Ashley Graham: ‘Now I feel that to lose weight would be disloyal to myself’


Ashley Graham went from “who?” to “oh, she’s everywhere” this year, and what better way to cap off her year of domination than her first-ever Vogue cover? To be fair, this is British Vogue, not American Vogue, although it wouldn’t surprise me at all if Ashley got an American Vogue cover in the next year, given her complete domination. Also to be fair, this is just the January issue! There’s a weird ebb and flow to monthly magazines, and the January issue is not one of the important of the year. But still, a British Vogue cover is nothing to sniff at. Even if Ashley does look mid-sniff on the cover shot. She’s a seriously beautiful woman, but this cover is not the best, and neither is the “mechanic chic” interior photo (at the end of the post). Anyway, the interview is pretty good. Ashley talks about her career, body image and more. Some highlights:

The Plus-Sized Label: “When we’re supposed to be talking about diversity for women, it feels so divisive and purpose-defeating, giving us yet another label.”

Whether she wishes she was thinner: “Do I sometimes wish I were thinner? God, in the old days, absolutely I did, but now I feel that to lose weight would be disloyal to myself. A lot of who I am is connected to my size, and I am so happy with who I am.”

Her branding as a model: “For 10 years I’d been told I was always going to be a catalogue girl, never a cover girl. Well, I got with IMG and did five covers in a year, boom, boom, boom. See, if you have a pretty face doors will open, but your job isn’t just to walk through them, it’s to get invited back.”

The beauty jackpot: “Look, I hit the beauty jackpot, I get it, but that’s not enough, you’ve got to have more to have longevity in this business. It’s always been, ‘OK, so what can I do now?'”

[From E! News and British Vogue]

The way I feel about Ashley’s confidence is that there is a bravery and audacity to a plus-sized woman in our society standing up and saying “You know what? I’m beautiful and I don’t want to lose weight. I feel comfortable where I am.” It feels non-conformist, it feels iconoclastic in an industry dominated by size-zero women and the gay men who tell those women that they need to be even thinner. But I also think that if Ashley wants to lose weight – whether she does so consciously or just through circumstance – that’s not any kind of betrayal for her fans. I mean, I feel like she’s always going to be a big girl, but I wouldn’t be offended nor would I think she was “off brand” if she lost weight… or gained weight.


Photos courtesy of British Vogue.

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81 Responses to “Ashley Graham: ‘Now I feel that to lose weight would be disloyal to myself’”

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  1. littlemissnaughty says:

    I think her message goes beyond “bigger is beautiful too”, it’s more like there is more than one size that is beautiful. So if she wants to lose weight, fine. If not, also fine. I think this weight looks great on her, her shape is fabulous and she carries it well.

    • Mousyb says:


    • asd says:

      >So if she wants to lose weight, fine. If not, also fine.

      Ha! No. I take it you’ve never been to a plus-size model’s insta after she started losing weight. Her fans would crucify her.

  2. Pim says:

    It astounds me how obesity is being normalised…this woman is clearly obese ,how is that attractive? Seeing runway photos of her in lingerie is SHOCKING she’s carrying way to much weight on her body…America…ughh.

    • Jana says:

      She’s not obese. Your view is disgusting.

      • Beth says:

        To have an obese BMI, you would need to weigh about 230 or more at 6′ tall. There’s no really delicate way of phrasing this, but she is maybe slightly below but close to that number. Yes BMI isn’t the only indicator of wellbeing, but being overweight is detrimental to your health. If she had more muscle/less fat, she would be healthier, and normally I don’t really feel it’s my place to comment on someone’s appearance, but her message *is* normalizing an unhealthy body type and she chose a career that encourages people to comment on her body.

      • Elizabeth says:

        Agree with Beth. Graham doesn’t have to be “obese” to be putting herself at serious risk of significant, life-threatening (not to mention costly) disease. I just don’t buy the idea that overweight people can be generally healthy–especially after 40, when health (as with other matters) can turn on a dime. Look, I’m all for not shaming overweight people (and I say this is an overweight person who’s trying to lose), but please, let’s not celebrate or be complacent about compromised health as a way of life.

    • minx says:

      She’s beautiful and voluptuous. She’s got a gorgeous hourglass figure.

