Ashley Graham has never been afraid to celebrate her body, whether it’s as the first size-16 model to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated‘s Swimsuit Issue or as the first model to insist that her dopplegänger Barbie not have a thigh gap. And she’s continuing that trend for V Magazine, stripping down once again for a very intimate photo shoot. PeopleStyle got an inside look at her fitting for the magazine, plus, the model reveals how she feels about her role in today’s rapidly evolving industry.
“For so long I have been an outsider because of my size,” Graham tells V Magazine. “And I think that fashion has always in some way catered to celebrities or to a thinner idealistic model. And I think now it’s changing because of voices like mine.”
For Graham, the aforementioned pride in her curves has led to her enormous success in the industry. “I don’t think that you can teach someone how to be a model,” she says. “I think you can teach them how to appreciate the unique things about themselves; and I think you can teach people how to act on set or how to be personable.”
And as far as social media is concerned, Graham says, “One thing I realized in like posting a half nude photos [on Instagram] is: why am I posting them? Am I posting them because I think I am hot? Or am I posting them because I want women to see what they’ve never seen before because that’s what they look like.”