The definition of “beautiful” for some people is tall, slim and blond, just like for most of the models we see. However, we dare to claim that people in this category of thinking will have a different perspective when they see a woman like Ashley Graham. She is an oversized model, and with her thick body ensemble, Graham is undeniably sexy because she has all the curves in the right places. As an early bloomer, she started her modeling career as a teenager, and today she is one of the handfuls of women who have managed to get to the top of the oversized modeling industry and become a force to be reckoned with both inside and outside the industry.
Information About Her Early Life
Born as Ashley Ann Graham on October 30, 1987, in Lincoln, Nebraska, the model enrolled at Scott Middle School in 1999 but left three years later to move to Southwest High School in Lincoln, Nebraska. Although details about her father are not publicly known, it is common knowledge that her mother’s name is Linda Graham.
Ashley had a very difficult childhood due to her body, which began to change when she was very young. She describes this experience in her memoirs entitled A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty & Power Look Like (via Hollywood Reporter), she revealed that her body was already evolving into femininity and her breasts were growing fast when she was just a 4th grader. It was at this time that men began to take notice of her, and at the age of 14, she began to get sexual advances from them.
Although Ashley Graham didn’t know how to deal with the situation at her age, she enjoyed the attention she received. In her memoirs, she reflected on this phase of her life and said that as a 12-year-old girl she loved to flirt and be flirted with, no matter how inappropriate, unwanted or confusing it was. As far as she was concerned, any form of attention from a man was good. Later, however, she could see that this desire for love was caused by the fact that she was deprived of fatherly love.
Just as her body was a point of attraction for men, she was often bullied by her female peers in high school, as she was given names like “cottage cheese thighs” and “thunder thighs”. Still, in her memoirs, Ashley revealed one of her worst high school memories when her boyfriend broke up with her for two crazy reasons – she decided not to have sex with him and he feared she would become as fat as his mother. Ashley was just 16 years old at the time.
In addition to her growing up problems, the oversized model was also diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADD) and dyslexia. Fortunately, she was able to rise to her challenges and use them as a stepping stone to the success she enjoys today.
Ashley Graham At A Glance
Journey To Becoming An Icon In The Modeling Industry
Sometime in 1999, Ashley went shopping at the Oak View Mall in Omaha, Nebraska, which she had never seen before. Her presence there that day and time would mark the beginning of her career as a model. While she was there, an international modeling agency called I & I discovered her, and that was it! Thanks to her already developed feminine features, she started modeling bras for a brand from the Midwest and without delay was placed in the “plus-size” category. She signed her first contract as a model in 2000. The following year she signed her second contract with Wilhelmina Models after attending a modeling convention, and in 2003 she signed a contract with Ford Models. At the beginning of her career, she also appeared in YM magazine.
When she saw that she had a chance to become a hit in the modeling industry, young Ashley Graham moved to New York City as a teenager to pursue this career path. However, the freedom she had all by herself almost destroyed her when she started experimenting with drugs and alcohol and had to be taken to the hospital for an overdose of alcohol. Nevertheless, she was successful in her career at that time and earned a whopping $100,000 at the age of seventeen. Unfortunately, she spent all her money to finance her lavish/solemn lifestyle.
Although she was good at her job and made good money from it, she still had to deal with negative feedback from agents and other models who tried to convince her to lose weight to be super successful in the modeling industry. Since she could no longer stand the pressure, Ashley, who was 18 years old at the time, called her mother to tell her that she would stop modeling and come back home.
However, instead of encouraging her to throw in the towel, her mother gave her the perfect solution, encouraging her to change her attitude to the situation. From then on, the model would stand in front of the mirror and love her image, reminding herself that she is bold, brilliant and beautiful. As a result, she stopped comparing and competing with other women in the industry and began to focus on what she was doing and how she could influence her career. It turned out that this was the magic she needed to excel in her career.
Details Of The Model’s Career Rise
After she understood that she could have everything she wanted, Ashley’s career soon got underway. In the fourth month of 2007, she was portrayed by the Sally Singer of Vogue magazine, and in 2009 she appeared in the October issue of Glamour Editorial along with six other oversized models. The following year, she appeared in a Lane Bryant TV commercial, where she wanted to meet her boyfriend in lingerie and a trench coat for lunch.
This became the subject of intense controversy, as the commercial was considered “too daring” for television and was almost taken off the air unless people intervened shouting that it was a disgrace. Yet Ashley Graham sees in this incident what put her on the map.
The versatile model has had international assignments where she has worked for Christian Siriano, H&M, Prabal Gurung, Rag and Bone, Dolce and Gabbana, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Love Mag, and other top designers. In December 2010 she appeared on the editorial page of Bust magazine and in 2011 she appeared with other models in various Levi’s campaigns. The models she selected for Levi’s campaign worked for Christian Siriano, H&M, Prabal Gurung, Rag and Bone, Dolce and Gabbana, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, and Love Mag, among others.
Ashley Graham was also involved in some Marina Rinaldi campaigns in 2012 and has also worked for other brands including Target, Elomi Lingerie, Addition Elle, Simply Be, Bloomingdale’s, Liz Claiborne Macy’s, Evans, Nordstrom, and Hanes. In the last month of 2012, the prolific model staffed two billboards in New York for Lane Bryant, and when this year ended, Ashely worked so hard to earn the Full Figured Fashion Week’s Model of the Year 2012.
The following year, beautiful Asley showed the world a different side of her by designing a lingerie line for Addition Elle, a Canadian clothing retailer that targets full-figured women. She later appeared on the MTV self-improvement reality TV series Made as a trainer for oversized women who aspired to be models. In 2014, she appeared in the May issue of Harper’s Bazaar in the Pre-Fall Collection and Beauty Editorial, and in June she made the cover of Elle Quebec for that month’s issue.
In February 2015, an oversized women’s swimwear retailer known as Swimsuits For All launched a campaign with the slogan #CurvesInBikinis and featured Asley Graham in an ad in this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. This made her the first model in her size category to achieve this feat. She also featured in the 2016 issue of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, making her the first plus-size model to achieve this in history. She also made it onto Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid models in 2017.
As Ashley gained international recognition for her work as a model, it was an obvious choice for her to appear twice as a backstage hostess of Miss USA and three times as Miss Universe. She was also one of the jury members of the show America’s Next Top Model and has written a book entitled A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Look Like, which was published in 2017. She is also preparing to host the second season of the television show American Beauty Star.
How Did Ashley Graham’s Body Stats Aid Her Career?
If you ask me, the plus-size modeling industry is not an industry that anyone can just walk into just because they are on the big side. There are certain criteria that aspiring plus-size models must meet, and these include a height of at least 5’7″ to 6″, the ability to wear at least dress size 10, and shapely, well-defined legs. They must also have a proportional body shape, which is very popular with oversized women.
Back to Ashley Graham! Judging by her looks, it is very obvious why she made it this far as a model. With her voluptuous physique, adorned with curves that men would like to see in a really fat woman, she more than meets the above requirements.
Ashley Graham is quite tall, standing at 175 cm (5 feet 9 inches). This height is used to carry a beautiful body weighing 91 kg before her weight loss, so her exact weight is not known at this time. Generally, however, it should be noted that Ashley’s body measurements are said to be breast-42? hip-30″ and waist- 46?. She also wears shoe size 10 (US) and dresses size 16.