Ashley Graham writes personal essay addressing double standards of body shaming
The inspirational plus size model shared her thoughts on body shamers.
Ashley Graham is probably the most popular plus size model in the world right now, and is a body positivity activist.
She has always been vocal about loving her curves and inspiring other women to do the same.
Her always-witty response to critics, her celebration of her beautiful body and her immense confidence would have you think that nothing ever gets in her way, but she is only human.
Ashley wrote a personal article for Lennyletter.com, a feminist site which is run by Girls star Lena Dunham and director Jenni Konner.
In the piece, Ashley discusses the contradiction that goes along with body shaming.
To most she is celebrated for being curvy, sexy and more identifiable to women than many other models, but by many she is called fat.
"I know the comments won't all be positive. I'm a confident woman with thick skin, and as a model in the public eye, I'm conditioned to accept criticism. But last week, I admit that I had a tougher time brushing off the haters." She wrote.
When the model posted a photo to her Instagram last week, she was no expecting the reaction she got.
"While I was on set filming America's Next Top Model, my hairstylist snapped a picture of me in a white knit skirt, matching crop top, and an amazing Balmain leather jacket that I absolutely loved. It was one of those photos where you look and say to yourself, "YESSSS, HONEY! I look damn good!"
I didn't give it a second thought when I posted it, but soon the image went viral. Not because of how good I looked wearing a high-end designer that doesn't usually market to women my size, but because of people's misguided views on women's bodies and who owns the rights to them."
She goes on to explain that while being called fat is hard, being criticised for losing weight is just as difficult.
Here are some of the comments she received about how she looked.
"Knowing my angles is one thing, but I must be a magician to make people think I went from a size 14 to a size 6 in a week!" She said
"To some I'm too curvy. To others I'm too tall, too busty, too loud, and, now, too small — too much, but at the same time not enough."
"When I post a photo from a "good angle," I receive criticism for looking smaller and selling out. When I post photos showing my cellulite, stretch marks, and rolls, I'm accused of promoting obesity. The cycle of body-shaming needs to end. I'm over it."
The blatant contradiction in the criticism Ashley receives is ridiculous. It seems that while we are happy to celebrate diversity and a women who loves her body, we are as quickly to judge her if that body changes even slightly.
Although she goes on to say that she did not lose any weight, she asks what the issue would be if she did lose weight, just as there should be know issue in a traditionally thin person putting on some weight.
"No matter how many empowerment conferences, TED talks, and blog posts are out there, women keep tearing one another down over physical appearance. Body shaming isn't just telling the big girl to cover up. It's trying to shame me for working out.
It's giving "skinny" a negative connotation. It's wanting me to be plus size, or assuming I'm pregnant because of some belly bulge. What type of example are we setting for young girls and their self-esteem if grown adults are on Instagram calling other women "cowards" for losing weight, or "ugly" for being overweight?"
The model who's full letter can be read here finished with a very simple message, which can be applied to any circumstance where a woman's body is being discussed.
"My body is MY body. I'll call the shots."
Ashley Graham, we salute you.