Model Ashley Graham broke boundaries when she became the first plus size model to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated, but her trailblazing reputation didn’t stop there. Graham works as a “body activist,” frequently speaking out against body shamers with the creation of #BeautyBeyondSize. Today, Graham continues her body-positive activism in a powerful open letter titled, “Shamed If I Do, Shamed If I Don’t” in Lena Dunham’sLenny Letter.
See the best quotes below and real the full article here.
On dealing with trolls on social media: “They say you should never read the comments. But I simply can’t not do it. Social media has given me a voice and allowed me to further my platform as a body activist. Without it, I couldn’t have built the #BeautyBeyondSize community. My followers are the first people I turn to for feedback on anything I do.”
On an image of herself that went viral last week: “I didn’t give it a second thought when I posted it, but soon the image went viral. Not because of how good I looked wearing a high-end designer that doesn’t usually market to women my size, but because of people’s misguided views on women’s bodies and who owns the rights to them.”
On accepting her weight: “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. I work out not to lose weight but to maintain my good health. And anyway, if I did want to lose weight, it would be no one’s decision but my own.”
On the endless cycle of body shaming: “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.”
On representing women: “I am here for all women who don’t feel comfortable in their skin, who need a reminder that their unique bodies are beautiful. I’m very proud of my work as a model, and I’m even more proud of the work we’ve all done to raise awareness for body positivity and size diversity within the fashion industry.”
Her strong final words: “My body is MY body. I’ll call the shots.”
From: Harper’s BAZAAR US