Ashley Graham

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Ashley Graham
Graham in 2018
Born (1987-10-30) October 30, 1987 (age 35)
  • Model
  • television presenter
Years active2000–present[2]
Justin Ervin
(m. 2010)
Modeling information
Height5 ft 9.5 in (177 cm)[1]
Hair colorBrown[1]
Eye colorBrown[1]
AgencyIMG Models

Ashley Graham Ervin (born October 30, 1987)[5] is an American plus-sized[6] model and television presenter.[7] Graham made her debut on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2016. A year later, she published her first book, A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like, which contributes to her advocacy in the body positivity and inclusion movement.[8]

Early life[edit]

Graham is the oldest of three sisters.[9] When she was in middle school, she and her family moved to Lincoln, Nebraska.[10] She attended Scott Middle School from 1999 to 2002 and Lincoln Southwest High School from 2002 to 2005.[5] As a youth, she was diagnosed with ADD and dyslexia.[7][9]

Graham was scouted in 2000 by the I & I agency while shopping at Oak View Mall in Omaha, Nebraska.[2]


Graham started modeling at the age of 12.[11] In 2001, she signed with Wilhelmina Models after attending a model convention.[2] In 2003, she switched to Ford Models.[2] During her early career, she appeared in YM magazine.[9] In April 2007, she was profiled by Sally Singer of Vogue magazine.[12] She appeared on the October 2009 issue of Glamour editorial "These Bodies are Beautiful at Every Size", along with plus-size models Kate Dillon Levin, Amy Lemons, Lizzie Miller, Crystal Renn, Jennie Runk and Anansa Sims.[13][14] In 2010, Graham appeared in a controversial[why?] Lane Bryant TV commercial. The commercial received over 800,000 views on YouTube and was covered by news outlets such as The Huffington Post and the New York Post.[7] On May 31, 2010, she appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to address the controversy.[15][16] She has modeled for such international designers as Prabal Gurung, Michael Kors, Love Mag, Dolce and Gabbana, H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, Rag & Bone, and Christian Siriano.

In December 2010, Graham appeared in an editorial for Bust magazine.[17] She appeared in several Levi's campaigns, including Curve ID SS 2011 with Sabina Karlsson, Ana Lisboa, Marquita Pring and McKenzie Raley, and Boyfriend Collection F/W 10 with Rachel Clark, Ana Lisboa, Anais Mali, Marquita Pring and Ashley Smith.[18][19] Graham has appeared in several Marina Rinaldi campaigns: Spring/Summer 2012,[20] Fall/Winter 2012 denim,[21] and Fall/Winter 2012 sport.[22] Other clients include Addition Elle, Bloomingdale's, Elomi lingerie, Evans, Hanes, Liz Claiborne Macy's, Nordstrom, Simply Be and Target.[5][7] In December 2012, Graham was featured on two billboards in New York for Lane Bryant.[7] At the end of that year, she was named the Full Figured Fashion Week's Model of the Year.[23]

In 2013, Graham designed a lingerie line for Addition Elle, a Canadian plus-size clothing retailer.[24] She also appeared on MTV's Made, as a coach for an aspiring plus-size model.[7] She appeared on the May 2014 issue for the international Harper's Bazaar pre-fall collection and beauty editorial.[25] She was the cover model on the June 2014 issue of Elle Quebec.[26] In 2015, swimsuitsforall, a plus-size women's swimsuits retailer, featured Graham in an advertisement in Sports Illustrated's annual Swimsuit Issue. The ad was part of swimsuitsforall's #CurvesInBikinis campaign. Graham was one of the first plus-size models to appear in the Swimsuit Issue.[27] In 2016, she became the first plus-size model to appear on its cover.[28]

Graham served as a backstage host for Miss USA 2016, Miss Universe 2016, Miss USA 2017, Miss Universe 2017 and Miss Universe 2018. In addition, she was a judge on America's Next Top Model on VH1.[29]

In 2016, Graham appeared opposite Joe Jonas in DNCE's video for the song "Toothbrush".[30] In 2017, she competed in an episode of Spike's Lip Sync Battle against Superior Donuts actor Jermaine Fowler. Graham won with performances of Shawn Mendes's "Treat You Better" and Shania Twain's "That Don't Impress Me Much".[31]

