Ashley Graham is opening up about motherhood and ignoring critics in a new interview with Elle.
Actress Kristen Bell interviewed the model, who gave birth to her son Isaac in January, about combating mommy-shaming in society to raising her son amid the fight for racial justice in the United States.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Graham is spending time with her husband, Justin Ervin, and their 7-month-old on a farm in Nebraska, where she says she's gotten plenty of time to embrace life with Isaac.
"I gave birth just before quarantine, so I’ve been able to watch Isaac grow up before my eyes," Graham told Bell. "Experiencing every single moment with him has been a dream come true. I feel really bad for the next kid, because I don’t know if they’re going to get this much attention."
She said she is breastfeeding and the couple is lucky to have "maybe one blowout a week" with their son.
"Everybody has an opinion, right? But I just kind of did what I wanted to do," Graham said. "Isaac is not sleep-trained, but he only wakes up maybe once or twice in the night, max. I feel 100 percent rested, so it’s not like I’m living in agony everyday like, 'He didn’t sleep last night.'"
"I remember how I felt when everybody told me what to do and sent me their unsolicited advice and their lists," she explained. "If there’s a question to be asked, ask it. But other than that, keep your trap shut and just let that mother figure it out. The mommy-shaming on social media is out of control."
Graham said she has been reflecting on how the fight against racial injustice will impact her son.
"The past few weeks have sparked deeper conversations in our family around the inequalities facing the Black community and what it means to be Black in America," she said. "I want him to grow up in a world where justice exists for everyone and no one is discriminated against because of the color of their skin."
To help in the fight against racial injustice, Graham said she must be an ally and "an advocate for change."
"In addition to showing support for Black-owned businesses, it’s important to also get involved with organizations that are creating change," she said, referencing Campaign Zero, a police reform campaign. "It’s also essential for both big and small businesses to continue prioritizing diversity and inclusion in their hiring practices, ensuring their teams’ makeup is representative of the world we live in."
The model shared a roundup of Black-owned businesses with her followers on Instagram in July. She also handed over her platform to the co-founder of Black Lives Matter, Opal Tometi, for the #ShareTheMicNow campaign in June.
She is also encouraging her followers to vote. "Change and impact also starts at the ballot box—not only for the presidential election in November but for local city and state elections as well," she said. "We need to make our voices heard and elect people who will enact the change we and the Black community need."