    • Amanduh says:

      Oh TROLLPim: I don’t think Ashley can hear you over her fabulousness. I’m sure she’s flattered you’re thinking about her because she has no idea you even exist.
      *Too much is what I think you meant. Maybe stop policing people’s bodies and focus on yourself, your education, your contribution to society?

    • Slushee says:

      I agree. It’s a problem. It’s anomaly. She’s seriously overweight. It’s not about ‘beautiful at any size’ it’s about beautiful at healthy size. We need to talk about dysfunctional relationships with food – not how great it to be okay with being a size 22. Good for you, but you shouldn’t be getting airtime to normalise it.

      • whatthewhat says:

        thank you, I think people are more upset with how Pim isn’t tip toeing around it, just telling it like it is. I have changed my eating habits and exercise(basically none) because I want to set a good example for my kids. I worry, but still praise my stepdaughter, who has an unhealthy relationship with food. I worry how to help her without lowering her self esteem. So for now I will set a good example and recommend the better options.

      • Radley says:

        Thin and healthy don’t always go hand in hand. Just like fat and unhealthy don’t. Some people’s natural fighting weight is on the bigger side and doesn’t impact their blood pressure, blood sugar, stamina, etc. Meanwhile, there are thin people who aren’t naturally thin who are always cold, tired and can’t jog up 2 flights of stairs without getting seriously winded.

        I think people need to evolve out of what they’ve been taught by a very dysfunctional and manipulative beauty industry and focus on what works for them. If you’re healthy and killing it at a size 16, then honey WERK! And YES, we should see more of that.

      • Wilma says:

        I don’t think she’s actually obese or seriously overweight and am wondering what numbers people are basing themselves on. She seems to be a size 14-16.

      • asd says:

        > If you’re healthy and killing it at a size 16, then honey WERK! And YES, we should see more of that.

        Does it go both ways? Would you be saying “You go girl” about a model who’s as much underweight as AG is overweight? Or would it then for some reason become worrying and not empowering..?

      • Elizabeth says:

        Well said, Slushee.

    • michkabibbles says:

      I hate when people throw around the obesity label like it’s just another descriptor. Obesity is an official medical diagnosis, so unless you’re her actual doctor, I don’t think you’re qualified to say. And while it’s obvious she’s overweight, that’s not the same as obese or unhealthy. I know thin people who can barely make it up a flight of stairs and heavy people who do half marathons.

      • Micki says:

        I’m curious, how would you describe a person with a Down Syndrom (very visible, very recognisable) without actually using the “official medical diagnosis”?

        I’ll join the troll group by admitting I’ll go to hell and back to discourage my own children to seek this type of beauty.
        I don’t care how she feels about herself but as long as they are underage and MY responsability I’ll ” police” their food and eating habits.

      • Radley says:

        @ Micki

        This kind of irrational reaction to a beautiful woman on a magazine cover is very concerning.

      • Micki says:

        @Radley: Ashley Green and I don’t see eye to eye where size and beauty is concerned. I call this a preference, not a concerning reaction.
        Let me put my preferences in perspective: I’ll take Serena Williams’ body over Ashley Graham’s any day. I chose Serena because she is already being ridiculed for being too “masculine”.
        I’m not fan of collar bones-ribcage-pelvic bones kind of beauty. But surely I won’t subscribe for the other extreme.
        And as for your “concern”- to borrow from @michkabibles above- are you “an actual doctor qualified to” qualify s.b. reactions?

      • WTW says:

        @Micki and the others, to be obese you have to be more than 50 pounds overweight. Ashley is not thin, but no way she’s that overweight either, so, no, she doesn’t fit the medical definition of obese. Some studies have actually found that being a little overweight may be beneficial to longevity, so I’m not willing to say Ashley is in danger of health problems. She’s in a gray area, not obese, which clearly is unhealthy. On the other hand, when we see really skinny women on this site, I don’t see anyone concerned about their risk of osteoporosis and other health problems. Being underweight, as many women in Hollywood are, also comes with health problems. I say this as a person who’s basically been normal weight, and even considered skinny, my entire life.

      • michkabibbles says:

        @Micki- I’m curious how you would visibly diagnosis someone you think has Down’s Syndrome without actually knowing them.