In 2017, Graham released a book, A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like. In this memoir, she provides insight into her experiences as a model and as an advocate for body positivity,[32] and shares her prospects for the evolution of body image in years to come. That year, Graham was also the focus of a nine-episode series on the Go90 digital network, The Ashley Graham Project.[33]

Graham hosted second season of American Beauty Star in 2019.[34]

Ahead of International Women's Day, in February 2022, Graham and Joanna Griffiths released Big. Strong. Woman. at the Adweek Challenger Brands Summit, a film focused on combating female stereotypes and highlighting female strength.

In 2023, Graham hosted the Countdown to the Oscars red carpet presentation show ahead of the 95th Academy Awards, alongside Vanessa Hudgens and Lilly Singh.[35]

Body positivity[edit]

Graham is a proponent of the body positivity[36][37][38][39] and the Health at Every Size movements.[40][41][42] In 2016, she became the first size 16 model to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Glamour described Graham's cover as "bringing size acceptance into the mainstream". She appeared on the cover of Vogue in 2017, becoming the first plus-size model to appear in the magazine.[11]

Graham gave a TED Talk advocating self-acceptance with regard to body image, which included her looking into a full-length mirror and having a friendly chat with her body parts making comments such as: "Back fat, I see you popping over my bra today. But that's all right. I'm gonna choose to love you."[37][43]

Graham has been praised by women on Instagram for sharing photos showing her cellulite.[44] In an interview with Vogue, she said, "I definitely think that my body has changed many peoples' lives. I've used my body as a tool to talk about taboo subjects, such as cellulite or being insecure about lower belly fat—and also [how to] talk life into your body and have an affirmation kind of conversation with yourself. And I know the lives that have been changed: young girls and even women my age who have written me and said, 'I never loved the skin that I was in until I heard your journey'."[36] Graham has said she does not prefer the term "plus-size": "I think that when you use the word 'plus-size' you're putting all these women into a category: 'You don't eat well.' 'You don't work out.' 'You couldn't care less about your body.' 'You're insecure.' 'You have no confidence.' And that is none of this [pointing at her body]"... The fashion industry may persist to label me as 'plus-size,' but I like to think of it as 'my size."[45]

Personal life[edit]

Left to right: Husband Justin Ervin, son Isaac, Graham on her YouTube channel in 2020

Graham has participated in missionary work in South Africa with the Themba Foundation.[7]

She met her husband, Justin Ervin, a videographer, at church in 2009; they married the next year.[4] In August 2019, Graham and Ervin announced that they were expecting their first child.[46]

In a 2017 interview with CBS News, Graham admitted that her interracial relationship with Ervin, who is black, shocked her family:[47]

I will never forget that feeling of just sitting there with Justin, thinking, "I'm so embarrassed that I had to bring him in to meet these people, these people who raised me and taught me how to live, and he's being treated so terribly". And he said to me, "Racism is never surprising, but it's always disappointing."

On January 18, 2020, Graham gave birth to a son.[48] In July 2021, she announced they were expecting a second child,[49] which turned out to be twin sons.[50] In January 2022, Graham gave birth to the twins at home.[51][52]


Year Title Role Notes
2017 What Would You Do? Herself / Guest Season 13; episode 1
2017 The Ashley Graham Project Herself
2019 American Beauty Star Herself / Host Also executive producer
2023 Barbie Dreamhouse Challenge Herself / Host 4 episodes[53]

Music videos[edit]

Year Title Artist(s) Role Ref.
2016 "Toothbrush" DNCE
2018 "Girls Like You" (Original, Volume 2 and Vertical Video versions) Maroon 5 featuring Cardi B Herself (cameo) [54][55][56]


