Ashley Graham finally scored a US Vogue cover, but she had to share it


It was inevitable that Anna Wintour would feel the pressure to put a plus-sized model on the cover of American Vogue. Specifically, Wintour would feel the pressure to use Ashley Graham, who has been everywhere in the past year, from the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition to fashion magazine covers around the world, to her new gig on America’s Next Top Model and more. But of course Anna Wintour would only allow Ashley on the cover of Vogue if Ashley had to stand sandwiched in between a bunch of size-zero models. Which is how we got this March cover: Ashley is the second model from the left.

The other models on the cover (from left to right) are: Liu Wen, Ashley, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Imaan Hammam, Adwoa Aboah, and Vittoria Ceretti. I feel so out-of-touch because I really don’t know Liu, Imaan, Adwoa or Vittoria. Weirdly, I like that I don’t know all of the names. I feel like Vogue made an effort to demonstrate racial diversity and size-diversity (with Ashley’s inclusion) and it doesn’t feel like tokenism either.

Anyway, you can read the cover story here. It’s not a series of interviews with these models, it’s more like “here are the freshest models this year and you’ll be seeing them everywhere now.” In reference to Ashley specifically and her status as a plus-sized model (a term she loathes), Vogue writes: “She has stormed fashion’s most formidable barricade: its cult of ultra-thinness. Today, as she enters the supermodel pantheon, Graham is convinced that the industry’s skinny worship is destined for the dustbin.” Sure. That’s why Vogue Photoshopped the crap out of her legs on the cover, right?



Photos courtesy of Inez and Vinoodh/VOGUE.

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109 Responses to “Ashley Graham finally scored a US Vogue cover, but she had to share it”

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  1. Indira says:

    Gigi’s long arm = Photoshop fail

    • Mike says:

      I just noticed that. Freaky

    • Laura says:

      My husband who works with digital arts & photoshop believes that this is not one photograph but multiple photographs stitched together. Many of the arms have issues. He thinks the black turtlenecks was done on purpose so they can make it easier to manipulate the photos.

      My husband has taught me a lot about photo manipulation. It’s hard for me to believe any of the photos in magazines or many commercials. In return, I’ve taught him how to spot wigs & extensions. 🙂

      • Vizia says:

        I started teaching my daughter pshop when she was 12, and having her look through Vogue and tell me what tools were used to get those effects. She ended up with a degree in digital art, but more importantly, it acted as a hedge against eating disorders–she already knew those bodies weren’t attainable in real or healthy ways.

      • Kori says:

        Vizia–I love that idea. My 14 year old is taking digital imaging. I think I’ll have her look at Vogue and Teen Vogue for the dual purpose (skill and body image) you mention.

      • Anitas says:

        Yeah that has to be manufactured. What a weird pose that is anyway, like a women sandwich. Boobs to back, bums to crotch all squished together. Who even poses like that?

    • Gina says:

      It’s Kendall’s left arm crossed.

      • spugzbunny says:

        Do you mean Liu’s arm? I think it might be Liu’s arm around Ashley and then they’ve stitched pictures together so you get this weird effect of one long Gigi hand

    • Tanguerita says:

      that’s all i can see now. Why does it keep happening? That aside – I feel actively “meh” about the new generation of “supermodels”. They are boring and look the part.

    • Megan says:

      What’s going on with Gigi’s thigh?

  2. Locke Lamora says:

    They really could have covered her up more, I can see almost 3/4 of her leg, the black shorts aren’t hiding her enough.

  3. Spiderpig says:

    She’s gorgeous, more gorgeous than most of those models, but her body doesn’t really look much different from theirs on that cover. I certainty wouldn’t be able to pick her out if you told me one of the girls in this picture is plus sized.

    • Bej says:

      She is gorgeous, but I’m not sure I’d say she’s more gorgeous than most of the others. I absolutely love, love, love Adwoas face. Lui Wen and Imaan Hammam are also stunning women to me. I guess beauty is subjective huh? The thing I don’t understand is why, to build up the so called plus sized model, other beautiful women have to be made out to be lesser representations of beauty. Not saying thats what you were doing in your comment. More that your comment reminded me of how often I see that in comment sections to Ashley articles.