      • Lex says:

        Obesity isn’t really a diagnosis in the regular sense. If you weigh X amount or more for your height, you are obese. The obese marker is actually a lot closer than you’d think… just 10kg back I was “obese” but i never looked more than a chubby

      • Radley says:


        Yes, I have my PhD in Concern. Care for a free consult? Not kidding, I am a PhD.

        But you don’t need any kind of a doctorate to know you cannot judge physical health by visual inspection alone. That’s why we have all types of MDs and tests, procedures and equipment to help us take a look inside.

      • Micki says:

        @Radley: as a fellow PhD may I point that I didn’t discuss Ashley Graham’s health per se, just her optics. And the usage of “obese” in relation to her figure. I won’t lie- I prefer never to tell my children “I love how this fat roll is shaking over your belt. It makes you irresistable.”
        Ashley Graham has the great advantage to have an hourglass shape. And conventionally pretty face. What about Chrissy Metz? Also a desirable aim ?
        Mama June?


    • Tanguerita says:

      Guys, don’t feel the dumb troll.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      What the … where do all these trolls come from?

    • Wurstbonbon says:

      She’s clearly not obese but I think it’s not a very healthy weight either. So I get why someone would be worried about this weight being advertised, theoretically. I fail to understand why the fashion world likes extremes only. Heaven forbid we see a _really_ normal healthy person on the catwalk for a change. Because where I come from, this figure is not representative of the average woman on the street. And before you start hating on me for that comment: yes, she is beautiful and awesome and I’m happy that she’s happy with her weight. Mine is close to hers and I’m happy too (but not when it comes to the medical aspects of my shape).

      • Annetommy says:

        I think that given that 99% of the media message is that boney is bonny, there is little need to be concerned about Ashley being a bad influence.

    • Wiffie says:

      Some people drink too much, some smoke, some eat dairy and shouldn’t. Some people have lupus, cancer, drug addiction, the flu, diabetes, a broken finger, chewed nails, a size 14 waist…

      Every effing person is ALLOWED to be beautiful, no matter where they are in their health or life journey. There is no promotion of unhealthy living. There is a promotion to find something beautiful in every person, and when there are a million aspects of a person, why should weight be the ONE thing that is the end all decider if they should be considered beautiful? Sorry, but that’s bullshit.

      If your kid has an extra fifteen pounds, ate you going to tell them they just aren’t quite beautiful yet? What is that magic size that makes them suddenly a beautiful person? I’d like to know what’s “acceptable”, please.

      • whatthewhat says:

        And we let people know drinking to excess is unhealthy. We warn people about cancer caused by smoking. Why shouldn’t we worry about those who overindulge in foods? No one is saying they can’t feel beautiful and be accepted, but that they shouldn’t glorify obesity.

    • whatthewhat says:

      I mean she probably WOULD be classified as obese, but she wears her weight “well” as they say. I think people don’t realise that you can say big is beautiful and acknowledge that being big comes with the label? because you are still in that weight area? if I, at the weight I was before I started exercising lightly and eating better, was obese, I am almost positive she must be. I still think she looks great, but I do find it disturbing how more and more incredibly unhealthy people are being glorified and normalised (LIKE too thin models that get this way with unhealthy habits.). I know it’ll be an echo chamber here of she’s fabulous and etc etc but I would love if she took more interest in her health. Thought truly she doesn’t bother me like Tess Holliday and the like do. That is INCREDIBLY bad and worrisome.

      • PlaidSheets says:

        How do you know that she doesn’t take an interest in her health? Are you her doctor? It’s amazing to read the projection put on her for existing and daring to be called beautiful. She said that did not want to use weight- not that she didn’t want to exercise.

        I too lost a significant amount of weight. It was an amazing, willful effort that I never wish to duplicate. However, I’ve gone out of my way to avoid the smug. I didn’t want to go from obese to unattractive.

        My weight loss was due to exercise and eating habits. My sister lost about 100 pounds as well- due to lupus. She absolutely hates how people fawn over it because she’s asked how she did it. I dislike it for my own purposes because it conflates your weight with your worth and gives people an opportunity to judge and tell you about it because they ‘approve’. Just leave a person’s body alone. Ugh.

