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Aug 10, 2016 Posted in News
Ashley Graham is no stranger to fat shaming. When she became the first plus-size model to be featured in the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated, there was a lot of backlash. Even now, months later, Graham is constantly facing body shaming. But, it is not just fat shaming anymore.
Image: Instagram/Ashley Graham
Recently, Graham posted a picture on her Instagram that received some mixed comments. While some people called Graham gorgeous in the photo, others criticized her appearance. There were a number of people that claimed that Graham was giving into the “Hollywood standard” of skinny being prettier. Another user claimed she was making “backstabbing dollars” by turning her back the plus-size community that she supports.
While Graham normally ignores negative comments about her appearance, this time it was too much and she was done staying quiet about it all. She penned an open essay on Lenny Letter, explaining how she felt amazing in the picture she had posted. But, she never expected it to go viral in the way it did, with people leaving such cruel comments and accusing her of being skinny, a liar, and a fake.
But the fact of the matter is she has not lost any weight in the last year; if anything, she has gained weight over the last three years. The catch is that she knows her best angles and uses them to her advantage in photographs, just like so many other people do. She went on to add that she works out not to lose weight, but to simply maintain her overall health.
People have accused her of everything; of being too curvy, too tall, too big, and even too small. They accused her of selling out if a photo makes her look thin and of promoting obesity if a photo shows cellulite. In her open essay, she questions why women feel the need to attack each other based on what their bodies look like. She also questions exactly what sort of message women are sending to young girls when they are body shaming their fellow women.
Regardless, she is over all of the shaming that is taking place. She is proud of everything she has accomplished so far, especially when it comes to promoting body diversity and giving women something to relate to. But she refuses to change just because some people are unhappy with how she currently looks—and neither should anybody else, she adds. Like so many other women, she says that your body is your own, and nobody can tell you what you can and cannot do with it.
Fat shaming and body shaming, in general, are wrong and are things that nobody should be subjected to. Ashley Graham stresses this fact in her open letter and reminds everyone that she is more than just her size. She is not modeling just for the plus size women in the world, she is modeling for all women who have ever felt uncomfortable in their own skin and who need a reminder of just how beautiful and unique they all are.