    • Jag says:

      Really? Her leg is twice the size of a couple of the other ladies.

      That said, models these days really make strange expressions. This is a very odd cover, imo.

    • Keaton says:

      I think she’s the most stunning of all of them too. And Kendall is without a doubt the most BLAND. That cover is very “one of these is not like the others” and I’m not talking about Ashley’s larger thigh. I’m referring to Kendall’s ordinary prettiness. Wow does she look out of place IMO

  4. skyblue says:

    I can’t stop staring at Gigi’s creepy, enlongated, alien arm and the fact that Ashley isn’t hugging any of the other girls. The look on her face says it all! Sandwiched by annoying girls.

    • AG-UK says:

      Yep like from a bad horror film.. long fingers peering around the door ready to open and claw out eyes. I love the British girl with the name I cannot pronounce with freckles like her hair now but liked it big and curly as well.

    • smcollins says:

      @skyblue “girls” being the operative word. Ashley, to me, looks like the only WOMAN in this mashup. As in the only mature looking one, the rest still have that teenaged look to them (except the second one from the right. She has a more mature look to her). I don’t know, maybe it’s just me being a good 20 years older than these girls. 🤷‍♀️

    • mrspanda says:

      Yes she couldn’t hug them as she’s too busy covering up her ”offensive” thigh with her arm 🙁 None of the other girls are doing that. Then as Kaiser says, her leg has been photoshopped on top of the ”cover up” job! Not buying your ”inclusivity”, Vogue!

    • Alix says:

      Yeah, I noticed that Ashley isn’t hugging the other girls, too. Not the best shot of her — she looks tired and bored.

  5. Patricia says:

    Ugh. She’s the only one with her arm down to cover some of her thigh. This kind of detail isn’t lost on young women who struggle with body image. It’s like “you can fit in if you just agonize over clever ways to hide yourself, girls!”.
    So sad. It’s a fail. Try again.

  6. OhDear says:

    She (Graham)’s gorgeous, but that’s some bad posing on the Vogue cover. She looks like she’s barely trying while everyone else is all *werk*.

  7. Lucy says:

    Well, if the idea was to hide the fact that she’s bigger than the rest of the models, they’ve succeeded. A step in the right direction, but still pretty far away.

  8. Ramona says:

    All I see is that they centered the skinny white girls (Kendall and Gigi) and then flanked them with a few skinny WOC and a not so skinny white girl. I also see super flat butts. Do your squats ladies

    • INeedANap says:

      All the other women are at least trying to give FACE. Kendall is just staring forward. There is really no “there” there.

    • pinetree13 says:

      Not everyone’s butt gets very round from doing squats. I’m sure these girls all work-out. Just because someone is thin doesn’t mean we should open the flood-gates on body shaming them.

      • whyme says:

        Yep, I agree, in everyone trying to embrace Ashley they are bashing the thin models. Once again, it’s body shaming either way. SMH

        And on people’s website Ashley speaks out about this and how she wasn’t told to cover her leg and she did that herself.

  9. Sisi says:

    Wow your article doesn’t do Liu Wen any justice . That’s disappointing.
    She’s very noteworthy, you might consider reading her wiki. No snark, just a recommendation.

    • KHLBHL says:

      I was coming here to say this. She’s a veteran supermodel, not a up-and-coming model. She’s been around for years and is one of the biggest Asian models of all time. I’m surprised people haven’t heard of her; she’s even walked the Victoria’s Secret show many times.

    • Chem says:

      I know! Liu wen is the most important asian model.
      And I think is so annoying that they put kendall and gigi I mean look at kendall’s face!!! She has to be the worst model EVER

  10. Alleycat says:

    Vogue is single handily keeping Kendall in the fashion business. No one is really hiring her anymore, yet they just keep giving her covers.

    • kimbers says:

      Agree! They’re trying the “perception is reality” move which only works on young people and shallow people …

    • teacakes says:

      It’s amazing how everyone else on the cover has an expression, and she’s just Ol’ Dead-Eyes as always.

      I mean, even Gigi the other nepotism model is better than her.

    • Harryg says:

      This picture is SO BAD and also the arm of the second girl from right is freakishly long. And I can’t stand K Jenner and her family of bullshit.

