How many times does Ashley Graham have to defend her right to look how she wants and do what she wants with her body? How many times does Ashley Graham have to tell people that it’s her body, her rules? How many times does Ashley Graham have to fight off body shamers, who constantly pick at her for either looking too thin, or too fat for a model?
The limit, it seems, does not exist.
On Sunday, Graham was forced to clap back at body shamers once again, this time with a sweeping statement in response to all of the people who take offense to her workout videos, which she posts often on her Instagram account.
“Every time after I post a workout video I get comments like...” Graham wrote on Instagram. “‘You’ll never be skinny, so stop trying.’ ‘Don’t work out too hard, you’ll get skinny.’ ‘You still need your fat to be a model.’”
All of these opinions, thrown at Graham who never even asked for one. And so Graham is then forced to make these statements herself, defending her right to exercise, for various reasons.
“Just for the record — I work out to...” Graham continued, listing reasons like staying healthy, feeling good, getting rid of jet lag, staying flexible and strong, and having more energy.
“I don’t workout to lose weight or my curves,” Graham concluded. “Because I love the skin I’m in.”
There’s no denying that this constant inundation of opinions and criticisms to Graham’s every move is exhausting for her, and even us. To see a woman as accomplished as she is as a model, with history-making moments like becoming the first plus-size model to appear on the covers of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, Maxim and American Vogue, still dealing with this is undoubtedly demoralizing.
If even she, arguably the most successful plus-size model out there, is still being picked apart by online trolls, what can the plus-size and curvy models on-the-rise hope for?
When will the trolling stop?