Ashley Graham – Be You

Model Ashley Graham reveals that acceptance of her imperfections was the driving force behind her successful modeling career.


I would be disgusted with the woman that I saw in the mirror. As a young model, my confidence was tugged at and pulled in all different directions. I struggled to achieve true confidence. I was already labeled the fat model, the girl who was pretty for a big girl. Only 2% of women find themselves beautiful, 2%.

I felt freed once I realized I was never going to fit a narrow mold that society wanted me to fit into. It’s true. I honestly love my cellulite, my rolls, the inner part of my thighs that jiggle and touch. It’s gorgeous. We need to start looking beyond the exterior of a woman and we need to start looking at her for what she’s doing, who she is, because I, like so many young women, struggled to love the woman I saw inside the mirror because of society’s narrow vision of beauty.

It’s true, I wasn’t able to love and embrace my hips and my weird-shaped butt and the cellulite on my thighs. I wasn’t, not until I loved the woman within. Once that happened, my career, my success, my drive, it all began to follow. I became my own role model. No one else was to have that job. My body, like my confidence, has been picked apart, manipulated and controlled by others who didn’t necessarily understand it.

Once I reclaimed ownership over my body, I understood that there was a greater purpose as a woman. Never let anybody tell you you can’t. I have achieved and I am still achieving what was seemingly impossible. Be real. Be authentic. Be your favorite kind of woman. Don’t let anybody else take that job. Remember, you are bold, you are brilliant, and you are beautiful. There is no other woman like you because you are your own kind of woman. If anything, remember this, be you.