Ashley Graham has this laugh that rumbles up from her core like a slow roll of thunder before exploding into the universe with a deep infectious warmth! I was first privy to this 8th wonder of the world when Ashley asked me if Franny was my actual name.
“No, it is one of many nicknames,” I said, “I have a slew of other ones, especially from my husband.”
“Tell me about it!” laughed Ashley, “my husband calls me either “Stink” or “Butt” !!!!
With raised eye brows that demanded an explanation I turned to look at said husband, who was sitting across the table, to see what he had to say about these less than glamorous names. Turns out that on their first date, so eager was he to hang out with this beautiful lady that he pushed aside his dislike of skating and agreed to go rollablading with her. A few hours into the date he was amazed to notice that Ashley wasn’t even breaking a sweat and more to the point she didn’t “stink” either!
“…and what about ‘Butt” ?!
“Well I don’t really need to explain that do I !?”
Hells bellz no he does not!! Ashley’s “butt”, in fact her whole body and perfect face is boombingbang slammin! Discovered at 12 in a mall in Nebraska she has risen thru the agencies, most recently landing at IMG last year when she marched into their offices and made such a strong case as to why they should take her and five other mega babes on that they were signed there and then! This is not the only example of Ashley applying her no bollox, go getter attitude either, as ABC tv channel found out the hard way when they tried to ban a Lane Bryant lingerie
commercial she was in. They deemed it too sexy but what they really meant was that there was too much woman… Oh no they didn’t !!? Oh yes they did and Ashley brought it! She went on every single morning show, radio show even Jay Leno to talk about it and the body issues us girls have to face today. There was such a huge public outcry that the ad was eventually put back up. I guess they didn’t reckon on meeting Ashley Graham who is enviably comfortable with her body. She is on a mission to make others feel just as good about their bodies too. Last year she co-founded ALDA,a coalition of 5 models determined to change the way we view beauty and bring awareness to body diversity. These ladies go around to high schools, weight loss camps, hold seminars and talks, empowering girls to embrace their own unique selves.
On top of that she also started her own lingerie line called Ashley Graham for Addition Elle that is a luxurious collection for plus size girls.. You’ll see some of this hotness in the following interview, it’s as sexy and bold as their designer.
…..aaaand finally if that all was not enough to keep her busy she has started her own Youtube show called, “ The Ashley Graham show” for which she has the same agent as Tyra Banks…
I smize with my little eye some thing beginning with a caaaaching star power future for this entrepaneur/model/activist/ all around rad chick…..
Who is Ashley Graham?
I am a girls girl who loves helping women feel better about themselves and their bodies. Although the fashion industry has dubbed me a ‘plus size’ model, I like to be referred to as a model. I don’t care what you call me, I know who I am and I am very proud of it.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
My problem was I didn’t have any drive to do anything. My father was so frustrated with me. I always wonder what I would be doing if I wasn’t modeling, but I still have no idea..
How did you get to be where you are?
Hard work, good decision making and listening to my intuition.
If you could go back in time and give your 16 year old self some advice what would it be ?
Be patient. The things you want will come, just not always on your terms.
If the cupboard in your bedroom would lead you to another world what would your Narnia look like?
A lush paradise with unlimited food, sun and relaxation. All my family and friends would be there and it would feel like a constant paradise.
By day you are a model/designer….by night you are….body diversity ambassador. My job never ends..
What was one of your favorite past projects?
Shooting the cover of Elle Quebec. It was my first major cover and we shot in Mexico. It was so surreal and a moment I will never forget!
What are you working on now and what do you dream of happening in the future?
Working on now- Starting a YouTube tv show called ‘The Ashley Graham Show’. You will not only get to have a ‘day in the life’ moments, but I take you through my workout routines, shopping for curvy bodies, traveling the world and discussing different social issues. I hope to launch before the end of 2014.
Dreaming of many things!! I can’t let the cat of the bag yet!
What song do you love that you keep secret ’cause it’s too embarrassing to say publicly you like it?
Fred Hammond – “Love You Forever”. My husband and I listen to it together and I do the rap part surprisingly well..
Which version of, “TIme is on my side “, do you prefer Rolling Stones or Irma Thomas?
Irma Thomas. I am a huge fan of soul music..
Are you a morning person or night person?
Any advice for peeps just starting out?
If you are wanting to be a model, I challenge you to ask yourself; why do I want to model? If you say because its glamorous, for the fame or it will make me feel better about myself; do not do it. It isn’t glamorous, it won’t make you feel better about yourself and fame only comes by chance.
Is there a quote or mantra you live by?
Sexy is a state of mind. I use it as a hashtag all the time on instagram .. #SexyStateOfMind