Ashley Graham was told at age 12 by a photographer to lose half her weight

Ashley Graham provokes a lot of strong opinions. People seem to either love her messaging or think she’s supremely annoying. I give her major props for the career she’s built as a plus size model, because unfortunately, it’s still a big deal in the fashion industry. I also feel like she’s authentic, like we really get to see her and not a persona she’s putting on, and I appreciate that. After hosting HGTV’s Barbie Dreamhouse Challenge over the summer, Ashley is now gracing the cover of Vogue Germany’s September issue. The cover is gorgeous. I’m a little rusty on my German, but the Daily Mail translated some of the interview for us, including a photographer’s “advice” when she was still a preteen:

Ashley Graham was featured on the cover of the September Issue of Vogue Germany.

The 35-year-old model wore a brightly multicolored outfit while posing for the publication during an outdoor photoshoot.

The beauty industry figure, who recently showcased her physique in form-revealing swimwear, also sat down for an interview where she discussed various aspects of working in the fashion world.

Graham looked gorgeous in a purple sequin-covered dress that exposed her sculpted arms during her photoshoot.

In her interview, she talked about how she was body shamed when she started working as a model as a pre teen.

The social media personality added a bit of extra shine to her look with a pair of sparkling earrings.

Her voluminous brunette hair cascaded onto her back and paired well with the tones of her clothing.

Graham began her interview by speaking about the discrimination she had received as a result of her size during her early days in the fashion industry.

“One of the first photographers I worked with said to my mother, ‘If Ashley would lose weight and go from a size 12 to a size 6, she could work all the time.’”

She added: “I was 12-years-old then. I can imagine how young girls must feel about social media these days.”

The social media personality went on to state that she had always been fine with her size, especially during her younger years.

“I was very aware that my thighs were rubbing together, that my belly fat was bulging over my jeans, that my arms were bigger than my girlfriends,” she said.

Graham also discussed how she had learned to love her physique after becoming a mother of three.

“I don’t want to lie to myself and say: ‘Belly, after three children you look so great!’ But I can accept and love my body and thank it for giving birth to three healthy children,” she said.

[From Daily Mail]

When I was about 13 we received a piece of marketing mail from a plastic surgeon’s office, and for some reason it was addressed to me. My father was LIVID. Even though Ashley and her mother must have had discussions about body image and the modeling world (given she was starting at a young age), I do hope that at the very least this photographer made the comment to Ashley’s mother privately, and she shared it with her daughter years later. But I wouldn’t be surprised either if it was said tactlessly right in front of her.

“I was very aware that my thighs were rubbing together, that my belly fat was bulging over my jeans, that my arms were bigger than my girlfriends.” All of that was my experience growing up, too. With regards to the thigh situation, my cousin and I have affectionately dubbed it the chub-rub. I was never bullied for it by my peers, which I am truly grateful for, but it was an ever-present awareness. Like Ashley, I also shudder to think of what social media would have added to my adolescence. Carina made the point earlier this week, “just because a technology is powerful, that does not mean it is good.” She was referring to AI, but it definitely applies to social media as well. And let’s be real, the men running X (the artist formerly known as Twitter) and Instagram do not care a whit about the impact. They’re not exactly beacons of emotional intelligence themselves.

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