Ashley Graham Ervin is an American model and television presenter. After a lifetime of modeling, Graham had her debut on the cover of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2016. A year later, Graham 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.
Years active: 2000–present
Born age: October 30, 1987, 35 years old and 11 months, Lincoln, Nebraska, US
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Hair Color: Brown
Eye Color: Brown
Height: 5 ft 9.5 in (177 cm)
Measurements: 42-30-46 in / 106.68-76.2-116.84 cm
Bra size: 38D US / 85D EU
- Mother Name: Linda Graham
- Siblings Names: Abigail Graham
- Spouse: Justin Ervin (m. 2010)
- Children: Isaac Menelik Giovanni Ervin, Malachi Ervin, Roman Ervin, (twins)
- Middle School: Scott Middle School (1999-2002)
- High School: Lincoln Southwest High School (2002-2005)
When Graham was in middle school, she moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, with her family. While growing up, she was diagnosed with ADD and dyslexia. She attended Scott Middle School from 1999 to 2002 and Lincoln Southwest High School from 2002 to 2005. She was identified in 2000 by the I & I agency while shopping at Oak View Mall in Omaha, Nebraska.
Graham started modeling at the age of 12. In 2001, she signed with Wilhelmina Models after attending a model convention. In 2003, she switched to Ford Models. During her early career, she appeared in YM magazine. In April 2007, she was profiled by Sally Singer of Vogue magazine. 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. In 2010, Graham appeared in a controversial 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. On May 31, 2010, she appeared on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno to address the controversy. She has also walked for such international designers as Prabal Gurung, Michael Kors, Love Mag, Dolce and Gabbana, H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, Rag and Bone, and Christian Siriano.
In December 2010, Graham appeared in an editorial for Bust magazine. She appeared in several Levi’s campaigns, notably 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. Graham has appeared in several Marina Rinaldi campaigns: Spring/Summer 2012, Fall/Winter 2012 denim, Other clients include Addition Elle, Bloomingdale’s, Elomi lingerie, Evans, Hanes, Liz Claiborne Macy’s, Nordstrom, Simply Be and Target. In December 2012, Graham was featured on two billboards in New York for Lane Bryant. At the end of that year, she was named the Full Figured Fashion Week’s Model of the Year.
In 2013, Graham designed a lingerie line for Addition Elle, a Canadian plus-size clothing retailer. She also appeared on MTV‘s Made, as a coach for an aspiring plus-size model. She appeared on the May 2014 issue for the international Harper’s Bazaar pre-fall collection and beauty editorial. She was the cover model on the June 2014 issue of Elle Quebec. 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. In 2016, she became the first plus-size model to appear on its cover.
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 an official judge on America’s Next Top Model on VH1.
In 2016, Graham appeared opposite Joe Jonas in DNCE‘s video for the song “Toothbrush”. 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“.
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, 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.
Graham hosted second season of American Beauty Star in 2019.
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.
Graham is a proponent of the body positivity and the Health at Every Size movements. 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.
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.”
Graham has been praised by women on Instagram for sharing photos showing her cellulite. 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’.” 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.”
Graham has participated in missionary work in South Africa with the Themba Foundation.
She met her husband, Justin Ervin, a videographer, at church in 2009; they married the next year. In August 2019, Graham and Ervin announced that they were expecting their first child.
In a 2017 interview with CBS News, Graham admitted that her interracial relationship with Ervin, who is black, shocked her family:
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. In July 2021, she announced they were expecting a second child, which turned out to be twin sons. In January 2022, Graham gave birth to the twins at home.
Ashley Graham’s Most Loved Things:
- Favorite Lip Ointment: Aquaphor Lip Repair Ointment
- Favorite Supplement: Natural Vitality Calm Magnesium Citrate Supplement
- Favorite Hair Serum: Kérastase Initialiste Advanced Scalp and Hair Serum
A Few Fun Facts About Ashley Graham
Ashley has always been vocal about her body positivity message, and the last place you’d expect it to reach is sports. However, Graham did appear on the cover of the famed Sports Illustrated Magazine and was the first model to do so.
Today, Graham is one of the highest-paid models in the world, and most of it comes from her line of Swimsuits For All. Sticking to her ideals really did help Ashley make it big in the modeling world.
- She has attended the shows- ‘Entertainment Tonight’, ‘Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ (it dealt with her Lane Bryant Ad)
- She was still in High School when she started her career as a model.
- She has been interviewed by CBS News, NPR.
- She has Modeled & appeared on Commercials for- Addition Elle, Bloomingdale’s, Denim, Elomi lingerie, Evans, Hanes, Levi, Liz Claiborne Macy’s, Nordstrom, Marina Rinaldi, swimsuitsforall, Target.
