Who is Ashley Graham?
Ashley Graham is an American plus-size model and television presenter famous for becoming the first curvy model to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.
Nebraska, United States of America
Her early life and career beginnings
Ashley’s family moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, when she was in eighth grade. She has two younger sisters.
She attended Scott Middle School and Lincoln Southwest High School from 2002 to 2005.
Ashley’s modeling career began after the I & I agency discovered her at Oak View Mall in Omaha, Nebraska, at the age of twelve.
She signed a deal with Wilhemina Models and Ford Models in her early career years. She began appearing on ads and in magazines immersing herself in the modeling culture.
Her professional career life
Ashley moved to New York City to build her modeling career; however, she had difficulty landing roles because she was plus size. She merely featured in catalogs until Sally Singer of Vogue magazine profiled her. Her career began to kick off when she appeared in the October 2009 issue of Glamour editorial, These Bodies are Beautiful at Every Size, along with other plus-size models.
With more recognition coming her way, she appeared in an editorial for Bust magazine, in several Levi’s campaigns, Marina Rinaldi campaigns, and worked with Addition Elle, Evans, Hermes, Nordstrom, and what have you.
Her tenacity was finally paying off. By the end of 2012, her burgeoning career saw her feature on two billboards in New York for Lane Bryant. Later the same year, she became the Full Figured Fashion Week’s Model of the year.
She designed a lingerie line for Addition Elle, a Canadian plus-size clothing store chain, and served as a backstage host for Miss USA 2016, Miss Universe 2016, Miss USA 2017 as whatnot. She was also an official judge on America’s Next Top Model.
She appeared in DNCE’s song video Toothbrush in 2016 and competed in Spike’s Lip Sync Battle against Jermaine Fowler. Ashley won the performances. She has walked for Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, H&M, Dolce and Gabbana, Rag and Bone, and other international designers.
As the first size 16 model to feature on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, it’s no surprise that she released a book in 2017 about her modeling experiences and as an advocate for body positivity. She appeared on the cover of Vogue in 2017 as the first plus-size model to grace the coveted magazine.
Appearance in television commercials
Ashley Graham took part in a controversial Lane Bryant TV commercial that made headlines in the Huntington Post and the New York Post. She later addressed the controversy on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
Ashley‘s personal life
Ashley and her husband, Justin Ervin, met at a church in 2009 and married in 2010. They have two children and announced in September 2021 that they are expecting twin boys.
She is vocal about body shaming and preaches body positivity and acceptance on her Instagram page of 15.1 million followers.
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