Ashley Graham was discovered in a Nebraska mall at age 12 and started modeling soon after. She later became the first size-16 woman to cover Sports Illustrated’s Swimsuit Issue in 2016. The next year, she was the first curvy model to walk the Michael Kors runway at New York Fashion Week. Along the way, the 31-year-old became outspoken about body diversity, railing against unrealistic beauty standards.
She now has more than 8 million Instagram followers, a popular podcast called Pretty Big Deal,and she hosts Lifetime’s American Beauty Star and has launched Fearless, a reality lifestyle show on Ellen DeGeneres’ digital network.
In our “The First Time” video series, she shares more about how she’s stood up for herself in an industry that is known for being brutal to women and their self-image and about speaking publicly about her body during her TED X talk, “Plus Size? More Like My Size.”
But one of the stories that many people may not know is about one of her first times walking a runway as a teenager for a Lane Bryant show. She was with Mia Tyler, daughter of Steven Tyler, who invited her to dinner after the show. “I’m sitting there with the whole band of Aerosmith and I turn to the guy sitting next to me and ask, ‘What do you do for a living?’ Sure enough it was the drummer.” We assume it was Joey Kramer, and he was probably just enjoying meeting such young, motivated woman being positive.
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