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Ashley Graham strips down in black and white

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A beautiful black and white photo gallery of her, wearing nothing!

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Ashley Graham, a great inspiration for many women who struggle with their body. A model, spokesperson and a real sex symbol. Ashley Graham strips down in black and white in V Magazine. And she also will be ‘naked’ in this interview with Tracee Ellis Ross for V magazine. PHOTOGRAPHY: MARIO SORRENTI

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There’s so much I want to talk to you about! Let’s just dive in. When did you make a decision to love the skin you’re in? Was it something that you found your way to, or was there a particular moment?
“It would be so much easier to be like, This is the date, time, and experience I had, but there really isn’t one. It was more about experiences in my life of devaluing the fact that I was an average, normal girl living in the city. But being told, ‘You’re fat, You’re ugly’ or ‘You’re just not good enough,’ and trying to live in these model standards, that was my normal. I think I hit bottom around 18. I was disgusted with myself and told my mom I was coming home. And she told me, “No, you’re not, because you told me that this was what you wanted and I know you’re supposed to do this. It doesn’t matter what you think about your body, because your body is supposed to change somebody’s life.” To this day that sticks with me because I’m here today and I feel that it’s okay to have cellulite.”

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In our culture it’s a big, ugly word, but it’s such a normal part of the human body. As women, we’re taught to see through the eyes of other people instead of our own.
“I remember my first signs of cellulite, in middle school. I remember telling my mom, “Isn’t it disgusting? It’s so ugly.’ She pulled her pants down and said, ‘Look, I have it, too.” And I was like, “Gasp!” She looked at me, then at it, and just rolled her eyes. She didn’t tell me that it’s beautiful or ugly. She just made it a nonissue. It doesn’t define my worth. If women like you and me continue to preach that, then I feel like younger girls are going to grasp it and they’re going to be like, ‘Who cares!’ ”

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Do you have a mantra you say to yourself when things get tough?
“Absolutely, I have many. I grew up in a very Christian home, so words have power. I took that with me into every area of my life. If you say, ‘I’m fat,’ that’s how you’re going to feel. If you say, ‘I’m stupid,” that’s how you’re going to start your day. I wake up sometimes and I feel like the fattest person alive, but I’m not going to let that affect the rest of my day. Say to yourself, ‘I like this day. I am bold, I am beautiful, and I am brilliant.’ For me, that hits the interior, the exterior, and it makes me feel smart.”

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Who are your role models?
“Growing up, I idolized Beyoncé, J-Lo, and the Spice Girls. I was a mix between Ginger and Scary Spice. I wore the Scary buns and Ginger’s slutty, leopard outfits. Today, I have two role models. One of them is my mom. Just seeing how happy she has been going through [life] and how she’s handled every curveball is like, That’s a women who has integrity and dignity and has been kind and generous to people around her. Business-wise, it’s Kathy Ireland. She’s OG. When she was younger and in Sports Illustrated she was like, I’m going to sell some socks and make a business. Now she has a billion-dollar company. Kathy Ireland, if you’re out there, I’m still trying to be your best friend. You’re on my vision board.”

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Read the whole interview here!


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