You’ve probably seen Ashley Graham on the cover of your favorite magazine or America’s Next Top Model cycle 23. She is an American model and body activist who is known for breaking the boundaries as being the first plus-size model on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit in 2016.
In a new video posted by Glamour Magazine, Graham coaches four women — Karolena, Anastasia, Alyssa, and Kaitlyn in their first photo shoot. They all come from different backgrounds and are all shapes and sizes. It’s a dream come true experience, but not only is it a photo shoot with a world-renowned model, it’s actually a lingerie shoot.
The women were obviously nervous and uncomfortable being in front of cameras and Graham, in lingerie, but soon warmed up to it and were posing and dancing. Literally. One woman, Alyssa, opened up about her anorexia and how her haunting thoughts have never really left her mind. She reveals that she was offered high waisted bottoms but turned them down and wore regular bottoms. It was that confidence that pushed her to have as much fun in the shoot as she did.
Another woman, Kaitlyn, tells Graham about her medical condition which has brought many scars that she has always been self-conscious about. She had these preconceived ideas of what was beautiful and never saw herself fitting into that mold because of her body and her scars. After finally letting go of her insecurities, she opened up and took beautiful photos.
After the shoot was done, the women got to see their photos, where you can see the shock on their faces as they view them. As Graham saw these photos and the women’s reactions, she started tearing up, overwhelmed with the positivity. She then says, “I think of all the young girls out there that are so insecure with their bodies. They see you and they say, ‘If she can do it, I can do it.'”
People just think the body revolution is just a trend and a fad, and you guys, it’s not.
This is when she fully breaks down. She has to take a minute to collect herself and then goes on to say, “People just think the body revolution is just a trend and a fad, and you guys, it’s not. It goes from big girls to little girls. It goes from Spanish girls to black girls. It goes from white girls to young girls. It’s everybody in between. If we keep having this conversation, if we keep talking about the things that society has said are ugly, the things that we don’t see in media, that is what is gonna change.”
It’s with their positivity and determination for change that we plus size women and girls will finally get a chance to be recognized like all others. It’s time for a change, and with women like Ashley Graham, that change will happen.