You won’t believe what this man said to Ashley Graham about her body (but her response is SO empowering)

Ashley Graham is the First Mistress of sass. One minute she’s living her best ‘Scary Spice’ life strutting down the Milan runway in a leopard print Dolce and Gabbana number, the next she is in LA launching a new revolution on the virtual high street by sprinkling her special recipe of body confidence over her collection for PrettyLittleThing.com. But in the words of the woman herself, “but this is just what we do!”

Prepare to worship at the altar of Ashley Graham as she discusses why this isn’t just another high street collaboration, it’s a size inclusive collection that’s fully representative of all women from the real world we actually live in.

We chatted to Ashley about the narrow-minded people she’s experienced on social media, her empowering words of wisdom for dealing with online bullies and how she’s totally slaying the fashion industry right now.

You won't believe what this man said to Ashley Graham about her body (but her response is SO empowering)

It’s been SO fun to make sassy, sexy clothes in all sizes…

The most exciting part for me was that we were going up to a size 24 and PrettyLittleThing.com (PLT) has never shied away from showing off the body, showing leg, showing cleavage. That was so exciting for me because that is the way I dress. PLT are going up in sizes; they cater to millions of women around the world and they will have the sizes they need in cool, sassy, sexy clothes. The whole collection is so sexy but something I am so excited about is that I can wear a bra with everything because these big boobs of mine need a bra. So that’s something that made me feel confident. I love the dresses with the high splits. I love leopard print, I was living for my Dolce dress at Milan Fashion Week.

Dressing sassy is what boosts my confidence

For me, I like to show off my body but sometimes, I also just want to wear a Muumuu! I think it’s really about an expression of who you are – some days I am feeling sassy and some days I just want to be glamorous.

I didn’t feel represented when I was growing up

There were curvy girls in the industry, but they didn’t have the same spotlight as we do now. They were just given catalogue jobs and we didn’t have social media then, obviously. It was always a struggle. I was so thankful to have my mom to look up to as she had a similar body shape to mine. She was always confident about her body, which made me confident about mine.

You won't believe what this man said to Ashley Graham about her body (but her response is SO empowering)

We asked three models what makes them feel good in their own bodies and their responses were SO empowering

The fashion industry should really represent…

We need inclusivity in sizing at luxury brands and as the curvy community, we have more options than just basic T-shirt and great jeans. I want there to be awesome, great fashion across the whole industry. The thing about being a woman is that we all have different tastes, we have different bodies and we all have different wants and desires. That is just what I think the fashion industry should actually represent.

What I have learnt about myself through modelling…

Definitely in the last few years, I have learnt that modelling is a business and if you want to, you can make that career into a business. I also learnt that you are underserved when you are above a size 12 – there aren’t clothes for you. More than ever we have got people doing size inclusive clothing like PLT.

Over the past twelve months, I have learnt about female solidarity…

Honestly, there is strength in numbers and it feels like there is nothing we can’t do if we support each other. Women in the public eye advocating to make their stories and voices heard is becoming more and more common. I am so proud of all the women who have raised their voices.

You won't believe what this man said to Ashley Graham about her body (but her response is SO empowering)

Being called a role model makes me feel good…

It makes me feel like I am doing something to contribute to this world. It makes me want to keep going and creating more change. I look at my fans across social media as my sisters; we are all in this together and we are fighting the good fight.

My message to those suffering from anonymous bullies in everyday life…

No one has power to make you feel bad about yourself unless you give them that power. You shouldn’t take anything anyone says on social media to heart because that is just a person writing their own insecurity to you. At the end of the day, it isn’t about addressing the haters, it’s about addressing them with a teachable moment.

There are a lot of narrow-minded people online…

There is one guy who said to me, “stop making fat look cool, you are going to kill somebody.” The teachable moment there is that I am not making anything cool except for confidence and people feeling great about themselves. I think for someone to look at me and place me in a box is very small-minded. Yeah, I’ve got fat and I have got lots of it, but I am not sitting here saying that fat is cool; what I am saying is that you are cool no matter how large or small you are.

Ashley Graham had the best response to someone saying she looked pregnant

My go-to affirmations are…

One of my affirmations is, “you are bold, you are brilliant, you are beautiful.” I also say, “Ashley, you have got this!” These are the simple affirmations that get me through a difficult moment or feeling down about something or overwhelmed.

PLT Starring Ashley Graham is available on PrettyLittleThing.com now.