Ashley Graham Claps Back at Critic and Sparks Viral Body-Positive Photo Challenge

The model stood up to a hater with an empowering call to action.
Ashley Graham

Ashley Graham.

Ashley Graham is not here for body shamers. After the model posted a stunning photo of herself in a gold backless dress last week, Twitter user Sameera Khan reposted two images of Graham in a now-deleted tweet that said, “The fat positivity movement is getting out of hand.”

It didn’t take long for the 35-year-old to clap back at her critic. On Monday, Dec. 19, she tweeted a photo of herself rocking the gold POSTER GIRL mini dress with a call to action.

“Quote tweet this with a photo of you taking 'fat positivity' too far. I'll start,” read Graham’s tweet.

Graham’s post, which has received 142,000 likes, was flooded with women praising her and sharing their own body-positive photos in the comments section.

One follower commented, “Yes curvy queen!,” while another person shared a personal anecdote: “How dare I love this picture of me jumping gleefully into the Mediterranean, on my dream anniversary trip to the Amalfi Coast, with the love of my life. How dare I take things so far as to experience unbridled joy (and unbridled pasta) and self love in this middle aged mom body?”

The mom of three’s challenge also prompted fans and followers to share similar photos on Instagram, where Graham posted a few to her Stories.

“There were soooooooooooo many beautiful women posting themselves. The twitter thread is incredible. I love ya’ll so much I hope you remember to love yourself just as much,” she wrote on a Story.

Fellow SI Swimsuit model Irina Shayk posted a photo of Graham’s 2016 SI Swimsuit Issue cover on her own IG Story that said, “Studies actually show that 👑 is the 👑... Anddddd there is nooooo one standard of beauty or one perfect size ✋.”

Graham was the first size 16 model to appear on the SI Swimsuit cover. A year later, she continued breaking barriers when she became the first plus-size model to appear on the cover of Vogue.

“It’s amazing that Sports Illustrated has always been the forefront of size diversity... and then to see even more curvy girls, I mean duh, it’s amazing,” she told SI Swimsuit in an interview. “And it’s not just your typical hourglass body types, we got all kinds up in there.”

The model recently helped spread 2021 Swim Search finalist Gabriella Halikas’s message of all-inclusive body confidence in a recent TikTok—see it here.

Make sure to follow SI Lifestyle in Google News!

Cara O’Bleness


Cara is a trending news writer/editor for Sports Illustrated Swimsuit. A passionate writer and editor with more than 10 years of experience in print and online media, she loves storytelling and believes that words have the power to change the world. Prior to joining the team, Cara worked as a writer and editor across a number of content verticals, including food, lifestyle, health and wellness, and small business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Cara loves reading, spending time with her family and making her way through Michigan’s many microbreweries. She is a graduate of Michigan State University's School of Journalism.