“Here is some of my feedback:
‘I am so disappointed in you.’
‘You don’t make plus-size dollars anymore, you make backstabbing dollars.’
‘You don’t love the skin you’re in, you want to conform to Hollywood, you believe being skinnier is prettier.’
‘You used to be a role model and I looked up to you.’
“According to the comments, some people were upset because I appeared to be slimmer. (Knowing my angles is one thing, but I must be a magician to make people think I went from a size 14 to a size 6 in a week!) The reality is I haven’t lost a pound this year. In fact, I’m actually heavier than I was three years ago, but I accept my body as it is today. I work out not to lose weight but to maintain my good health. And anyway, if I did want to lose weight, it would be no one’s decision but my own. I love to sweat it out at the gym — two years ago, I even made workout videos — but I also don’t restrict myself from eating certain foods or indulging on some extra-cheese mac ‘n’ cheese every once in awhile.”
Can’t Please Everyone
Ashley then moved to call out the criticism in our society saying, “To some I’m too curvy. To others I’m too tall, too busty, too loud, and, now, too small — too much, but at the same time not enough. When I post a photo from a ‘good angle,’ 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. The cycle of body-shaming needs to end. I’m over it.
“No matter how many empowerment conferences, TED talks, and blog posts are out there, women keep tearing one another down over physical appearance. Body shaming isn’t just telling the big girl to cover up. It’s trying to shame me for working out. It’s giving ‘skinny’ a negative connotation. It’s wanting me to be plus size, or assuming I’m pregnant because of some belly bulge. What type of example are we setting for young girls and their self-esteem if grown adults are on Instagram calling other women ‘cowards’ for losing weight, or ‘ugly’ for being overweight?”
My Body, My Shots
She ended her essay saying, “I am more than my measurements. I’m not Ashley Graham just because I’m curvy. For the past sixteen years, my body has been picked apart, manipulated, and controlled by others who don’t understand it. But now my career has given me a platform to use my voice to make a difference. We can’t create change until we recognize and check our own actions. If you see another woman taking a selfie or a photo in her bathing suit, encourage her because she actually feels beautiful, don’t give her the side eye because you think she’s feeling herself too hard. Why waste time and energy spewing negativity? Let’s worry about our own bodies.
“My body is MY body. I’ll call the shots.”
Way to go Ashley!! Way to put body shamers in their place! If you would like to read the full essay, click here!
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