It is safe to say that the name Ashley Graham is now synonymous to the words “body positivity.” The plus-size model has been making waves in the fashion industry ever since she broke into the scene through the now-viral Lane Bryant commercial back in 2010. After that, she would go on to make history as the first-ever plus-size model to appear on the cover of Sport’s Illustrated magazine.
Now Graham is looking back at her journey as a body image hero with her autobiography A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like, which she co-wrote with author Rebecca Paley. From getting scouted at a shopping mall in her native Nebraska to becoming a New York Fashion Week mainstay, Graham is leaving no stone unturned in this emotional and empowering book.
Ashley Graham Releases Book ‘A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like’
Ashley Graham has been on a whirlwind promotional tour for her new book where she opened up about the challenges that she had to conquer to get to where she is today. The model was candid about how she would receive fat-shaming critique by modeling agencies, industry insiders, and at one point, her own father.
“Constant criticism—that was my dad through and through,” Ashley said. “My father was a master of the cutting insult. His nickname for me was, ‘Duh,’ because he didn’t think I was very smart.”
To say that Graham proved her father wrong would be an understatement. She’s exemplified what hard work and perseverance means by becoming a top model in the cutthroat fashion industry. Aside from her triumphant Sports Illustrated cover, Graham can proudly say that she is on top of her game with several modeling jobs, which, ten years ago, would have never been given to someone her size. She recently walked down the Fall 2017 runway for Michael Kors and was featured on the cover of Vogue‘s “diversity” issue alongside Gigi Hadid and Liu Wen. To top off her already successful year, Graham found herself included Time‘s list of Most Influential People. Fellow supermodel and body-positive activist Tyra Banks had the honor of writing her testimonial.
“It is time for everyone to bow down to the fashion industry’s—no, make that beauty’s—new queen,” Banks wrote in Time. “Every inch of Ashley Graham’s face tells the story of beauty—inside and out.”
Graham wrote this book because it served as like a therapy for everything she has gone through in life. She hopes that anyone who decides to read it feels empowered by her story as well.