Plus-Size Model Ashley Graham Fights Back Against Body Shamers

Graham calls on women to embrace their bodies in an essay.

August 3, 2016, 7:50 AM

— -- Activist and model Ashley Graham became the first plus-size model to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated last year, and since has become an advocate for breaking down barriers when it comes to body shaming.

Graham turned heads with a Lane Bryant ad in which the model embraced her curves and asked others to do the same. "This body is made for starting a revolution. What's your body made for?" Graham said in the ad.

She has since gone on to design and debut her own clothing line at Dress Barn.

Yet despite all of the positive recognition the model has received, she still encounters backlash about her physical appearance.

Now, Graham is fighting back yet again, this time against people who attacked her size-14 figure on social media.

Graham penned an essay titled "Shamed if I do, Shamed if I Don't" for the women's website 'The Lenny Letter'.

"To some I'm too curvy," she writes in the essay. "To others I'm too tall, too busty, too loud, and, now, too small - too much, but at the same time not enough."

Last week, Graham posted a photo on Instagram that sparked comments attacking her for appearing to have a smaller figure. One of the commenters said: "you want to conform to Hollywood, you believe being skinnier is prettier." Another read, "I am so disappointed in you."

The outspoken model fired back, writing, "When I post a photo from a 'good angle,' and I receive criticism for looking smaller and selling out. When I post photos showing my cellulite, stretch marks, and rolls, I'm accused of promoting obesity. They cycle of body shaming needs to end. I'm over it."

Other celebrities have shot back when confronted by online intimidation over their bodies. Khloe Kardashian has been very open about weight loss and vocal about her newfound love for the gym on social media, but it hasn't come without her own experience with body shaming. Kardashian recently took to Twitter and sarcastically wrote, "First I am too fat and now I'm too skinny. I love this game!!"

Another celebrity notorious for calling out haters is HBO's 'Girls' and 'The Lenny Letter' creator Lena Dunham. Dunham temporarily quit Twitter last year over nasty comments about her physique.

Graham has appeared on various platforms including "Good Morning America" to encourage women to embrace their bodies.

"Why waste time and energy spewing negativity?" Graham concludes her essay in The Lenny Letter. "Let's worry about our own bodies. My body is MY body. I'll call the shots."

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