July 25, 2024

Year of the Woman: Plus size model and activist, an example of body positivity

In honor of the Year of The Woman, Utah State University Eastern is profiling women whose voice makes a difference. One of those voices is Ashley Graham, one of America’s most well known plus-size models and body activists.

Graham, started her modeling career at 13-years-old. Growing up in the fashion industry, she was continuously picked apart for her body and weight, which is common for anyone when they put themselves out there for the world to see, but what made Graham’s story different was that she was plus sized and curvy.

Like anyone would, she grew tired of the fashion industry telling her what was and wasn’t pretty and acceptable. Graham, soon began to notice herself seeking after other’s approval and looking for that acceptance she craved, but was never given. 

Graham, realized that the only way to receive the love and acceptance she was not only looking for but deserved, was by first loving herself. 

When you think of the word “model” what pops into your head? The ideal image that has been set in society to be model worthy is someone who is skinny, tall, flat chested, etc. In reality, the word model should include all shapes and sizes.

If you are a size 8 and up, you are considered to be a plus sized individual. Being considered plus-size would leave anyone feeling down. Why? Because of the negativity that has surrounded that term for so long, she believes.

We all know women are hard on themselves when it comes to the beauty standards of society. 

Graham, found that only 2% of the world’s women find themselves to be beautiful. 

We as women like to keep our flaws a secret because we are worried that we may not be accepted, or be able to accept ourselves because we’ve been told that the natural things that are considered to be “flaws” such as cellulite, acne, stretch marks, and even wrinkles aren’t beautiful, she writes.

She is an example to all individuals and is continuing to be a positive example when it comes to body positivity and loving every bit of how you were created through her social media platforms, Ted Talk, and debut as the first model her size on the cover of Vogue magazine and Sports Illustrated, along with many others. Graham, has made a goal to help other women to embrace themselves in love and to reclaim their body just as she has.