Everyone knows that model Ashley Graham aims to change the conservation women have about their bodies. She seeks to inspire women to show off the parts of their bodies that they’d rather hide. She has succeeded in her career as a model and spokesperson by being on the cover of magazines such as Elle and Sports Illustrated and giving an inspiring TedTalk about body image. Through her experiences, Graham has had to overcome some body image issues herself. In her new web series, she dives into the details of her fight against negative body image and pregnancy.
A few months ago, Graham posted a photograph to Instagram showing her “new” stretch marks after announcing her pregnancy. On her web show Fearless with Ashley, she explained how she wanted the picture to be empowering to other pregnant women, but instead, she said that she “just felt terrible” about it. Trying to hold back tears, she talked about how she reassured herself that the picture was meant for other women and could help those feeling the same as she does.
Since becoming pregnant, Graham has opened up about the frustrations she has with her body. Even if she is seen as “plus-size”, she is still getting used to the weight she has gained during her pregnancy. She explains that she’s had “to come into this new world of body confidence.”
As her body continues to change, she constantly has to relearn to love her body. In the same web show, Graham and her guest Taylor Hoit, a mother of four, spoke about body image and pregnancy. Hoit told Graham that her last pregnancy with twins has hit her the hardest because she feels like her body hasn’t “bounced back”. She then told herself that she was wrong to think about that and should focus on the fact that she just gave birth to twins! Hoit also posted a picture to Instagram (after Graham) commenting on her 10-week postpartum body. Many viewers commented positively about the image and praised Hoit for posting it.
Many, if not all, pregnant women can relate to Graham (and Hoit) because pregnancy literally changes their bodies, and it’s difficult to get back to what they were. From enlarged breasts to wider hips and everything in between, pregnancy does a number to any woman’s body. Graham hopes that by showing her self confidence and appreciation for her body, her followers will stop worrying about how much their bodies weigh and be amazed by what their bodies can do.