Why we need to thank Ashley Graham
Ashley Graham She has the face of Eva Mendes, with a dash of Cindy Crawford's sensual intensity and Bridgett Bardot's lips
She's quickly becoming an icon and she seems to have built her brand overnight. She is a boon for lush looking girls. She's recently graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, which caused a sensational stir. Former models who starved for years to stay razor thin were outraged that a size 16 woman would be given a chance at such a prestigious and iconic shot, but their cries only added to fervour of media attention surrounding the SI cover and the appetite for Ashley.
Suddenly she was everywhere.
People Magazine highlighted her fashion choices on the Red Carpet in their scroll of " hits and misses" amongst the other lollipop head celebrities, without a sniff of judgment.
Her face and body was also thrust into the media spotlight again when she panelled the Oscar Red Carpet for E! with the matriarch of the Kardashian clan Kris Jenner. She wore a killer, super-revealing red dress. Ashley made no apologies for her overt sexiness and proudly owned it.
Her confidence dared her haters to chirp ...like the Kardashians, like Trump, every mention, negative or otherwise has made her headline news. She has become a Facebook chat darling and social media only bolsters her fame.
Ashley was listed in the Art & Style in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 issue, her image has become a sales juggernaut. She's so much more then just a pretty face, she is an entrepreneur with hopes of someday finding the same commercial success as Jessica Simpson.
Her plus size lingerie lines for Addition Elle earned 1.6 million dollars in sales. I loved her 50 Shades of Grey line with almost bondage inspired curve-enhancing straps. Shockingly women like to buy clothes they can picture themselves wearing. Ashley fits the bill with a believable body, a triple D bra. A model that represents 50% of the American population of females who are a size 14 and above. She's also releasing another line of bridal lingerie. The line includes 12 items: classical sets, corsets, chemises and garters for stockings. It's expected to be another money-making hit.
Look for Ashley on the cover of this month's edition of Maxim, expect it to hit newsstands on April 5th. Expect the cover to stop men in their tracks. She looks so beautiful in fact. People griped she appeared too perfect, that she had been photoshopped, but Ashley has shot down the rumours saying she hadn't been digitally carved and the photos represented her body 100%. Statement Below: I'm beyond proud to be the first curvy woman on the cover of Maxim. I was not slimmed down on the cover, and Gilles Bensimon did an amazing job capturing my true figure in all of the photos. This is another major advancement for curvy women, especially those who work in the fashion industry who are working hard to get the recognition they deserve. I now encourage more publications and designers to put more diversity on their covers and runways. Let's continue to show that beautiful bodies come in different sizes and they should all be celebrated. Again controversy, which flooded twitter with pictures of the shoot, Ashley posed coyly on white bed sheets biting her lip. She wins, yet again.
The best thing about Ashley is how she is shifting the views and perspectives of society. Every magazine or commercial campaign she lands makes her image become normalized. A size 14/16 once condemned, and wrongly so. A larger frame does not guarantee that person is unhealthy. Difference body shapes should be visualized with appreciation and acceptance. She promotes that beauty comes in all shapes and all sizes and that's a win for everyone.