      • Firebird says:

        Lol. All these little women vehemently insisting this beautiful woman is ugly-ugly-ugly when she clearly isnt-isnt-isnt. And all this fake @ss concern over her…quickly, cover the little dears eyes and clutch your pearls ladies! This cannot be seen! It will corrupt us all. A beautiful, and successful, woman who challenges what you deem is acceptable for women is what really bothers you trolls. What you insist is your concern for humanity , others clearly see is your bigotry.

  3. kimbers says:

    Beautiful gal ugly picture. She got stank face and not in a cute way

  4. Tig says:

    I am of mixed thoughts re her statement- to lose weight is being somehow disloyal? At the end of the day she has to live in that body, and you only get one. Can’t remember how old she is- late 20s?- but usually by mid-30s, metabolism starts to fall off and weight is much harder to lose. I sort of get that vibe from her statements. She needs to do what she feels best for her.
    This photo shoot does her no favors.

  5. Shijel says:

    I actually like that mechanic photo. She looks good in olive tones and she’s got a wonderful face.

  6. dodgy says:

    The way I feel about Ashley’s confidence is that there is a bravery and audacity to a plus-sized woman in our society standing up and saying “You know what? I’m beautiful and I don’t want to lose weight. I feel comfortable where I am.”

    That only works if you’re a white woman, I think. Which is one of the reasons why I can’t take the body positivity movement seriously. I’ve yet to articulate why white women and their wanting to make their girth being political annoys me. But uhh… good for her, I guess.

    • Snowflake says:

      What a cute picture!!

    • WeAreAllMadeOfStars says:

      Seriously? I always look at all the curvaceous women in Hollywood and think to myself that this is the one area in which black and Hispanic women have it easier. White women simply aren’t considered beautiful by white culture unless they’re thin. Just look at all the Kardashians and Ashley dating a black guy. It’s almost as if they fit better into that cultural context than they do with other white people.

    • Dolkite says:

      In the black and Hispanic communities, being an overweight woman is not nearly the stigma it is for white women. Most of the Hispanic women I know under 50 usually wear form fitting things that show off every roll and bulge.

    • Caitlin says:

      I do see your point about the body positivity movement not being intersectional. I would say that women of color aren’t embraced for their thickness, but rather often fetishezed for it. Their thickness isn’t celebrated as much as it is sexualized. Which is a sad comment on how women, and women of color in particular, are viewed as sex objects rather than people. So I think your critique is valid, and I will try myself to keep that in mind when thinking and speaking about body positivity.

      I think men often view us as a means rather than an end, while women feel the need to cut each other down over their appearance in order to make themselves feel better, as demonstrated by many of the above posts. It’s a sad day when one woman is given so much blame for normalizing obesity, rather than our education programs, our relationship with food, and above all our capitalist system. Regardless, I don’t view her as being obese. She looks like someone who is strong and bright.

  7. anonymous says:

    I wish Fashion magazines would also feature girls like me now. Im neither super thin neither curvy and 5 ft tall. I don’t recognize myself in kendal Jenner or Ashley Graham. It’s super annoying that magazine will only features extremes but not girls in the middle.

    • Wurstbonbon says:

      This. I said the same thing upthread: some normal shapes would be a delight.

      • anonymous says:

        honestly i don’t relate to her at all. No hate but that’s the true nor do I relate to Gisele Bundchen but that’s the thing with Fashion magazines

    • Angel says:

      That would be actually empowering.

    • Mae says:

      Yes, what about short people and people in the middle for both height and weight? I mean, I’m glad for people that now have Ashley Graham, but she is the tip of the iceberg for representation of different body types.

  8. Dolkite says:

    There is something incredibly hot about a woman who says she refuses to lose weight and that she plans on maintaining her current size, even if it offends other people’s idea of what is attractive.

    Granted, it doesn’t hurt to look like Ashley Graham to begin with. I love to cook and my ideal woman would be HUNGRY. lol

    • jerkface says:

      I don’t know that telling us what gives you a boner is entirely relevant here, sir.

      • Snowflake says:

        @ jerkface
        Was that really necessary? He wasnt talking nasty, just saying what he likes in a woman. Your comment is nasty and uncalled for.

