Less than a month ago, Ashley Graham became one of the first curvy models to land a major beauty contract (she’s now the face of Revlon). And that’s just one of the latest examples of how she’s helping to push the body positivity movement forward.
Today, at a CVS panel called “The Changing Face of Beauty,” Graham pointed out that although society’s standards are making steps towards being more inclusive, there’s still work to be done—especially in order to keep the momentum going.
“You have to continue to talk about it,” she said earlier today at New York’s Spring Place. “I have always believed that skin color is not a trend, age is not a trend, and my size is not a trend. And that’s why I believe that right now, this can’t be a trend—if our voices are heard loud and clear, it won’t be.”
“I have always believed that skin color is not a trend, age is not a trend, and my size is not a trend.”
To bring the point home (and show she’s walking the walk), the supermodel recently posted a swimsuit campaign that starred her and her mom. “Including my mother in my swimsuit campaign was A) because, I mean, it’s my mama and it’s fun,” says Graham. “But also I wanted women who are 53—she’s 53—or whatever age to know that they, too, can get into a bikini or a one-piece and feel just as sexy and confident.”
If you’ve read the headlines, you may have noticed that major companies—like CVS, for one (who just banned retouched images on product imagery)—are making headway in complying with consumers’ wants for more relatable women in advertisements. Graham notes that these are so popular because people are “craving to have somebody that they look like [in ads]—and then they’ll buy everything.”
In the meantime, until true realism is the norm, Graham says the key is to stop “celebrating the token.” “It’s enough with celebrating the new girl, because she’s not the new girl—she’s been around the block and then some,” she says. “Now you’re just deciding to let her in your campaign.”