  1. ^ a b c "Ford Models". Archived from the original on January 4, 2019. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d "Success Stories". I & I Agency. Archived from the original on September 28, 2013. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  3. ^ Ervin, Justin. "Contact Element Films". Element Films. Ervin, Justin. Retrieved October 2, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Pham, Thailan (October 2, 2013). "Lane Bryant Model Ashley Graham Is Engaged!". People. Archived from the original on June 26, 2010.
  5. ^ a b c Mertes, Micah (May 3, 2010). "Lincoln model from Lane Bryant ad amazed at media frenzy". Lincoln Journal Star. Nebraska. Archived from the original on July 9, 2010. Retrieved February 11, 2022. The 22-year-old model....
  6. ^ King, Steph. "Plus-size model Ashley Graham is curvy style goals". Stylight.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g "About". Ashley Graham official website. November 16, 2013. Archived from the original on December 27, 2013.
  8. ^ Regensdorf, Laura. "How Curvy Model Ashley Graham Helped Redefine Beauty Norms for a Body-Positive Generation." Vogue, Vogue, May 25, 2017.
  9. ^ a b c Brody, Liz (July 31, 2010). "Model Ashley Graham on how to Rock a Size 16: "Did someone say cellulite?". Yahoo!. Archived from the original on June 7, 2016. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  10. ^ "Pretty Big Deal with Ashley Graham | Gabrielle Union". YouTube. October 11, 2018. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  11. ^ a b Meltzer, Marisa (February 9, 2021). "Supermodel Ashley Graham: Her Rules, Her Game -US". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved February 10, 2021.
  12. ^ Singer, Sally (April 2007). "Body of Work". Vogue (April 2007): 188–190.
  13. ^ Field, Genevieve (September 30, 2009). "These Bodies are Beautiful at Every Size". Glamour. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
  14. ^ "Supermodels Who Aren't Superthin: Meet the Women Who Proudly Bared it All". Glamour. September 30, 2009. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
  15. ^ The Tonight Show with Jay Leno Episode Guide Archived June 5, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Ashley Graham Model Plus Size On Jay Leno Show, May 2, 2010 Archived May 5, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ "Ashley Graham in Bust Magazine". November 13, 2010. Archived from the original on April 7, 2014. Retrieved November 16, 2013.
  18. ^ "Levi's Boyfriend Collection F/W 10". Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  19. ^ "Curve ID S/S 11 (with Ashley Graham, Ana Lisboa and Sabina Karlsson)". Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  20. ^ "Marina Rinaldi Campaign, Spring/Summer 2012". Archived from the original on January 20, 2013. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
  21. ^ "Marina Rinaldi Denim, Fall/Winter 2012". Archived from the original on December 4, 2012. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
  22. ^ "Models Ashley Graham & Geo Burke for Marina Rinaldi Sport". Archived from the original on December 4, 2012. Retrieved November 5, 2012.
  23. ^ "Full Figure Fashion Week 2012 Awards". Retrieved November 17, 2013.
  24. ^ Friede, Eva (November 15, 2013). "Ashley Graham's star power plus". The Gazette. Montreal. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
  25. ^ "Carine Roitfeld's new BAZAAR shoot: Beauty & The Best of Pre-Fall". April 2, 2014. Archived from the original on April 4, 2014. Retrieved April 5, 2014.
  26. ^ Cruz, Marcy. "Plus Model Ashley Graham Graces Cover of ELLE Magazine Quebec". Plus Model Magazine. Archived from the original on May 8, 2014. Retrieved May 7, 2014.
  27. ^ Durando, Jessica. "Plus-sized model Ashley Graham lands 'Sports Illustrated' swimsuit ad". USA Today. Retrieved February 8, 2015.
  28. ^ Mazziotta, Julie (February 14, 2016). "5 Things to Know About Ashley Graham, Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue's First Size-16 Cover Girl". People. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
  29. ^ Lujan, Adam (July 21, 2016). "'ANTM': Tyra Banks taps Rita Ora as new host, reveals new judging panel". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
  30. ^ Bauck, Whitney (May 20, 2016). "Ashley Graham on Challenging Beauty Standards in DNCE's 'Toothbrush' Video With Joe Jonas: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
