Ashley Graham (model)
Born/Date of Birth: 30 October, 1987
Place of Birth: Lincoln, Nebraska, United States
Years active: 2000–present
Spouse(s): Justin Ervin (m. 2010)
Dress size: 16
Height: 5 ft 9 1⁄2 in (177 cm)
Hair color: Brown
Eye color: Brown
Agency: IMG Models
Ashley Graham (born October 30, 1987) is an American model. She has appeared on the cover of fashion magazines such as Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Glamour, and Elle; and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. In addition, she appeared in several Levi's campaigns. Graham has appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Late Show with James Corden, Entertainment Tonight, and CBS News, and was interviewed by NPR about plus-size modeling.
When Ashley Graham was in eighth grade, she moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, with her family. Growing up, Graham was diagnosed with ADD and dyslexia. She has two younger sisters. She attended Scott Middle School from 1999 to 2002 and attended Lincoln Southwest High School from 2002 to 2005. She was identified in 2000 by the I & I agency while shopping at Oak View Mall in Omaha, Nebraska.
In 2001, Graham signed a deal with Wilhelmina Models, after attending a model convention. In 2003, she signed a deal with Ford Models. During her early career, she appeared in YM magazine. In April 2007, she was profiled by Sally Singer of Vogue magazine. She appeared on the October 2009 issue of Glamour editorial "These Bodies are Beautiful at Every Size," along with plus-size models including Kate Dillon Levin, Amy Lemons, Lizzie Miller, Crystal Renn, Jennie Runk and Anansa Sims. In 2010, Graham appeared in a controversial Lane Bryant TV commercial. The commercial received over 800,000 views on YouTube and was covered by news outlets such as The Huffington Post and the New York Post. On May 31, 2010, she appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, to address the controversy.
In December 2010, Graham also appeared in an editorial for Bust magazine. She appeared in several Levi's campaigns, notably Curve ID SS 2011 with Sabina Karlsson, Ana Lisboa, Marquita Pring and McKenzie Raley, and Boyfriend Collection F/W 10 with Rachel Clark, Ana Lisboa, Anais Mali, Marquita Pring and Ashley Smith. Graham has appeared in several Marina Rinaldi campaigns: Spring/Summer 2012, Fall/Winter 2012 denim, and Fall/Winter 2012 sport. Other clients include Addition Elle, Bloomingdale's, Elomi lingerie, Evans, Hanes, Liz Claiborne Macy's, Nordstrom, Simply Be and Target. In December 2012, Graham was featured on two billboards in New York for Lane Bryant. At the end of that year, Graham was named the Full Figured Fashion Week's Model of the Year.
In 2013, Graham designed a lingerie line for Addition Elle, a Canadian plus-size clothing retailer. She also appeared on MTV's Made, as a coach for an aspiring plus-size model. She appeared on the May 2014 issue for the international Harper's Bazaar pre-fall collection and beauty editorial. She was the cover model on the June 2014 issue of Elle Quebec. In 2015, swimsuitsforall, a plus-size retailer for women's swimsuits, featured Graham in an advertisement in Sports Illustrated's annual Swimsuit Issue. The ad was part of swimsuitsforall's #CurvesInBikinis campaign. Graham was one of the first plus-size models to appear in the pages of the Swimsuit Issue. In 2016, she became the first plus-size model to appear on the cover of the Swimsuit Issue.
In 2016, Graham served as a backstage host for Miss USA 2016, Miss Universe 2016, Miss USA 2017, Miss Universe 2017 and Miss Universe 2018. In addition, she was an official judge of the reality show America's Next Top Model transmitted by VH1.
In 2017, Graham released a book, A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like. In this memoir, she provides insight into her experiences as a model and as an advocate for body positivity, and shares her prospects for the evolution of body image in years to come.
She also competed in an episode of Spike's Lip Sync Battle against Superior Donuts actor Jermaine Fowler. Graham won with performances of Shawn Mendes's "Treat You Better" and Shania Twain's "That Don't Impress Me Much". The episode aired on June 28, 2017.
Graham has been announced as the host of the second season of American Beauty Star.
Graham is a proponent of the body positivity and the Health at Every Size movements. In 2016, she became the first size 16 model to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Glamour described Graham's cover as "bringing size acceptance into the mainstream".
Graham gave a TED Talk advocating for self-acceptance with regards to body images, which included her looking into a full-length mirror and having a friendly chat with her body parts making comments such as: “Back fat, I see you popping over my bra today. But that’s all right. I’m gonna choose to love you.”
Graham has been praised by women on Instagram for sharing photos showing her cellulite. In an interview with Vogue, she said, "I definitely think that my body has changed many peoples’ lives. I’ve used my body as a tool to talk about taboo subjects, such as cellulite or being insecure about lower belly fat—and also [how to] talk life into your body and have an affirmation kind of conversation with yourself. And I know the lives that have been changed: young girls and even women my age who have written me and said, 'I never loved the skin that I was in until I heard your journey'." Graham has stated she does not prefer the term "plus-size", saying, "I think that when you use the word 'plus-size' you're putting all these women into a category: 'You don't eat well.' 'You don't work out.' 'You could care less about your body.' 'You're insecure.' 'You have no confidence.' And that is none of this (pointing at her body)"... The fashion industry may persist to label me as 'plus-size,' but I like to think of it as 'my size."
Graham has participated in humanitarian missions in South Africa with the Themba Foundation.
She met her husband, Justin Ervin, a videographer, in church in 2009. They married in 2010.
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