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.
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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."
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."
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"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.