Ashley Graham is very comfortable in her body, but is not so comfortable with the label that seems to have become synonymous with her frame: plus size.
"When we’re supposed to be talking about diversity for women, it feels so divisive and purpose-defeating, giving us yet another label,” she tells British Vogue magazine of the term that is often used to describe models and celebrities who are a size 12 or over.
While 2016 has been good to Graham, she admits that she faced numerous hurdles when coming up in the fashion industry. "For 10 years I’d been told I was always going to be a catalogue girl, never a cover girl," she says. "Well, I got with IMG and did five covers in a year, boom, boom, boom."
#Repost @britishvogue ・・・ “For 10 years I’d been told I was always going to be a catalogue girl, never a cover girl. Well, I got with @imgmodels and did five covers in a year, boom, boom, boom. See, if you have a pretty face doors will open, but your job isn’t just to walk through them, it’s to get invited back." Read excerpts from @theashleygraham's #JanuaryVogue cover interview via the link in bio, plus get the issue on newsstands from Monday
The 28-year-old model has always been quite vocal about embracing her body, but was recently slammed on Instagram when a few of her followers thought she was losing weight. "Do I sometimes wish I were thinner? God, in the old days, absolutely I did, but now I feel that to lose weight would be disloyal to myself," she says. "A lot of who I am is connected to my size, and I am so happy with who I am.”
As for her recent success, Graham refuses to credit it all to just being a "pretty face."
"See, if you have a pretty face doors will open, but your job isn't just to walk through them, it's to get invited back," she explains. "Look, I hit the beauty jackpot, I get it, but that's not enough, you've got to have more to have longevity in this business. It's always been, ‘OK, so what can I do now?'"
Graham echoed similar sentiments when she spoke to ET in May. "I'm a woman, I am a model and I'm happy exactly where I am," she proclaimed.