plus sized model ashley graham immortalized as a barbie
With a round tummy and thighs that touch, this barbie represents another big step towards genuine body positivity.
It's been a busy year for Ashley Graham. Since becoming the first plus sized model (or, as she likes to call it, 'model') to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated in February, she has continued the fight for the acceptance and normalisation of different shaped women amidst a constant storm of criticism and backlash. Now, in an ultimate acknowledgment of her contribution to body-positivity, Ashley has not only been named one of Glamour's Women of The Year, she has also had a Barbie made in her likeness. Speaking to Fashionista, Ashley expressed her elation after Mattel informed her they'd need photos of her body from every single angle as part of the creation. In response to her doll, she explained, "I think the best part about my Barbie is her body. Not only because it's my body, but because it's a body that, until the beginning of this year, wasn't represented."
As a kid who played with Barbies that in no way reflected her body type as a young girl, Ashley is understandably thrilled. Her one stipulation in terms of the doll's body was that the thighs touched. She added, "If I had a Barbie that looked like this growing up, who knows what I would've thought about my thighs. I may not have hated them as much; I may not have thought they were so ugly."
Joining a small selection of fellow 'sheroes' and strong women who have been immortalised as Barbie Dolls, Ashley is the next in a line of figures successfully broadening the range of role models that a new generation of children will look to. These are important steps that shouldn't be taken for granted, as Ashley concludes, "it's really exciting that Barbie, who is an iconic figure in America, is now evolving into what we're actually talking about today. It's body positivity; it's inclusion; it's diversity. And I'm so ecstatic that they actually were totally up for making such a curvalicious babe."
Text Briony Wright