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Model and Body Activist, Ashley Graham, does not refer to herself as “Plus Size”; instead she calls it “My Size.”

During her TEDx Talk, Graham discusses the struggles she’s faced in the cut-throat fashion industry as a plus size model. The model explains how she found peace in an industry that defines perfection from the outside in.


“Rolls, curves, cellulite, I love every part of me.”

Ashley mentions that “plus size” in modeling ranges from size 8 to size 16, which is the majority of women in America. Categorizing her as plus size made her feel like an outsider in the fashion world, and it limited her career path because the industry defined her only by size. The multibillion dollar industry has progressed slightly in accepting the diversities in beauty. Graham explains that there is no single patent for what is considered beautiful and she suggests that instead of using labels, we need to redefine the global vision of beauty.

“Back in Nebraska I was known as the fat model—the girl who was pretty for a big girl.”

She said that idea was isolating.

“My body, like my confidence, has been picked apart, manipulated and controlled by others who didn’t necessarily understand it.”

She also adds that Dove did a survey with thousands of women in 10 different countries and found that only 2 percent of women thought they were beautiful, which is depressingly low. The video is inspiring and Ashley Graham empowers women by sharing her experience as a plus size model.

Take a look at the full TEDx Talk video above, and tell us your thoughts @HERSOURCE on Twitter.

– Tia Long (@ByTiaLong)