    • vaultdweller101 says:

      That photo with all them posing in silk negligees is laughably bad. Good god. Terrible, cringeworthy posing.

  11. Gene123 says:

    “Yes we will put a plus size model on this cover but we will cover her up in a turtleneck and with skinny bitches”

    Good line of thinking, Vogue. So not obvious… Also they photoshopped Ashley into oblivion. SHOW US A VARIETY OF THIGHS AND NOT JUST THIGHS THAT BELONG ON 11 YEAR OLD BOYS

    • runcmc says:

      This is rude. Calling the other models “skinny bitches” and comparing them to 11 year old boys? They’re women too, and size diversity includes all ends from the thin to the plus sized. You don’t have to put them down to bring Ashely up.

      • Annetommy says:

        Yes, but I don’t think that thin women are in danger of being under-represented in the modelling industry. The message that thin girls can be models has got across, I think. This group remind me of a bunch of meerkats huddling together while they look out for enemies. Which are probably cheeseburgers.

      • TwistBarbie says:

        Oh Christ, I was a young skinny model, and I ate pizza and cheeseburgers like there was no tomorrow. Just because there’s no danger of under-representation doesn’t mean you should belittle people because of their body type. How do you think I felt when people angrily, yes ANGRILY, accused me of being anorexic? The issue isn’t whether or not thin girls know they can be models, it’s that some women are naturally thin and it’s not a step in the right direction to say they’re “not real women” or they “look like boys”. Model or not those things really hurt me when I was young.

    • Ego says:

      How would you feel if I called the obese Ashley a ‘fat bitch”? And the reason Ashley’s Photoshopped is because obesity doesn’t sell.
      You Americans really need to get yourself sorted out…You find this unhealthy picture of obesity attractive??? Your running your children s health with this fat acceptance bullshit.

      • Gene123 says:

        My phrasings of “skinny bitches” and comparing them to 11 year old boys are rude, I will give you that. However, your assumption of Ashley’s health is even worse. You are not her doctor. Also the concept that “obesity doesnt sell” is very damaging to young boys and girls growing up because you just tied her worth to her weight. So I guess its better that our children are physically healthy but mentally unhealthy?

  12. Taiss says:

    Did y’all Rihanna’s photos with bazaar? She’s better than these models.

  13. Jade says:

    She looks unhappy, I don’t blame her.

  14. Brea says:

    Imaan Hammam and Liu Wen have been pretty much everywhere both editorial and fashion week wise. I’m sorry but Kendall is the blandest of the group, couldn’t they put Ashley or Imaan in the center?. Also the trick of having Ashley hide the upper part of the thigh with her hand is not cute.

    • MellyMel says:

      Yes I adore Imaan & Liu! Gorgeous girls and everywhere the last few seasons, especially Liu.

    • Ayra. says:

      Yes, I love Imaan and Liu! I find them incredibly stunning
      And Kaiser Imaan has this really great photoshoot with Dev Patel in Vogue Italy I think it was, I definitely suggest looking up the spread, it was really well done.

    • Shijel says:

      Imaan and Liu Wen have been in the industry for quite some time now, and are fairly beloved. I’m surprised people don’t know who they are, but can pick white girls out of the cast no problem.

      And my goodness gracious, Kendall is not model material, at all. Body-wise maybe (even though by hf standards it’s nothing special) but the face is just… no. Pretty girl, but not one bit photogenic.

      • Sisi says:

        Yes to your first paragraph. It’s kinda… troublesome, right?

      • Jeesie says:

        To be fair, Kendall, Gigi and Ashley Graham are as much celebrities as they are models. If you pay attention to celebrity gossip you’ll know them, whereas the other models featured are only well known in the modelling/fashion world.

        If this was a fashion website I’d be very surprised by anyone not knowing Adwoa, Liu and Imaan, but it’s a gossip website.

