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Ashley Graham Pens Essay To Instagram Body-Shamers

Photo: John Salangsang/BFA/REX/Shutterstock.
Ashley Graham just can't win. When the plus-size model isn't being criticised for being too curvy, she's being called out for being too thin — and she's sick of it.

In a new essay for Lenny Letter, appropriately titled "Shamed If I Do, Shamed If I Don't," Graham called out body shamers who accuse her of being "too curvy" and "too small."

"When I post a photo from a 'good angle,' I receive criticism for looking smaller and selling out," she wrote. "When I post photos showing my cellulite, stretch marks, and rolls, I’m accused of promoting obesity. The cycle of body-shaming needs to end. I’m over it."
"I’m a confident woman with thick skin, and as a model in the public eye, I’m conditioned to accept criticism," she wrote, noting that she knows not all comments on her social media posts will be positive. "But last week, I admit that I had a tougher time brushing off the haters."

Graham refers to a photo that she posted to Instagram, calling it "one of those photos where you look and say to yourself, 'YESSSS, HONEY! I look damn good!'" Her followers, however, had other thoughts. "You don’t love the skin you’re in, you want to conform to Hollywood, you believe being skinnier is prettier," one user commented. "You don’t make plus-size dollars anymore, you make backstabbing dollars," wrote another.

Though people were upset that she appeared slimmer in the photo, Graham said that in reality, she hasn't lost any weight. "I know my angles, just like we all know our favourite filters and lighting and our good sides. I pick the photos I like best," she wrote.

However, whether or not she lost weight is beside the point. As she puts it,"If I did want to lose weight, it would be no one’s decision but my own."

While Graham is proud of what her work has done to represent body positivity and more diverse body types in the media, her body does not represent who she is. "I am more than my measurements. I’m not Ashley Graham just because I’m curvy," she wrote. "I refuse to let others dictate how I live my life and what my body should look like for their own comfort. And neither should you[...] My body is MY body. I’ll call the shots."

Graham is right — our bodies aren't up for comment, and the size of a person's body is no one else's business. Like she says, let's worry about our own bodies and stop wasting time spewing hate and negativity. You can read Graham's full essay over at Lenny Letter.