Ashley Graham: a bf broke up with me, was ‘afraid I was going to be too fat’

Sports Illustrated swimsuit model Ashley Graham, 29, always seems so cool and confident. I like watching and reading interviews with her because she’s confident without being cocky and she’s thoughtful and outspoken about being body-positive. She’s a good role model for women, not only by being a successful working model but by bringing up issues around body image in the media. In a new interview with People, Ashley said that women regularly share with her the ways they’ve been made to feel bad about their bodies. She said that she’s dealt with a lot of that too – including a boyfriend who broke up with her in a particularly terrible way:

[Ashley Graham] says she can relate when girls tell her about the body shaming they’ve experienced, because she’s seen it all herself.

“Nothing’s actually surprised me. I’ve lived exactly what they’re living. I’ve lived the torment of the names. I’ve lived the torment of boyfriends breaking up with me because they were afraid I was going to be too fat later in life,” Graham, 29, said at the Urban Arts Partnership 25th anniversary benefit. “It’s the same cycle, it doesn’t matter what generation we are in. Every kid is going to go through the same thing.”

Graham though, like most women, still does have her days of body doubts, but she knows how to get away from them quickly.

“I wake up sometimes and I think ‘I’m the fattest woman alive’. But it’s really about how you handle it when you wake up,” she says. “I look in the mirror and I have my affirmations. And mine are simple. [I say] ‘You are bold. You are brilliant and you are beautiful.’ And then if my lower pooch* is really puffing out that day, I say ‘Lower pooch you are cute’. And we have a moment. And if the hips are really popping I say ‘I love you too hips.’

And Graham says the increase in curvy role models in the industry will help young girls — like the ones she works with through Urban Arts — gain that strong body confidence.

“Having more role models, more women who are like ‘Yea, I have cellulite. Yea, it’s even on my arms, not just my legs. My butt is a really bizarre shape but you know what, whatever, I’m just going to go rock it.’ I think if we had more role models like that that, that were really just speaking their truth about their body and the skin that they’re in then maybe young America would be different,” she says.

“I think that my career has been a huge testament to how the industry is changing right before our eyes. I don’t think that a girl my size, as a model, would ever have been on the cover of Vogue and I’m still so shocked at that,” Graham tells PEOPLE.

[From People]

That’s cute that she says positive things to herself about the parts of her body she would rather criticize. I’ve never thought of doing that but it might help. As for the a-hole who broke up with her with that really cruel excuse, I hope he’s seeing her success now and kicking himself. I hope he realizes what a mistake he made, but she dodged a bullet with that one. What a horrible person he must be. Also, it’s great that Ashley got the cover of US Vogue but they should have given her a cover on her own and not sandwiched between a bunch of other models. That seemed like a cop out. She also had a supply-chain perspective on why larger sized clothing for women isn’t always available and unlike a lot of other criticism I’ve heard about the lack of larger sizes, she didn’t pin it on designers specifically. She said “Buyers are not buying the size 22, size 24 clothes that the designers are making… it makes the designers not want to make that size because the buyers are not buying it.”

Milan Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2017/18 - Marina Rinaldi Cocktail Party & Macy Gray Performance

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit 2017 Event

photos credit: FameFlynet, WENN and Getty

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52 Responses to “Ashley Graham: a bf broke up with me, was ‘afraid I was going to be too fat’”

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  1. slowsnow says:

    When I was around 16 my bf at the time (a grunge-alternative “free spirit” with the one dreadlock) told me that I needed to be careful because I could become fat.
    I was 1m66 and weighed around 50 kg. I was thin but curvy. It blew my mind and to this day I still remember it. He recently contacted me through FB with the saddest life story. Life’s a b*tch.
    And I was an average size on the thinner side. I can only imagine what boys say to curvier and heavier girls.
    I say ditch’em.