  31. ^ Ganz, Jami (June 26, 2017). "'Lip Sync Battle': Ashley Graham Channels Shania Twain in New Clip". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  32. ^ Regensdorf, Laura. "How Curvy Model Ashley Graham Helped Redefine Beauty Norms for a Body-Positive Generation." Vogue, Vogue, May 25, 2017.
  33. ^ "The Ashley Graham Project". IMDb. Retrieved May 23, 2022.
  34. ^ Weinberg, Lindsay (November 7, 2018). "Ashley Graham to Host, Executive Produce 'American Beauty Star' Season 2". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
  35. ^ Losciale, Marisa (March 12, 2023). "Ashley Graham Is Ready to Take Flight at the 2023 Oscars". Parade. Retrieved March 12, 2023.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  36. ^ a b Regensdorf, Laura (May 9, 2017). "Model Ashley Graham's Honest New Book Chronicles the Making of a Body-Positive Icon". Vogue. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  37. ^ a b "Ashley Graham on Authenticity and Being a Body Image Activist". Glamour. November 1, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  38. ^ Belle, Elly (March 21, 2018). "Ashley Graham Explained Why Body Type Doesn't Make Someone a "Real Woman"". Teen Vogue. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  39. ^ Barr, Sabrina (April 19, 2018). "ASHLEY GRAHAM CRITICISES BODY SHAMER WHO COMPARED HER TO A 'REAL MODEL'". Independent. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  40. ^ "Plus-size model Ashley Graham on high-fashion and health". Metro. January 21, 2015. Retrieved February 22, 2016. I promote health at every size.
  41. ^ Graham, Ashley (January 2015). "Beauty Beyond Size". The Edit. Archived from the original on October 5, 2016. Retrieved February 22, 2016. I think that you can be healthy at any size and my goal is to help and educate women on that.
  42. ^ Thomason, Kristine (February 19, 2016). "Ashley Graham Opens Up About Being Healthy at Any Size". Retrieved February 22, 2016. I believe you can be healthy at any size as long as you're getting off the couch and moving your body
  43. ^ Alter, Charlotte. "Ashley Graham: Watch Her Inspiring TED Talk About Body Image." Time, Time, May 30, 2015.
  44. ^ Young, Sarah (March 20, 2019). "ASHLEY GRAHAM'S 'EMPOWERING' INSTAGRAM POST IS HELPING WOMEN LOVE THEIR CELLULITE". Independent. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  45. ^ Brabar, Kasandra (December 1, 2017). "Ashley Graham Says It's Time We Stop Calling People "Plus-Size"". Refinery 29. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  46. ^ Garvey, Marianne (August 14, 2019). "Ashley Graham announces she's pregnant with her first child". CNN.
  47. ^ "Ashley Graham, a supermodel turning heads as a role model". CBS News. December 3, 2017.
  48. ^ Juneau, Jen (January 20, 2020). "Ashley Graham and Husband Justin Ervin Welcome a Son: 'Our Lives Changed for the Better'". People. Archived from the original on January 21, 2020.
  49. ^ VanHoose, Benjamin (July 13, 2021). "Ashley Graham Is Pregnant! Model Expecting Baby No. 2 with Husband Justin Ervin: Our 'Next Chapter'". People. Archived from the original on July 13, 2021. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
  50. ^ VanHoose, Benjamin (September 20, 2021). "Pregnant Ashley Graham Reveals She's Expecting Twin Boys: 'Are You Serious?'". Archived from the original on September 20, 2021. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
  51. ^ Dupre, Elyse; Bergeson, Samantha (January 7, 2022). "Ashley Graham Gives Birth, Welcomes Twins With Husband Justin Ervin". E! Online. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
  52. ^ "Ashley Graham instagram announcement".
  53. ^ Maas, Jennifer (March 21, 2023). "HGTV Orders 'Barbie Dreamhouse Challenge' Series as Part of Cross-Network Summer Promo for Greta Gerwig's 'Barbie' Movie (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved June 16, 2023.
  54. ^ Amatulli, Jenna (May 31, 2018). "Maroon 5, Cardi B's 'Girls Like You' Video Is a Star-Studded Dance Party". HuffPost. Archived from the original on May 31, 2018. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
  55. ^ Glicksman, Josh (October 16, 2018). "Maroon 5 Releases New Version of 'Girls Like You' Music Video: Watch". Billboard. Retrieved February 11, 2022.
  56. ^ "Maroon 5 – Girls Like You (Vertical Video) featuring Cardi B". Spotify.

External links[edit]