Ashley Graham is known as one of the top plus-size models in the world, but she may not be particularly fond of the title.
"The things that I don't necessarily like about it is all the negative stigmatisms that go with the word plus size -- you're fat, you're lazy, you have no drive, no determination, you're constantly eating," Graham told ET. "Honey, I work out. I work out three days a week. I lift. I do barre. I do it all. It's the stereotypes. That's what I really don't like. I am me. Take it or leave it."
Despite other people's skewed perceptions, Graham has never been one to give in to the negative preconceptions thrown on her.
"I don't know how many times I've been asked to lose weight," Graham said. "It's been too many to remember. I even had one agent that would fan money in my face and say, 'You would make a lot more of this if you just dropped the L-Bs, baby."
Instead, Graham kept healthy and broke boundaries in the modeling industry by just being herself. Now, Graham is also a business woman with a new lingerie line for Addition Elle, which is available at Nordstrom.com
and will show at KIA STYLE360 during New York's Fashion Week, and a TED talker
with a strong message.
"True beauty comes from within," Graham said during a TED Talk on body acceptance earlier this year. "Never let anybody tell you that you can't."
That inspirational speech resonated with many and made a definite change in one girl's life.
"I actually just got an email a couple of weeks ago from a girl who had been bulimic for six years," Graham said. "She woke up and emailed me saying, 'Today I woke up and decided to not throw up, because I just watched your TED Talk.' It gives me chills because it's like, 'Okay, I'm doing something right.' I'm not just in this fashion world just being a sexy plus-size model, or having a lingerie line. It's more than that. I'm making an impact and I'm letting women know it doesn't matter what size, age, or race you are. It really truly is about being comfortable in your own skin."