    • Snazzy says:

      I’ve had that too, but when I was 30 – I’m shorter than you, and at the time weighed about 65kg. The BF broke up with me because I was fat and too kind (I gave money to beggars on the street). it broke my heart at first (we were going to be married) but good lord did I ever dodge a bullet with that one. Suffice it to say, there are so many guys (not all, thank god) that think this way. It’s really sad.

      • slowsnow says:

        And some of them are not even that good-looking (cough-Trump-cough) or at least not your model-type. My aforementioned bf was super skinny, no muscle at all and I was more than fine with it, I found him beautiful.
        Creeps. Good riddance.

    • KLO says:

      Weight-wise I have always been about the same size as Ashley (haha I even compared our measurements)
      I am still not over the relentless name-calling that happened from age 7-17 in school by boys my age. We had a weekly dance class for 3 years and only ONCE would any of the boys pick me as their partner. I would always try to blend in with the wall to avoid comments when I was going somewhere in the building.
      I took it as the norm at the time.
      I was even called names during class. No teacher ever acknowledged it or did anything about it.
      If I saw something like that happen to a 12-year old girl today I would be terrified.

      • tegteg says:

        Don’t let it get to you! Kids have very little empathy, and chances are that one kid felt bad about himself and insulted you so the others joined in because of groupthink and whatnot. Nobody picked me to dance when I was child and I was very skinny and gangly. I bet the guys who dumped Ashley are now kicking themselves in the a$$ about it and probably the kids who insulted you felt the same way later on.

    • Lucy says:

      My now mother in law once told me to be careful because I was gaining weight and her son wouldn’t stay married to a fat girl. I’ve never seen my husband flip out as bad as he did on her, he cut off contact with her for almost a year over that remark. (It was even more hurtful because I had suffered from anorexia for several years and when she made the comment I was 5’9 and 115lbs, barely anywhere near “obese” territory).

      • Nikki says:

        Lucy, that is a really terrible story, but at least your husband stood by you. I gained 50 pounds carrying two 8 pound babies, (and I was at normal weight 2 weeks later), but my mother in law acted horrified I might BECOME fat!! She’d say, “And I have DIET margarine for you!” and my husband said, “Ah, that’s my mom; what can you do?” When told she was going to become a great grandmother, she said to my daughter, “Oh, you’re going to get fat!” My daughter is a size 4. UGH! Love role models like Ashley telling women to love their bodies!!

      • Otaku Fairy says:

        Not only is it barely anywhere near obese territory, but depending on age it’s actually underweight by about 13 pounds.

    • bleu_moon says:

      I’ve been happily married for over 17 years now, but I had the same experience in college. A guy I dated in a band dumped me when it looked like the band would take off (it didn’t). He said it was his time to date more “model-esque women.” I so pity the woman that ended up with that tool.

    • Matomeda says:

      Oh yes. It’s a crappy world out there. I’m thin but I remember boys saying that around me to each other- don’t pick her, her mom is a ball and she will be, too, etc. I had a boyfriend in my 20s tell me “you’re still skinny, so you’re already 10 points ahead of the other girls.” It’s so unfair. Even my dad pointed out “you have men criticizing these women’s looks and cutting them down when the women are miles ahead of them, and these same men are completely out of shape slobs!”

      • Snazzy says:

        your dad sounds awesome 🙂

      • Matomeda says:

        @snazzy my dad is a total feminist! He never understood how men could be so unfair to women across the board! He’d say- “they all have mothers, daughters, wives or sisters, what are they doing- how could they say/do that?” 🙂

    • prettylights says:

      I’m 5’4″ and about a size US 10 with an hourglass shape. I’ve been between a 6-12 for most of my life. Whenever I get down about my weight I just remember that I have never had trouble getting asked out on a date or receiving interest from men. My body type is very attractive to some men, just like my skinny friend’s body type is very attractive to some men. If someone doesn’t like it they can move on to the next woman. I’m married now and my husband obviously has no problem with my figure. I personally am not attracted to very skinny men or overly muscular ones, but some women are, and that’s ok too! It’s just a matter of preference.