    • deevia says:

      Because of the place people feel minorities have, it is more likely to have very attractive white people, and when a minority is shown, it is easier to not show a person who is as attractive as as the main white character. The interest factor of the white character is that they are attractive, the minority character doesn’t need to be as attractive because adding to their interest factor is that they are a minority. No need to spotlight a person who is gorgeous AND a minority. That is just too much. But if you go to other countries where whites aren’t the ethnic majority, suddenly the what is attractive for that ethnicity goes right up. I think that there are some Asian actors that are somewhat successful in the United States wouldn’t even get a call back in some Asian countries, because their standard of beauty for that ethnicity is higher in a country where they are the ethnic majority, where their race is considered the default. And in the West, this leads to the idea that minorities aren’t as attractive on average than white people due to the fact that they don’t see that high standard of beauty placed on them in order for them to get face time in the media. And of course it is a feedback loop since people then start to cast minorities to feed into that idea of what people expect out of minority. I would honestly be surprised if I saw an American show where they actually cast ridiculously good looking Asians, because then they would suddenly be in direct competition with the good looking white actors. And I know they totally exist just look at Asian dramas, and music groups. If people based their assumptions of Asians from media from those countries, the stereotype would be flipped on its head and they would be deemed to be incredibly attractive.

  15. QQ says:

    These pics aren’t very good at all but : HUZZAH! BITCHES!! to Liu, Ashley, Imaan and Adwoa Aboah ( all who I follow) I wish Arlenis or another DR girl woulda landed there too

  16. happinessinme says:

    What they’ve done in that photo is so bloody obvious. Do they think people are stupid?

  17. Shambles says:

    At least this is a small improvement from the usual Vogue Line of Women Who Look So Similar They Melt Into Each Other

  18. Kris says:

    These girls are ridiciously tiny. I can only hope that all of these legs are phootshopped, because it would be hard to walk on them.

    The Kardashian’s neck looks way too long, and yes, it all looks sort of scrambled together. Like, the two on the left are out of proportion and something about the two on the very right is off as well – the black where they connect seems kinda weird?

    That said, it’s a nice mixture of faces. I still think that Kendall has no modell qualities whatsoever – her face is just too boring. I’m begining to like Gigi more and more these days, because at least she is recognizable.

  19. Zuzus Girl says:

    That is a whole lot of basic right there. Not one of them really commands the camera. Also…POSTURE people!

  20. perplexed says:

    These are some really boring looking models. Yikes.

    I know people have questioned why Kendall Jenner should be a model, and once upon a time I didn’t understand how Gigi Hadid got to be one, but if this is the crew they’re competing against, I no longer think they’re out of place in the modelling industry.

    • mimi says:

      its not, though. They purposely made them (the “crew”) as bland as possible because they’re weirdly hung up on kj and needed to justify having her on there … liu is an awesome model, and for other favorites (of mine, of course 😉 ) check out sasha luss, magda frackowiak, marine deleeuw, anna selezneva, olga sherer, or zhenya katava, who (apart from marine, who took a pretty long break) should all be so much bigger by now than the nepotism girls .. seriously, for anyone not into fashion, check out their work, then you’ll be into fashion.

      • teacakes says:

        the funny thing is that even with trying to make the other girls as bland as possible, they STILL manage to look better and more expressive than the Kardashian.

        I miss the 2000s models – Elise Crombez, Daria Werbowy, Liya Kebede, Mariacarla, Lara Stone, Daul Kim (RIP). Those girls knew how to take a shot and even the tabloid faves (Agy Deyn) delivered on the pictures.

      • mimi says:

        have you seen james scullys interview from december on the changes in the fashion industry, teacakes? kind of touches on some of the reasons for the creative downfall … just gonna leave the link here (hope it goes through) in case you’re interested.

        agree about the 2000s models, missing vlada and gemma as well.

  21. kri says:

    “It was inevitable Anna Wintour would put a plus size model on her cover..” I thought that was already done with Kim Kardashian. (I know I may incur wrath, and I’m a bitly ashamed of myself but I couldn’t resist). Hadid and Jenner are plasti-bots, but the rest of the ladies are interesting and beautiful. Ashley’s body is very sexy to me.

  22. Sam says:

    I love Ashley and think she is so beautiful….but she is kind of cross eyed right? No judgement, i just was wondering if i am the only one who sees it.

  23. Rose says:

    Ashley shouldn’t be a model, she is so bland even compared to the rest here.

  24. Frigga says:

    Lie and Ashlee look superb…Gigi and Kendall are out of place…blending in with the sandy background…oatmeal girls

  25. Aysla says:

    Terrible cover. Boring, bland, lifeless. All I can muster up about it.