        Men that love women that eat are awesome. Where were you when I was single? Lol.

      • jerkface says:

        I dont agree. I dont see his comment as necessary. In no way was that nasty either.
        In what way is what turns this man on relevant? I’ll remind you that I’ll share my opinion and thought on any matter i feel.
        I’ve followed guidelines.

        Edited to add that if you want to flirt with this dude, be my guest. I think dudes that come over to primarily female blogs to talk about what turns them on in the comment section of articles such as this are trolling for exactly what you gave him.

      • Sam says:

        Are we sure Dolkite is a dude? Just because they said what they want in a woman, doesn’t mean they are a man.

      • Snowflake says:


  9. original kay says:

    wow what?

    “A lot of who I am is connected to my size, and I am so happy with who I am.”

    well that just sends entirely the wrong message and pretty much negates any positive influence she might have had on young women.

    • jerkface says:

      Yeah I kind of agree here. A lot of what i hear in these articles basically boils down to “Look at me. Look at meeeeee. I’m selling it. Buy my shtick I want to be famous too!”

      • Wiffie says:

        It must be her weight the. Because NOBODY in Hollywood has a “look at me i want to be famous” vibe to them, and they are all thin. You might be on to something here.

      • jerkface says:

        @Wiffie I can’t understand what you’re trying to say.
        I’m talking about all articles from all of the people who are selling their bodies for work. Its a lot of nothing words disguised to mean something more important when in actuality it all boils down to the person trying to sell themselves.

    • Guesto says:

      @Jerkface – agree.

      And this woman bores me into an upright coma with her failure to engage on any level other than the ins and outs of her size.

  10. KLO says:

    I get her comment about not wanting to lose weight out of fear of abandoning herself.
    I used to feel like this for a period, because I have been given so much grief by all kinds of people for being chub all my life that losing weight would feel like somehow giving them power over me.
    I no longer think that way though…

    • Snowflake says:

      I hear you Klo. My weight goes up and down. I love to eat. When i started my current job, i was 150. The lowest i had been since age 18. I had moved to a new town, was single, didnt know too many people. So when I got off work, i would exercise. Money was also tight, so i started eating less. Then i started dating my husband. Going out, masking each other meals, not exercising as much, I started gaining weight. Well people would drop little comments to let me know i had gained weight. As if i didnt know. Such as, are you sure you wanna eat that, etc. It really ticked me off, because first of all, my weight is not something for you to comment about. So out of defiance, i would eat even more. Because i was like, nobody’s going to tell me what to eat. So I put on more weight. So now, im trying to get back to a weight that is healthier. Esp as im now almost 41. But idk what people are thinking to make comments like that. I was amazed by the men that were “concerned” about it. Wth? People make it so much harder for people trying to lose weight.

      • Anners says:

        I’m so glad to hear that I’m not alone in this! I always lose weight when I move away because (for the most part) strangers don’t feel compelled to weigh in on my food choices. I’m getting so much better at telling people to back off, and losing weight for myself, but sometimes I just want to eat all the things in protest of food/body policing.

      • KLO says:

        @Snowflake & Anners:
        I think if people “really” knew what kind of effect those comments have on another persons life, most of them would stop. Wish you all the best!

  11. vbv says:

    Does this idiot talk about anything else? Like ever? We get it: you are large!

    What a vacuous bimbo.

    • matahari says:

      It’s probably all she is asked about.

      • vbv says:

        She can refuse to answer. She is a model – why does she even speak? She does NOTHING else. Just pose for cameras.
        “Look, I hit the beauty jackpot, I get it,”
        Any person, who would say something as idiotic as that^, obviously suffers from severe insecurities about their place in life and who they are. How can you even voice that opinion publicly even if you believe it? Have you no shame?

        And I do not even think she is anything special – skinny or large!

        She is unapologetically vacuous and the only thing that she has going on for her is other people’s pity/tolerance imo. Look at me/look at me! So you are large -WHO CARES? Is that the only thing that identifies you as a person?

        She is a novelty – that’s it.

    • Tanguerita says:

      @vbv what an unpleasant bitter person you are.