      5 years ago I moved to a state where people are very active and have lower BMI’s so I do stand out more because a lot of women are very fit/thin. Within a 6 month span of me living here I had 3 different men on separate occasions come up to me and pretty much say “you’re thick, and I like that!”. The first time I thought “oh jeez, he’s calling out my extra weight, this is embarrassing…” but then I thought “you know what, he said he liked it, and the fact is I AM thicker than a lot of women here, and that’s ok”.

      Be confident ladies! You are beautiful! F* the guys who say stuff like that – they obviously care more about the superficial that’s not a good guy to wind up with anyway.

      • tegteg says:

        I liked your story 🙂 I agree, we should all be confident with our bodies and embrace the idea that there is not just one beautiful body type.

    • SK says:

      Yep! When I was 17 I got put on Diane by my doctor and it made me put on about 5kg. I was still slim, I just had more on me than usual. My boyfriend told me I’d be perfect if I lost a few kilos… Arse.

  2. Mel M says:

    She’s gorgeous and I love seeing her more and more. She has an amazing face too. If I gain any weight at all it shows in my face right away. I’m super jealous of people like her.

  3. KLO says:

    The thing i like about her most is that she really works hard to stay trim and exercises a lot, even if her fat percentage is a bit higher. I love her workout videos and I think she is a great example and inspiration for chubby women to just “get on with it” no matter what the weight is at the moment.

  4. QQ says:

    I Love me some Ashley… Also Horrible as though that story is Let’s not act like Those are not expectations that have not been drilled into all of us men and women from “GO” That You as a girl HAVE TO JUST SIMPLY HAVE TO BE more petite/smaller/shorter/more delicate/less aggro than your guy.. I mean I’m a not small 5’8 chick and I cannot tell you the amount of times weird ass interactions came up with dudes in the dating world from men lying about their height to them trying to suss out “how fat” was I ( when casually dating online) all of our dating lives are sprinkled with this type of sh!t, ya know?

    • INeedANap says:

      My mother is a tiny 4’8″ with a youthful, heart shaped face. She is also a psychotic rage-monster who has legit made grown men cry. I once watched her colleague run to the restroom to vomit because he was so afraid of her.

      She has a lot of unresolved trauma from her childhood that she takes out on everyone else, but I am convinced that part of her hate-filled soul is due in part to backlash against the stereotypes put on her. And I think she gets away with a lot of her terrible behavior because she is so cute and petite on the outside.

  5. Cherise says:

    She has cellulite? That must mean every photo I have ever seen of her is photo shopped to oblivion because I have only ever seen her super smooth.

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      She’s a model, of course she gets photoshopped. But there are plenty of pics of her with cellulite etc. on display. She’s also said that she wears shapewear every day basically. The right clothes make all the difference.

      I love her and follow her on Instagram. It’s like she says, you really have to work on your attitude every day. I had conversations like that in high school. “You’re fat.” Said to my face by – among many others – a particularly fat and frankly ugly teenage boy. It f*cks with your head more than you realize and I’m not gonna lie, I felt the tiniest smidgen of satisfaction when I heard a few years ago that his life … well, drugs were involved, he was not well. I am NOT that person. I don’t wish harm on anyone, no matter how sh*tty they’ve acted. But the comments about my weight at an age where you feel barely okay on the best day did a number on me. They came at school and from family members and unless you’ve been there, you don’t know. So that guy in particular … whatever. Another one who said terrible things to me is getting divorced right now. I feel smug. And then like an a**. But I guess Karma’s a bitch.

  6. Wtf says:

    Is this even real? As if someone would say that

    • cr says:

      Say what? The bf stuff, or talking to their body parts?
      The answer is yes to both.

    • Snazzy says:

      look at the top of the thread. It’s happened to many of us already.

    • Otaku Fairy says:

      Not only have some people mentioned it already on this post, but it’s also very common in the bro/menninist community. Lots of “Don’t marry a girl who’s weight has fluctuated”/ “She looks good now, but that extra weight won’t look good when she gets older/ Feminism is ruining young women’s value as mates by telling them they don’t have to be thin”-type commentary.

