We’re FASHION FORWARD once again this Sunday, this time with a woman who’s a role model in more ways than one. Gayle King, of “CBS This Morning,” has just paid Ashley Graham a visit:
King asked, “What are you thinking when you’re walking down the runway?”
“First of all, don’t fall!” she replied. “And also, you have to think about your hips being forward, your shoulders being back, and not giving too much expression on your face.”
“Would you tell me why models never smile? Why they always look like they’re pissed off about something?”
“We’re there to just show the collection, right? We’re not there to be like, ‘This is my collection, and I’m the ‘Ashley Graham Show’!'”
She may not have her own show (yet), but Graham is sure having her moment. The 30-year-old author, businesswoman and model was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.
There’s even an Ashley Graham Barbie doll.
But she will tell you she’s not an “overnight success”
“I worked my butt off,” she told King. “I’m talking 17 years in the industry, and blood, sweat, tears. I’ve had agents tell me, ‘You’re not gonna be on the cover of anything; you’re a catalog girl.’ I’ve had clients tell me, ‘You’re too fat, and we can’t book you any more because you don’t fit into the jeans.'”
Instead of changing to fit in, it was the industry that changed to fit her.
For starters, there’s size. She’s a 14, but don’t you dare call her “plus-size.”
She says the term is divisive to women: “I think that when you use the word ‘plus-size,’ you’re putting all these women in a category: ‘You don’t eat well.’ ‘You don’t work out.’ ‘You could care less about your body.’ ‘You’re insecure.’ ‘You have no confidence.’
“And that,” she said, pointing to her body, “is none of this!“
Born in Nebraska, Graham says she was often bullied for being big. “People called me ‘cottage cheese thighs’ all through school,” she said. “People would do the sound of a truck backing up — beeeep, beeeep — as I was sitting down.”
It was her mother who helped Graham learn to love her body and herself.
“I remember going home one time, crying to my mom. And I was sitting cross-legged. And I said, ‘See this fat? This fat that’s bulging out of my hip?’ And she said, ‘That’s just your hip. And honestly, if you didn’t have that, you wouldn’t fit into this family.’
“She really made me feel better about…