Ashley Graham has a message for those who think of her body as “thing.”
The supermodel, who has helped redefine fashion and beauty industry standards, wants fans to know that body objectification is not sexy, and what a woman thinks of her own figure is the only thing that matters.
“My body has always been treated as a thing and not mine. You’re the sexy girl. You’re the naked girl. Men are going to idolize your hourglass figure,” Graham, who graces the July cover of Allure, told the publication.
She continued, “It was always about what others thought about my body until I gained a voice. Now I get to tell people what I think of my body.”
The American Beauty Star host, 31 — who is now a fashion industry icon — is serious about using her platform to advocate for real-life beauty and cultural acceptance.
“The biggest thing that we have to conquer is diversity and inclusion. You can’t just check the box and be like, ‘Oh, we did it,’ ” Graham said to the magazine.
As a model who broke onto the scene with an “unconventional” figure, Graham has been an instrumental force in paving the way for changes in the fashion industry. And while the model believes in the concept of a trailblazer, that doesn’t mean there’s only room for one.
“I have never looked at tokenism as a bad thing, as long as the brand, the client — whoever has the mission — continues to branch out and say, ‘This was our first time; next time we’re going to add more of the race, the gender, the sexuality, the religion, the disability,’ whatever it is,” she explained.