it’s ashley graham’s body and she calls the shots
The body activist pens powerful essay after being criticised for being too fat - and too thin.
Ashley Graham has penned an essay for Lena Dunham's Lenny after she was criticised for sharing a photo in which she appeared slimmer than her size 16 frame.
Graham was subject to a series of angry comments following an Instagram post from the set of America's Next Top Model, with many suggesting the Plus is Equal advocate had -- you guessed it -- succumbed to the same industry pressure she has spent her entire career battling.
"According to the comments, some people were upset because I appeared to be slimmer. (Knowing my angles is one thing, but I must be a magician to make people think I went from a size 14 to a size 6 in a week!)," she writes in the essay. "The reality is I haven't lost a pound this year. In fact, I'm actually heavier than I was three years ago, but I accept my body as it is today."
She continues: "To some I'm too curvy. To others I'm too tall, too busty, too loud, and, now, too small - too much, but at the same time not enough. When I post a photo from a 'good angle,' I receive criticism for looking smaller and selling out. When I post photos showing my cellulite, stretch marks, and rolls, I'm accused of promoting obesity. The cycle of body-shaming needs to end. I'm over it."
The 28-year old model -- who shot to fame back in February as the first plus size figure to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated -- goes on to say that, although her sixteen year career has inevitably seen her body "picked apart, manipulated, and controlled by others who don't understand it," it has also given her a platform to use her voice and make a difference.
"We can't create change until we recognize and check our own actions," she continues. "If you see another woman taking a selfie or a photo in her bathing suit, encourage her because she actually feels beautiful, don't give her the side eye because you think she's feeling herself too hard. Why waste time and energy spewing negativity?"
Read the essay in full here.
Text Matthew Whitehouse
Image Lauren Tamaki