Ashley Graham Opens Up About Her Family's Shocking Racism Towards Her Husband

The 29-year-old has revealed her family didn't initially accept her husband because of his skin colour.

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She might have just revealed how her mum helped her embrace her cellulite and accept her changing body, but it appears model Ashley Graham's relationship with her close family members hasn't always been smooth sailing.

In a recent interview, the 29-year-old Sports Illustrated model opened up about the struggles she faced when her family didn't initially accept her African American boyfriend due to his race.

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Describing the moment when she brought her husband of six years, Justin Ervin, the model revealed to Glamour magazine: 'I naively hoped everyone would be colorblind.'

In an excerpt from her new memoir A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like, the catwalk star admits she was 'shocked' at her grandmother's reaction to her videographer beau.

'I brought Justin home to Nebraska. Now, I should probably mention that Justin is black, and that I didn't grow up around many black people. The sum total of what I learned about African American culture in school was Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and The Underground Railroad,' she said.

I naively hoped everyone would be colourblind.

'This was more than my mum knew; she didn't even see a black person in real life until she was 18-years-old,' she added.

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Mile high club ❤️✈️

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Of course, oblivious to how her family would react to bringing her boyfriend home, she admits she hadn't even considered telling her grandparents the skin colour of her new boyfriend.

Because, obviously – why would she?

She explains: 'When my grandparents met Justin, my grandmother was cordial but cold. She greeted him and immediately walked away. When it came time for them to leave, my grandparents didn't even acknowledge him. Instead my grandmother looked me in the eye, with Justin standing behind me, and said, 'Tell that guy I said goodbye.'

The shock Graham felt was overwhelming.

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'I had never seen my loving, hardworking, and wonderful grandma be so hurtful and so racist,' she admitted.

My grandmother looked me in the eye, with Justin standing behind me, and said, 'Tell that guy I said goodbye.'

However, the 5ft 9inch model praises her husband for being understanding and patient with her family's prejudice towards him.

She noted: 'Justin made me understand that someone like my grandma only saw black men depicted on television in situations involving guns, rape, and violence—situations that perpetuate racist stereotypes against black people in general and black men in particular.'

Happy Birthday to my #1!

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As the years went by, the model – who recently admitted she didn't have sex with her hubby until their wedding day – revealed her family finally grew to love Justin and, recalled a cherished moment between Justin and her grandmother.

I had never seen my loving, hardworking, and wonderful grandma be so hurtful and so racist.

She explained: 'Justin called my grandmother on her 60th wedding anniversary. He's not a texter or an emailer; he's a pick-up-the-phone-and-call-you person, and anniversaries are a big deal to him,' she explained.

'Afterward Grandma called my mom and said, 'You'll never guess who called me.' And from then on out, she loved him ... Loved him,' she concluded.

We're glad to hear her family finally saw sense.

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