We talk to Ashley Graham about that Beach Body debate

'The only thing that needs to be in shape is your confidence'

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Protein World’s body-shaming fail has become Ashley Graham’s win. As if we needed another reason to love the plus-size model, she took to Instagram to post the best response to the brand’s banned Beach Body campaign of all (and we’ve seen a lot):

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Bold, empowering statements like this one are what make Graham a woman worth knowing and paying attention to.

She's not just a model, she's becoming an advocate for women whose bodies aren't runway model thin — so, most of us — as well.  When we asked her about her brilliant comeback, she said she wanted to use the controversy around the campaign to promote greater body confidence. 'The ad is another platform for us to have a conversation about the need for body diversity in media and fashion. I hope this turns a tide in the way women and men view healthy, beautiful bodies,' she says. 

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Graham's take on the Protein World ad is especially badass because it features a shot from her famous appearance in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (that's the magazine world's equivalent of the Victoria's Secret Angels). Granted, Graham appeared in an ad campaign, but the moment was game-changing because she was the first plus-size model to ever grace its pages, effectively destroying the old, tired idea of the size zero beach body. She promoted it with an equally powerful hashtag, #CurvesInBikinis, and has been waving the flag for women of all shapes and sizes in all sorts of awesome ways ever since. 

'People say things like, "I need to get beach body ready." Or, "Summer bodies are made in the winter." That implies that your body needs to be "in shape" in order to accepted at the beach. I disagree. The only thing that needs to be in shape is your confidence. All that matters is that you feel great in whatever you choose to wear. All bodies are beach ready,' she tells us. Look for her in the upcoming Body Issue of ELLE UK, which hits newsstands next month. 

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