    • Snowflake says:

      Oh, yeah, definitely. I’ve heard guys say they won’t date a woman who weighs over 150.

  7. minx says:

    She is so gorgeous and sensuous.

  8. detritus says:

    I am coveting that purple grey dress baaad.
    Is it Marina Rinaldi? Or something else? I want to buy it.

  9. QueenB says:

    I mean I understand the focus on different body types but at the end of the day basically all models still have conventionally attractive faces (with very few exceptions). Its a business that will never be “equal” or diverse in that sense. Its people being paid for winning the genetic lottery.

    Where is the representation of ugly people?

    • slowsnow says:

      That’s a very good question.
      Models are aspirational otherwise you don’t want to buy the stuff they’re selling.
      I guess she is trying to open up the scope of projections you can cast upon models. Heavier people buy stuff too and they need an aspirational image – as do PoC, and other ethnicities or disabled people.

      Also, being a model, for me, is not so much a question of being beautiful as it is of being photogenic. Many hot huys I see on film are meh on photo and really photogenic guys are meh in motion. A model photographs well. My example – although not everyone will agree with me – is Karlie Kloss. I don’t find her beautiful but she photographs super well.

    • Ange says:

      I mean, less attractive people are on tv or in movies but it’s silly to expect they’ll be used to sell clothes. ‘Sell’ is the key word, you have to make it look aspirational as slowsnow said or nobody is going to want to buy them.

  10. Shanaynay says:

    She is so gorgeous. Her shape is so sexy and compounded with her confidence is even more sexy. Glad to see a beautiful curvy model regularly in the media.

    I also had a bf dump me BC my weight was an issue, among other things, which was really his own insecurities and messed up issues he projected on to me. There’s always someone else who will love you for you. Dump the dirt bags!

  11. Nikki says:

    I had a creep in college leer at me, and tell me he’d date me IF I lost 15 pounds! The fact that he had a definite number freaked me out!! Never forgot it either. I am the same weight now 35 years later, size 6 or 8 and pretty fit. Men who think they can foist their requirements on women are just ridiculous if the woman has a strong sense of self worth, but our culture is still pretty body/fat shaming in the media.

  12. Sally says:

    I’m 30 years old and on Legit dating sites such as Match. You won’t believe how many seemingly educated , normal men in their 30s have let me know that my weight is the reason they don’t want to meet up with me or if I lost the weight they would date me. It’s not just something young teenage boys say and think. Infact one guy said “right now you’re a 3. You could be a 7 if you lost weight. “

    • littlemissnaughty says:

      “Let me think about this lovely offer while I finish this donut. …. No, sorry, I don’t date 2s.”

    • Matomeda says:

      I am
      So sorry. What an asshole. All of them. Who do they think THEY are?! Who raised these asses? Please don’t let it get to you. People behind screens think they’re kings. You’re dodging bullets. My husband has said repeatedly that he couldn’t care less if I gained any amount, and would actually welcome me loosening up and “eating with him.” Decent ones are out there. I think about my daughters growing up and I already feel sad for them.

  13. dontcare says:

    I don’t see the harm in that, if someone doesnt personally prefer the body aesthetic one has or is headed for then they have the right to bail. It’s shallow if it’s a long term, committed relationship and one suddenly gained weight but you’re better off without that kind of person/relationship any way. Considering the fact that the majority of us aren’t built like fitness models I’d say it’s a rarity any way.

  14. Veronica says:

    LOL, I’m always amazed at men who are so concerned about the future size of their female partners. Like, don’t know about you dude, but the vast majority of married men I know didn’t too well at the “self care” aspect of marriage in their later years, either, and most of them didn’t have the excuse of childbearing.

    She always reminds me of Eva Mendes when I look at her. Same beautifully structured face.

