Ashley Graham does her best to inspire women around the world with her unedited presence on social media and by being her unapologetic self. But on Friday’s episode of her digital EllenTube series, Fearless, the mom-to-be showed her vulnerable side. Graham, joined by mother-of-four Taylor Hoit, spoke frankly about the changes that come with motherhood — including the physical transformations of a woman’s body.
The conversation stemmed from a photo that Graham posted to Instagram, just after announcing her pregnancy, in which she displayed the stretch marks that she’d started to develop. Although sharing that image had kicked off a positive social media movement about women’s bodies, Graham admits that doing so had been extremely difficult for her.
“The reason I had posted that original photo, I had just announced that I was pregnant and I thought then I was gonna feel good, and I didn’t. I felt, I just felt terrible,” Graham said as she fought through tears. “That morning I was like, get it together, Ashley. There’s other women out there that are going through the same thing as you. Why don’t you have a dialogue with them?”
The supermodel was quickly assured that other women were facing the same struggles, as mothers and moms-to-be commented on Graham’s post to praise her for her honesty and her bravery in starting the difficult conversation. Graham even called it a “new world of body confidence.”
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“This is a new body that I’m walking into, why don’t I just put myself out there with this new body?” she continued. “I felt so isolated, I felt so alone.”
Graham’s followers even wound up posting their own unedited body photos. One of those women was Hoit, who agreed that such physical changes can feel isolating — and who, like Graham, found strength in making herself so vulnerable online.
“I struggled, like, I wanted to take it down,” Hoit said of a photo she posted 10 weeks after giving birth to twins. “And then [Graham] liked it and I was like, ‘I’m gonna keep it up.’ And that’s the truth.”
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