  26. Adriana says:

    I love Imaan, she’s so graceful and gorgeous. I used to like Gigi but I can’t stand her now. I think Kendall is the worst Vogue model ever.

  27. MelB says:

    Ok, I’m just going to say it. I don’t think any of those women are phenomenally beautiful. They’re okay, but none of the “wow” that the 90s models had.

  28. lucy2 says:

    Weird photos, but at least they’re attempting some diversity?

    That poor girl on the far right in the bottom photo. All hunched over and looking uncomfortable.

  29. Asamoah says:

    Adowa Aboah is an Ashanti name. Ashanti’s are from Ghana west Africa

  30. Littlestar says:

    Gigi and Kendall don’t have any business near real models. Honestly Ashley isn’t serving much face either, the unknowns make the photo.

  31. perplexed says:

    Were their bodies photoshopped?

    The photo in general looks a little strange to me.

    I think this is the first time I’ve never felt bad about myself after looking at a photo of a bunch of models. So many dead-eyed looking people…

  32. teacakes says:

    That photo is an excellent example of the difference in standards between actual high-fashion models and social media nepotism babies who get jobs based on their follower count and not how they photograph.

    Though to be fair to her, at least Gigi Hadid tries and has a certain naturally distinctive look. I don’t see the point of the surplus Kardashian, she’s just skinny and has dead eyes.

  33. pinetree13 says:

    I think the photo is terrible. All of their facial expressions look like they weren’t ready for the camera and the black turtle necks with slicked back hair and shorts? Ugh, who styled this?

  34. clairej says:

    Kendall was in the shot and I don’t think I was drawn to look at her once. Vittoria looks interesting, actually would look up all the other girls. I like Gigi’s face, its lovely and unlike her sister is has a sweet smile. Ashley may look enormous (according to some here) but I bet in the flesh she is stunning.

  35. Sarah says:

    Literally none of them look good in this photo and dear god Kendall’s lip fillers are distracting. For the record, Liu Wen is normally stunning and she stands heads and shoulders above any of those instagirls as a model.

    Proof? Compare their La Perla ads.

    Kendall Jenner/Tepid Water:


    Liu Wen:

    It’s a travesty that Kendall has had the career she has and Liu Wen doesn’t nearly get the recognition she deserves for being one of the biggest models to ever come out of Asia.

    • artistsnow says:

      WOW. The difference is stunning.

      Liu is a natural. She can stand and look lovely.
      Kendall poses are ALL stilted.

  36. me says:

    “no norm is the new norm”…hmm really? I’m pretty sure I could switch the heads of those girls with any of those bodies…they all have the same figure except Ashley (but you wouldn’t be able to tell from this cover).

  37. A says:

    I’m not loving the fact that folks are saying Liu Wen, Imaan Hammam, Adwoa Aboah are “boring Insta-models.” All three of them have been working for a while now, and Imaan in particular has done some really gorgeous editorials and she photographs really well.

    Get rid of Kendall Jenner and you might have a decent cover here. Also, covering up Ashley Graham’s body and photoshopping her into oblivion so that it’s not at all obvious whether or not she’s plus-sized is not something that counts as body diversity. At least not to me.

    • Jegede says:

      Get rid of Gigi and Kendall I say.

      A toss btw them in who’s trying hard and failing more.

    • perplexed says:

      These models have probably likely taken other better photos, but for those of us who are unfamiliar with what is hot in fashion right now this photo is a bad one. Who’s the photographer? Did Brooklyn Beckham take the photo?

  38. Jewbitch says:

    They made Ashley half her size. *eyeroll*

  39. Libra girl says:

    Long arm alert. Wtf?

  40. Her arm placement narrows the appearance of her thigh. And they made her wear black shorts, as opposed to everyone else’s bright, patterned shorts. Body positive isn’t about posing your model in such a way to give the illusion of less body. I would’ve placed Ashley at the end, tooching that ass out for everyone to see.

  41. rahrahrooey says:

    The hand under Ashley’s arm is going to give me nightmares.

  42. Singtress says:

    Knowing that the other models are likely a size 00, Ashely cannot be more than a 4.
    And probably 5’9″ or taller.

    Will someone explain to me how that is plus sized?