  12. Jenn4037 says:

    I like to eat. Period. And sometimes it is junk. I put on weight post pregnancy and I can’t seem to lose it. Honestly, I’m not worried about it. I can run a 10k. I can fit in an airplane seat. Most days I even think I look pretty. My Doctor would prefer I lose weight but my bloodwork comes back perfect. So while I’m conscious of it, I’m not losing sleep over it.

    I pay my taxes, I pay more than my share of insurance premiums for services I dont use past annual check-ups and biannual sinus infections, I don’t abuse my kids, and I mind my own business. I wish everyone else would mind their own.

    Those Kardashian girls aren’t overweight, but if I was looking for a role model it would definitely be Ashley over them. Beauty comes from inside.

    Call me fat. Call me obese. I love my life. Period.

  13. Wren33 says:

    She looks beautiful on the cover, but that jacket is pretty cheesy. Looks like some early 90s mall clothes.

  14. Pinar Okur says:

    She looks like jessica biels latina version on the cover

  15. Lea says:

    Honestly, contrary to what I read above, a lot of plus size models are not obese. Most are really tall and it does have an influence on BMI. I think Ashley Graham is gorgeous, even if the Vogue cover doesn’t do her justice.
    I also think Tess Holliday is gorgeous, but from a health point of view I feel more concerned:

    • Lacia Can says:

      Isn’t Ashley a size 12 or 14? A tall woman that size is unlikely to be obese. So all the concern trolls here talking about her obesity are way off. We’re all so used to women in modelling being ultra thin that Ashley looks bigger than she is. Tess is seriously beautiful but she is way too heavy. She can’t stand up (from sitting) on her own; she needs help getting to her feet and she’s only in her 20s! That’s too big, sorry. Once you lose your independence wrt mobility, you’ve gone too far.

  16. Dunne says:

    “Let’s teach girls that you can be beautiful no matter what size!”
    “Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes!”
    “Fat is beautiful! Thin is beautiful!”

    Why don’t we address the fact that the only narrative being given to girls is “BE BEAUTIFUL”. What about switching the narrative to “Being a kind, honest, empathetic and contributing member of society is important.” Let’s make those their goals.

    • Sam says:


    • KLO says:

      I wish the goals you pointed out would be the most important ones as well. But if you wanna eat an elephant, take one bite at a time.
      In the real world judging women (and men) by their looks (for all kinds of reasons) is not going to go away anytime soon.

      So – trying to teach girls to be confident about their looks no matter what is a good thing to do in my opinion.

  17. Joannie says:

    Can not stand this woman.

  18. kimbers says:

    If she was so poud, she wouldnt wear spanx

  19. OTHER RENEE says:

    I am 5’6 weigh 170 and wear size 10-12. I should weigh 135-ish. I lift weights, am very strong and can run a 5k no problem. My doctor marked down OBESITY on my chart. Yes I’m 35 lbs overweight and can’t seem to curb my sugar addiction but I was mortified to be labeled obese. Still stings.

    • vbv says:

      Sugar addiction is the worst, I should know.

      How about going vegan 2 days of the week and limiting your sugar intake to a banana and a small cube of chocolate every day? It can be done.

      A lot of the time, you end up consuming sugar even from salty/savory things. Pasta/bread etc., which is so unfair. If you proceed with a slow weight loss (3 pounds a month), you will lose all the weight w/n a year!

      It is actually doable.

      I believe in you. You can totally do it. 35 lbs is not that serious. Start with 2 days a week vegan. And know that you do not have to kick out of sugar from your life for good. But if you develop diabetes due to obesity… then bye sugar forever.

      You don’t want that.

      • Granger says:

        I love this advice, vbv. So many women are afraid to try and lose weight because we’re still told that “dieting” means starving ourselves for months on end. We read articles about Gwyneth Paltrow consuming 800 calories and exercising for two hours a day to lose the baby weight in record time, and we think, oh my god, how can I ever do that??? I have two kids to take care of, and a job to be alert for, and a house to clean! But when you put it in perspective of “just eat a little less every single day,” and remind women that sure, it might take six months to lose 25 pounds, but guess what, SIX MONTHS IS GOING TO PASS ANYWAY so you might as well try… well, it just makes it sound a lot more reasonable.