Ashley Graham Proudly Shows Off Stretch Marks in New Swimsuit Campaign
Ashley Graham has always been outspoken about supporting women and now moms. The model was regularly open on her social media about accepting her changing body and weight gain during pregnancy. Now, she’s sharing a powerful message with her new swimsuit campaign, which proudly shows off her stretch marks.
The campaign was photographed by her husband Justin Ervin in Nebraska, where she grew up, six months after the couple welcomed their first child, a son named Isaac, on January 18. The photoshoot was for her new size inclusive swimwear line in collaboration with Swimsuits For All, and Graham recently spoke out about why she chose not to have her photos retouched.
“There’s always a question of what do you want us to retouch, and what do you want us to take out? And I said, ‘Nothing’,” except from a clamp holding up the DIY backdrop. I want everybody to know genuinely… I want people to see who I am because everybody has a story,” she told PEOPLE in an interview. “A lot of women I speak to have image issues, body issues around confidence. I want them to understand that we all have things that society has told us to cover up and why do we need to do that? So here I am with mine out and about and proud."
The entire swimwear line is designed to make consumers feel empowered and good in the collection. “The thing about working with Swimsuits For All is that I’ve always been able to design swimsuits that I want to wear and swimsuits that I’m really comfortable in,” Graham told the outlet. “Now with a new postpartum body, I thought that things were going to feel different, and that they were going to look different, and they do, but it’s a new found joy in that.”
Graham then explained that the inspiration for the backyard photoshoot came from a similar shoot photographer Kennedi Carter shared recently.
“It looks so simple and beautiful, but powerful,” Graham explained. “I’ve got more weight on me. I have stretch marks, and in the beginning I really had to have a lot of conversations with myself and tell myself, ‘Okay, new body, new mindset.’ But after this photo shoot, I felt so empowered because I was like, 'Yes. I look good. I feel good. This is my new mom bod.’”