Supermodel Naomi Campbell has declared her support for Ashley Graham after former model Cheryl Tiegs critiscised her apperance on the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue due to her size. “I would never make a comment like that. I think it’s way too personal,” Naomi told Sway Calloway’s radio show, Sway in the Morning, “I don’t know what Ashley eats and that’s not necessarily because you’re bigger than me, you’re eating tons of food. I’ve got tons of friends who are bigger.”
According to E!, Naomi told Sway, “It could be a hormone problem. I don’t think Ashley’s big like that. She’s not a beast. I think sometimes our bones are bigger and we’re just built that way. That doesn’t mean we’re fat. I wouldn’t comment on someone’s size. I just think it’s wrong. I think she’s a beautiful woman, regardless what color or creed. She should be able to model.”
Here here Naomi. It’s nice to see women supporting each other so publicly – and we’d definitely be happy to have the fierce Ms Campbell fighting our corner.
Ashley Graham has become one of the most successful plus-size models in recent years thanks to her appearances in high fashion magazines around the world, star turns on the catwalk and, most recently, her achievement of becoming the first ever plus-size super to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated. So far, so great; particularly when you throw in some of her statements on body confidence and look at what it means to have a different sort of body type represented in fashion (i.e it’s groundbreaking).
But it seems that not everyone is on board with Ashley’s success. In the past week Ashley has come under fire twice, with two different people suggesting that she’s promoting an “unhealthy” body image. Former Sports Illustrated cover star Cheryl Tiegs, who became famous as a swimsuit model in the late seventies, told E! News: “I don’t like that we’re talking about full-figured women because it’s glamourising them. Your waist should be smaller than 35 inches. I don’t think it’s healthy. Her face is beautiful. Beautiful. But I don’t think it’s healthy in the long run.”
The 69-year old former model has since issued an apology (of sorts) on Twitter, but her comments came in the same week that Edwina Currie appeared on BBC Breakfast and labelled Ashley as “obese”. Discussing a catwalk image of Ashley in her underwear, Edwina said: “Making it seem normal to be obese is just as dangerous and unhealthy as the zero models, the very thin ones. I don’t know who that young lady is… whether it’s attractive or not, it’s unhealthy. What you are doing when you are that sort of size is heading for diabetes, which is awful.”
Ashley is a UK size 14 and is 5″9.
Thankfully, at this point the BBC presenter interjects, telling Edwina: “I will just have to say most female members of the population would like to look like that… she looks incredible,” to which Edwina replies: “Er, I don’t think she looks incredible. I think she looks unhealthy, and if you’re that sort of size… if you’re obese then you’re doing your pancreas a lot of damage.”
While we’re slightly lost for words over what seems to be a pretty irrelevant debate given that in no way could Ashley Graham be classed as obese, Ashley herself has a lot to say on the matter of body image. Speaking about her first cover for Sports Illustrated, the model said:
“I am hopefully going to change the lives of so many different young women. So many young women who have been told that their cellulite is ugly; that their inner-thighs that jiggle and touch are ugly because I have all those things, and I’m on the cover of Sports Illustrated. So they must be beautiful! I’ve got plenty of friends of all sizes and different shapes and everything, and I don’t want any of them to feel like they aren’t ‘real women’. I had agents tell me, ‘You’ll never get on the cover of magazines. You’ll never be an editorial model.’ I had agents wave money in my face and say, ‘If you drop some pounds, you can have a lot more of this!’ And not even THAT was something that encouraged me to lose weight. The moment I realised I had to be healthy and happy in who I was, that’s when my career took off.”
Ashley recently attended The Oscars in a Bao Tranchi custom-made dress. She posted a picture of herself to Instagram, writing: ” Bao Tranchi custom dress last night had me feeling like I was wearing a piece of art! #beautybeyondsize.”
We think the hashtag says it all.