Dear Internet: Ashley Graham’s Body is Not Up for Debate

ashley graham runway
credit: Ovidiu Hrubaru/

Ashley Graham is still facing Sports Illustrated Swimsuit hate one year later, and it’s time to put a stop to it.

In 2016, when Graham was named one of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit rookies, she received more backlash than she knew what to do with. As the first size-16 woman to grace the cover, fans were angry that SI dared to deviate from their typical size 0 model. She told AOL,

“Something I did when I was announced as one of the rookies for Sports Illustrated was, I started reading the comments after they had announced me. I literally, started to hysterically cry because there were men who were like ‘who is this fat cow who is now in Sports Illustrated. Oh, I work out every single day of my life, and then this heifer can come in and be in a magazine.’ Reading that at first made me feel like I’ve ruined the magazine. They took a chance on a big girl and now I have ruined it for them. I don’t know why, but I kept reading because you get into a black hole.”

With the help of her fans, she was able to realize “I can’t just be about the haters, I can’t feed into what they are saying about me” and move on. But one year later and the internet hate is still going, except this time in a very different way.

Graham just released her new 2017 SI Swimsuit photo and folks are pissed AF. Not because they think she looks too fat, but because they think she looks too skinny! Fans are concerned that SI photoshopped her butt, taking away from her curves.

Neither Ashley nor SI has responded to the controversy and we hope they don’t ever respond. Ashley looks freaking amazing and it’s time folks stopped analyzing her body. To be clear, we’re not condoning the use of photoshop on women’s bodies, not by a landslide. It’s never ok to slim down someone’s figure or “perfect” it for the sake conforming them to the “ideal standards.” But for gosh sake, you don’t need to put every one Ashley’s picture under a microscope! It’s time we stop over analyzing women’s bodies, period. And judging her for being “too skinny” is just as bad as judging her for being “too fat.”

The sad thing is that this isn’t even the first time this has been an issue for Ashley. A while back she posted a pic of herself on the set of ANTM and so-called fans attacked her for appearing too slender. She quickly spoke up for herself and told everyone that she had not, in fact, lost any weight, but just knew her angles really well.

And that brings us to our next point: Ashley is one of the greatest body advocates and she’s her own best ally. Don’t you think she would speak up if they were photoshopping the crap out of her hot bod? Graham has a voice and she knows how to use it. So you don’t need to criticize every photo she takes.  Because guess what? Women’s bodies are not up for debate. Period.


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Lena Finkel
Lena Finkel is the Editor and Founder of Femestella. Prior to starting Femestella, she worked at People, InStyle, Tiger Beat, and Sesame Workshop (aka Sesame Street). She loves all things Real Housewives and Vanderpump Rules. When she's not busy binge-watching TV, you can find her hanging out with her tuxedo cat Tom.