Ashley Graham is a well-known plus-size model from the United States. Ashley, who was born and raised in Nebraska, has had a rough upbringing. She has gone through a lot, from being confused about her sexual desires to being teased at school because of her weight. When she was in her teens, she was approached by ‘Wilhelmina Models,’ a well-known modeling agency in her native state, and was offered a contract. She appeared on the covers of a number of famous fashion magazines, including ‘Vogue’ and ‘YM,’ and became well-known for her representation of full-figured women.’ She was featured in a ‘Glamour’ publication titled ‘These Bodies are Beautiful at Every Size’ in 2009, and she was named ‘Full Figured Fashion Week’s Model of the Year’ by the end of 2012. She designed a lingerie line for ‘Addition Elle’ in 2013, and she is also an official judge on ‘America’s Next Top Model.’ In 2016, she became the first plus-size model to appear on the cover of the ‘Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.’
Childhood and Adolescence
Ashley Graham was born on October 30, 1987, in Lincoln, Nebraska. Her father works as a database marketer, while her mother stays at home. Ashley had two younger sisters when she was growing up. Even as a child, Ashley was a big girl. When she was in fourth grade, she went through puberty, which led to a lot of sexual assault.
Her father and she had a tumultuous relationship. In school, she was also subjected to body shaming. She was bullied a lot and was dubbed “thunder thighs” because of her disproportionately large thighs.
Ashley had problems as a result of the bullying she received at school. She was diagnosed with dyslexia and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Older guys began making sexual approaches toward her when she was 14 years old. Ashley’s mother became quite wary of these occurrences. She also hired Ashley’s younger sisters to yell “Mom! Mom!” if they saw an older man approaching Ashley at one point.
Ashley became fairly liberal about sex as she grew older, despite her early aversion to any sexual contact. This exacerbated her psychological problems.
When she was 12 years old, she was discovered by a talent agency at a Nebraska mall. Her mother should send some of Ashley’s images to a modeling agency, according to the agent. Ashley’s modeling career began at this point. Before graduating from ‘Lincoln Southwest High School’ in 2005, she was featured in a number of periodicals and billboards. She moved to New York to work as a full-time model soon after.
Career of Ashley
Her unusual physical structure made it difficult for her to find work in the beginning of her modeling career. She had proposals to appear as a catalogue girl for the first several years, but was told she would never be able to advance beyond that. ‘Ford Models’ made her an offer right away. Unfortunately, ‘Ford’ quickly shuttered their “plus-size” subsidiary. Ashley took a hit as a result of this, and she went to ‘IMG,’ another renowned modeling agency.
Her career took off quickly. In 2007, she was interviewed by Sally Singer of ‘Vogue’ magazine, which gave her one of her first major breaks. She was featured in the ‘Glamour’ magazine ‘These Bodies are Beautiful at Every Size’ in 2009. Kate Dillon Levin, Amy Lemons, Jennie Runk, and Anansa Sims were among the plus-size models featured in the ad.
She made headlines once more when she starred in a contentious ad for ‘Lane Bryant,’ which was later banned in numerous countries. The commercial had been viewed by over 800,000 people by the time it was pulled down from ‘YouTube.’ Leading American periodicals such as the ‘New York Post’ and ‘The Huffington Post’ covered the commercial.
She appeared on ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ to address the matter when it spiraled out of control. Despite being body-shamed by trolls on social media, the show made her a household celebrity in the United States, and people admired her for being confident in her own skin.
She was featured in an editorial for ‘Bust’ magazine in 2010. She later appeared in several ‘Levi’s’ and ‘Marina Rinaldi’ advertisements. ‘Addition Elle,’ ‘Bloomingdale’s,’ ‘Nordstrom,’ and ‘Target’ are among her most well-known clients. She was featured on large billboards for ‘Lane Bryant’ in New York in 2012.
She gradually rose to prominence as one of the most well-known plus-size models of today. By the end of 2012, she had won the ‘Full Figured Fashion Week Model of the Year’ title.
Ashley briefly dabbled in fashion design in 2013. She created a lingerie line for ‘Addition Elle,’ a plus-size clothes company based in Canada. In the same year, she appeared on ‘Made,’ a ‘MTV’ reality show in which she played a coach for a plus-size model. She was featured in the pre-fall collection and beauty pictorial in Harper’s Bazaar magazine in May 2014. She was then featured on the cover of the magazine ‘Elle Quebec.’
She was featured in a swimsuit issue of ‘Sports Illustrated’ magazine in 2015 as part of the ‘Swimsuit for All’ campaign. She was on the cover of ‘Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition’ the following year. She was the first plus-size model in the magazine’s history to accomplish the accomplishment. She also appeared in the music video for DNCE’s song “Toothbrush” that same year.
Ashley has hosted the ‘Miss USA 2016’ and ‘Miss Universe 2016’ pageants from the backstage. She did the same thing the next year for both contests. She’s also an official judge on the talent show ‘America’s Next Top Model,’ which airs on ‘VH1.’
Ashley’s book, ‘A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like,’ was published in 2017. The biography recounts her early struggles as a plus-size model and how she overcame them with self-assurance.
Personal Experiences of Ashley
Ashley Graham has always been an outspoken opponent of body shaming. She has delivered presentations in schools about body acceptance and body image. She has backed the ‘Health at Every Size Movement’ and has volunteered with the ‘Themba Foundation’ in South Africa.
Ashley frequently discusses the disadvantages of such blatantly sexual relationships, as her early relationships were largely sex-based. She states that once she found the right man, she didn’t have any sex with him until they married. In a church, she met videographer Justin Ervin. They dated for a long time before marrying in 2010.
Estimated Net Worth
Ashley Graham has a net worth of $10 million.