Ashley Graham, y’all…
I mean, could she possibly be any more perfect?
If you don’t know who Ashley Graham is, then you have probably been living a life completely disconnected from all things fashion-related. Not only is Ashley one of the most famous models currently in the business, but she has become an icon and a powerful voice for self-acceptance and body positivity. I have been a huge fan of Ashley Graham ever since she first made headlines for gracing the pages of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition in an advertisement for SwimsuitsForAll in the first ever ad to feature a plus-sized model. The following year, I cheered when I found out she would also be the first ever plus-sized model to be on the cover of the magazine.
So, let’s forget all my problems with a sports magazine who regularly publishes an edition simply to put beautiful women on display for an audience of almost entirely male subscribers for just a minute. Ashley Graham has done so much more than model bikinis for Sports Illustrated, and her memoir highlights the incredible accomplishments she has experienced and the dedication and determination she possessed in order for those accomplishments to be achieved.
Ashley Graham is a fashion icon, but her journey hasn’t been easy. However, her attitude throughout that journey truly blew me away, and her book was more inspiring than I expected. Although I already had a lot of respect for Graham, reading her book made me adore her even more. She writes with a voice that makes me want to be friends with her, and her tone of optimism throughout the book made this such a pleasant read.
Sure, she encountered difficulties, but if you are looking for seedy drama in her past, keep looking. Graham’s story is devoid of the scandal that many memoirs contain, and that’s actually very refreshing. I was surprised by how much of an importance religion has had (and continues to have) on her, but she discusses it in a manner that is not preachy at all.
I didn’t think it was possible to love Ashley Graham more than I already did, but I do, and it’s because her book reveals that she really IS as hard-working, sweet-natured, and positive as she seems. For almost my entire life, I have looked at my own body and criticized every bump, dimple, and roll. Ashley Graham has shown me that beauty comes in all sizes, and I get a little less critical of my reflection with each glance. For that, she will always be one of my heroes.
Yeah, yeah…cheesy statement. She’s Ashley Graham. She’s worth sacrificing my eloquence for a cheesy line here and there. 🙂
Also, I snagged an autographed copy of her book, which makes it even more valuable to me. ❤