Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

“I've got to bring other women up” Ashley Graham's perfect response to body-shaming comments

rexfeatures_5600423lo.jpg

After making history as the first size-16 model to land a cover of Sports Illustrated, Ashley Graham's star is firmly rising. Just this week she walked for H&M at Paris Fashion Week and sat on E!'s fashion panel at the Oscars.

In the process she's paving the way for more body diversity in mainstream modelling. Though some people aren't happy about it, and it's led to some unsolicited criticism coming in Graham's direction.

Cheryl Tiegs, a former Sports Illustrated model, commented of Graham's figure: “I don't think it's healthy.

“Her face is beautiful, beautiful. But I don't think it's healthy in the long run.

“I don't like it that we're talking about full-figured women because we're glamorizing them, and your waist should be smaller than 35 [inches]. That's what Dr. Oz [US surgeon and TV personality] said and I'm sticking to it.”

Ashley Graham, Sports Illustrated

(Sports Illustrated)

Graham has now responded to the uncalled-for judgement from Tiegs and firmly brushed it off.

She told E! News after her H&M show appearance: “Cheryl Tiegs may have said what she said and it may have hurt a lot of peoples feelings but my skin is so thick, I kind of rolled my eyes. I was like, 'Oh whatever, another one of these ladies.'

“But what's great is that – the fact that she said it – it means that other women think like her. And what that means is that we really need to change the industry.

“There are too many people thinking they can look at a girl my size and say that we are unhealthy. You can't, only my doctor can!”

Not only has Graham handled the comments with grace, she also makes an important point: masking your criticism of another woman's body under the guise of comments about her “health” is not OK.

Cheryl Tiegs

Cheryl Tiegs [Rex]

The public agrees, as Tiegs has faced major backlash over her comments. As a result, she has issued an apology on Twitter – one which totally misses the point, sadly. 

“My sincere apologies to everyone I have hurt. I truly just want everyone to be healthy & happy,” she said.

When asked by E! what she'd do if she crossed paths with Tiegs, Graham said there will be no bad blood and that she will continue to promote body positivity.

“You never know, and I will go up to her and say hello, and all the SI girls, I've always looked up to them,” she explained. “They are classic, amazing, beautiful women and it's a shame that we have to bring other people down, but that's why I'm here. I've got to bring other women up.”

A fierce campaigner for body positivity, the model also launched her own line of lingerie at New York Fashion Week last year and told Stylist magazine readers they need to learn to love their cellulite in an exclusive video.

Related

ashley graham sports illustrated.jpg

Plus size models and a 56-year-old star in Sports Illustrated issue

ashghero.jpg

Fashion Week embraces size diversity

flattering body image 1.jpg

“The purpose of clothing is not to make you look thinner”

030116-barbie-bathingsuit-lead.jpg

Barbie's diverse new dolls have landed - in swimwear

rexfeatures_4743047lz.jpg

Why Carey Mulligan hates the phrase “strong woman”

12033007_10206573649572420_2786700592232307966_n.jpg

Model writes powerful open letter to fashion industry

bikini body.jpg

The fearless feminists of 2015

hero.jpg

'My nightmare Tinder date exposed an unsaid culture of body shaming'

rexfeatures_5086201j.jpg

Gigi Hadid writes open letter about body image on the runway

Comments

More

This 101-year-old athlete can’t stop winning gold medals (and hearts)

Man Kaur took home a clutch of gold medals at the World Masters Games

27 Apr 2017

Emmy Rossum pens powerful essay about single mothers

“She was always enough. She is enough”

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Apr 2017

Susanna Reid clashes with Piers Morgan about stretch marks

Reid's body-positive comments were shut down by Morgan.

by Hayley Spencer
26 Apr 2017

Beyoncé is offering to pay for women to go to university

She'll be paying the way for four Formation scholars

by Hayley Spencer
26 Apr 2017

Emma Watson on “incredibly dangerous” social media

“I set even more boundaries than I had before”

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Apr 2017

Brie Larson: Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence “saved my life”

“That support was everything”

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Apr 2017

Astronaut Peggy Whitson smashes another space record

Can we be her when we grow up?

by Amy Swales
25 Apr 2017

Blake Lively says there is a silver lining to Trump's presidency

She thinks there is a silver lining to Trump's time in office

by Hayley Spencer
25 Apr 2017

Donald Trump ‘made Melania swear to get her body back’ post-childbirth

Shocking, but not that surprising

by Moya Crockett
25 Apr 2017

Margot Robbie to star as iconic member of the Royal Family

Her new movie is all about royally powerful women

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Apr 2017