- In 2012 she was named Full Figured Fashion Week’s Model of the Year.
- Ashley Graham designed a lingerie line for the Canadian clothing store chain – Addition Elle in 2013.
- Swimsuitsforall made a campaign #CurvesInBikinis to raise the awareness that every type of body is beautiful. Ashley Graham was hired by swimsuitsforall for the campaign.
- Ashley Graham became the 1st plus-size model to be published on the cover of ‘Sports Illustrated‘
- Graham was a judge at the reality show ‘America’s Next Top Model‘
- Graham was a backstage host for the competitions Miss USA 2016, Miss USA 2017
- Jezebel listed her as one of the Top 5 plus size models alongside Alyona Osmanova, Leah Kelley, Sabina Karlsson, Marquita Pring.
- Ashley was of size 12 at the age of 12.
- I was always beyond confident because my mom and dad never put me down for my size, I come from a big-boned family.
- She was listed in the prestigious- Forbes Top 30 Under 30 list.
- Ashley Graham lingerie collection: Ashley launched her own line of lingeries in 2015. She designs them for Addition Elle, swimsuitsforall.
- TED Talk: Ashley has given a talk on body diversity to a full hall audience.
- In November 2016 in the show “Good Morning America” as a part of the series ‘Body Proud’ doctors conducted medical tests on Ashley & Abeda Davis 2 of the popular plus-size models, the tests concluded both to be very healthy. It goes on to break the myth that full figure bodies are unhealthy
- She is into sports like Boxing & practices fitness exercises like Barre, Bootcamp, CrossFit, Rollerblading, Weight-lifting. She usually works out in the morning.
- She got called ‘Cow’ on her instagram account for her size, but such mean comments never disturbed her as she felt comfortable with herself.
- Ashley and her trainer have created a fitness program called ‘Curvy Fit Club’ for the plus size women.
- She is lactose intolerant, she takes sorbet instead of ice creams.
- She was named ‘Woman of the Year’ by Glamour(2016)
- There is a Barbie doll modeled after Ashley
- She was listed in People Magazine’s ’25 Most Intriguing People of the Year. for the year2016.
- She featured in the ‘Most Influence People in the World’ by TIME magazine for 2017.
- Ashley Graham’s book: ‘A NEW MODEL: What Confidence, Beauty & Power Really Look Like’ is a book published by Ashley in 2017, it was published through ‘Dey Street Books’
- She can drink a bottle of water in one take.
- She laughs obnoxiously as per her own confession.
- She can apply lipstick without a mirror.
- Ashley is White by race, but has looks similar to Eva Mendez who is a Latino.
- She is the first plus-size model to be hired by Jennifer Lopez for her line of clothing
- Her husband has a pet name for her- Butt.
- She was molested at the age of 10 by a relative f age 18, and had went through domestic abuse.
- Substance abuse: She was addicted to cocaine and was also into alcohol when she was 19.
- Ashley had been making in excess of $100,000 per year since she was 17. But she lost a lot of it in her youth from irresponsible spending.
- She was bullied in school, she was called named like ‘thunder thighs’, ‘cottage cheese thighs’
- She appeared in a video for DNCE singer Joe Jonas.
- Her mother had not seen a black person in real life until she was 18 years old.
- She is of German & English ancestry.
- She had a broken relationship with her father. He was critical of Ashley and had nicknamed her ‘Duh’, shaming her for her size and calling her dumb.
- Her first boyfriend dumped her for being fat and not willing to have sex with.
- She considers Kim Kardashian her Icon and inspiration.
- Stand up for curves, confidence is sexy.
- Let’s face it, America is getting bigger, and women want to see themselves instead of the image of what society says they should be.
- I really feel like I am a lingerie girl
- The healthier you are, the more comfortable you’ll be in your own skin. And that’s all that matters.
- When people see a big person, they equate them with unhealthy, But I think I am the definition of health, even though I am quite curvy.
- If you think everyone is staring at you, just think, ‘It must be because I look awesome.’
- Working out helps with depression, sleeping, it helps with confidence.
- There is so much more to being happy in life than being concerned about your weight and the way you look
- I workout, I do my best to eat well. I love the skin I’m in. And I’m not ashamed of a few lumps, bumps or cellulite and you shouldn’t be either
- I’m fully aware that I’m being praised for something a lot of women of color have been put down for, simply because I’m white.
- I lost my virginity to a guy I barely knew because he gave me compliments
- Her favorite green juice has: apple, ginger, kale, lemon, spinach.
- Diet Breakfast: yogurt + granola + honey.
- Regular lunch: carbs, meat, vegetables
- Avoids: fried food, Ice creams.