    • Matomeda says:

      +1 amen! Men get so slovenly and yet they spout off. Frankly, women seem to try harder and age much better! This isn’t even my fight (I’m super thin) but for some reason it makes me so upset for my fellow women. I have daughters and if some a-hole tries to put their requirements, in any area, on them I will go Hulk

    • pinetree13 says:

      God that is such a good point. How many men at 50 DON’T have a beer gut? Such hypocrites!!!!!

  15. Babooshka says:

    I’m not seeing the problem in this. I believe attraction is attraction and physical attraction is key for a lot of people. I think people are entitled to break up and end relationships for any reason- doesn’t have to be justified. For ex- if I thought my bf wasn’t motivated in his career like me, that’s a valid reason to breakup. But the same applies to weight and physical attributes. I wanna be with someone who’s physically and spiritually and emotionally/intellectually attracted to me. If they’re not, I think we’re both better off with other people but I’m not offended by the prospect of it. I think it’s honestly the best move and nobody is a “horrible person” for it.

    • KLO says:

      Yeah, good point.
      At the same time, I think mostly the problem here is that some of the men who dump chubby chicks are actually very attracted to those women themselves, but fear judgment from “society” when they do like/date chub chicks. And this is sad for all parties involved.

      There is a thing in culture that if you are a fat woman, men want (and in my own experience too) chubbier women for sex but do not want them as girlfriends. Now tell me why is that.

      Another point – many times it is more about how things are said than what is said that makes the statement offensive.
      For example – “I am dumping you because you are fat” vs “sorry, I just dont feel attracted to you anymore and we should break up”

    • Anon says:

      Totally agree. Many people are simply not physically attracted to overweight and obese people. I am one of them. My boyfriend of nine years has gained over 50 pounds in the last few years (from a healthy BMI to the middle of the overweight category). I love him, but I am not physically attracted to him anymore. It really sucks.

      • Matomeda says:

        +1 anon. I’m in that boat. I’d never leave him over it or say anything, but reality is reality. He’s still an awesome father, provider, support system on and on. More than anything it bothers me that he isn’t valuing his health. I was born with horrible heart genetics and I bust my ass 7 days/week to try to get a decent life expectancy, so watch his awesome longevity genes and just his lazy eating no activity makes me incredulous and frustrated. It’s like- I’m counting on you to live a long life for our kids so they can have a parent there for them!

    • april says:

      I agree. I don’t see the problem with this. Maybe he should have given a different reason for breaking up. But physical appearance is very important to men.

  16. Ennie says:

    A college teacher of mine ised to talk a lot abiut his personal life to us. He used to say how he liked lean women And he chose to pursue them because whhen they get older, have children, etc, they became regular, unlike fuller, curvier (slim to fuller) that could become fat. He was a sad pathetic man who loved to speak about his life to students an who on top was very ugly. We just judged him.

    • nem says:

      there is a great problem with untitlement about what can be demanded from women in beauty standards.
      the men requirement is the rich provider suitor but not in the same crazy way

  17. jerkface says:

    Can you imagine telling a man that you’d rather not take him to the beach because cold water causes shrinkage and he just can’t risk to lose even a centimeter hahahahahaha

    Sorry sir, I worry your testicles will sag as you age and that you will turn bald. I think we should break up before your hairline makes its way down to your back and out of your old man ears.

  18. Anilehcim says:

    I’ve heard guys say dumb shit like that… I’ve heard a lot of men say it about Kim Kardashian, actually… something along the lines of “she looks like she’d gain 60 lbs as soon as she got a ring on her finger” It’s disgusting! Some men are vile.

  19. me says:

    So many men have that mentality though. They’d rather die than be with a “fat girl”. Yet a lot of these men are fat themselves ! I come from a culture that is this way. Women should be stick thin but men can look any way they want. Bullsh*t I tell ya ! I’d rather be single than ever deal with a piece of sh*t like that !

  20. ron says:

    I can’t help but compare the comments here to those yesterday about Dave Franco and his height. I wish there wasn’t such a double standard…