#BeautyBeyondSize” which is what she stood for and believed in. 10 years on and she still stands strong against that which is hard in such a critical industry, she is a modern day super model. In the 2017 New York fashion week 27 plus size models walked the run way and this number should continue to increase over years.
She has travelled around high schools giving talks about body acceptance to teenagers and how she believes its ok not have a stereotypical look and be different from others. As well as being a body activist she has worked alongside the Themba Foundation in South Africa supporting the orphaned and those suffering from starvation. Putting so much of her spare time into supporting others it shows she cares about making a change in the modern day. In 2016 she spoke some great words at Beautycon with a memorable quote “There’s no reason we need to start telling women who they are because of a number inside of their pants”. She is an inspiration to women all over the world and will hopefully continue to embrace her look for many years.