Model Ashley Graham is ‘Fighting’ For Size Diversity On The Runway

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Graham chatted with PEOPLE at the 12th annual Women Making History Awards gala in Washington D.C. about the scarcity in size diversity in the modeling world.

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“I have been working as a model for over 20 years, and I still am fighting to this day for equality of size diversity on the runway on the covers of magazines, and film, and TV. And it’s never felt complete,” the model shared.

“I think there’s still a lot of work to do. And that’s why I tell younger women and women who are also fighting for what things that they believe is just to keep going,” she added. “Keep fighting, keep striving for what it is that you want to change.”

On days where her self-image isn’t its best, she tells herself that, “‘It’s okay. We’re feeling insecure.’ I don’t fake it. I have faked it. But I think that it’s okay to have those moments. And it’s okay to live in that.”

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“We don’t have to take ourselves and try to be something that we’re not. And I think that that’s the most important thing is to allow those feelings, but to not revel in that. It’s about handling stress. How are you going to handle it in the moments?”

She’s always been a public advocate for size diversity. “I can’t speak to what anybody else wants to do except for myself and the fact that I will always have an inclusive runway show.”

“For me, beauty has always been beyond size,” Graham continued. “This is about using women who look different because we all look different, and we need to praise that difference about us. That is what is beautiful, it’s that we’re all not created the same. So I am just so happy that I actually make lingerie for women who want to feel sexy and who want to feel accepted.”

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