Ashley Graham On Self-Love, Religious Beliefs And Staying Grounded

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It's here! ELLE UK's 'Wonder Women' issue is a celebration of role models far and wide. Women who have been pioneers, set examples, fought for their careers and what they believe in, set a standard and given us things to aspire to be and to emulate.

On one of our four covers is incredible model Ashley Graham, who has opened up about diversity in the fashion industry, her religious beliefs and body positivity.

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On whether she has always been body confident:

'I have, yes.

'My problem though, was I kept getting bigger because I wasn't taking care of my body. I wasn't working out. I was eating whatever because I was in this category – 'plus size' – and it got out of control. I started hating my body, but I never hid it with clothing because I always felt sexy inside. The moment that I started respecting myself, my clothes changed.

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'I hate the word 'plus size'.'

Gettin that 🍑 right with @christine_grubbs💪🏽 #sundaymorning #curvyfit

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On whether her faith affects her career decisions:

'When I'm shooting lingerie or Sports Illustrated, I'm aware that my pastor follows me on Instagram. You should be the same person from the moment you wake up to when you go to bed.'

On the importance of her religious beliefs:

'I come from a Christian background, and when I moved to New York, I got away from God. Then I realised that living here, you need something to keep you grounded or you'll go crazy.'

The inaugural ELLE Wonder Women issue celebrates inspiring and diverse women and features four individual collectable covers – Ashley Graham, Susan Sarandon, Beth Ditto and Alek Wek.

It hits newsstands today!

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