Ashley Graham is no stranger to shifting the conversation when it comes to body diversity in the fashion industry.
The model, designer and activist has long been vocal in her support of the body positive movement, speaking out about unrealistic beauty standards and using her platform to campaign for better inclusivity in the fashion industry.
But in a recent interview with Allure, Graham, who is the first plus-size model to land a major contract as brand ambassador for Revlon, has spoken out about the lack of diversity in the beauty industry, highlighting the narrow representation of models in cosmetics campaigns.
“It’s mind-boggling to think about how other major beauty companies haven’t really thought about all types of women,” Graham told Allure. “It says a lot about the makeup industry and how they really haven’t caught up with the times because it doesn’t matter what nationality you are, what religion you are, what part of the world you’re coming from – we all generally wear makeup.”
In the interview, Graham also talks about her awareness of the responsibility that comes alongside a high-profile career.
“I know there are other young girls out there who maybe feel like they still don’t have someone to look up to or who are going through a new situation,” Graham says. “And I want to say, ‘Hey, this is what happened to me, this is what I went through. Don’t make the same mistakes, and know you’re not alone.'”
It’s not the first time Graham has called out the beauty industry for a lack of size diversity. Earlier in the year, Graham penned an essay for GLAMOUR highlighting the need for better representation, pointing out that while makeup has no size, brands are still reluctant to cast curvy models in major beauty campaigns.
“The beauty of makeup, though, is that it isn’t about size – it fits into every person’s makeup bag and should work for every single face. And yet, when I was growing up, the women I saw in beauty campaigns were always unattainable…There’s no size requirement to fit a lipstick. So why have there been so few curvy models in national and worldwide beauty campaigns up until this point?”