If you’re a new mom looking for women who keep it 100% real about pregnancy and postpartum life, look no further than Ashley Graham’s Instagram account. As a plus-size model and television presenter, Graham has always been outspoken about body positivity — especially throughout her pregnancy. And now that she’s a new mom to baby Isaac Menelik Giovanni Ervin, Graham’s very real photos keep on coming. Just last week, she posted a photo of herself breastfeeding in public at a coffee shop. And yesterday, in arguably her most real post yet (and the most recent example that has moms like us cheering as we scroll), the new momma uploaded a beautiful, candid photo of her post-pregnancy stretch marks. The caption: “same me. few new stories.”
With realness, though, often comes painstaking vulnerability. This is why Graham has been hesitant in the past to post certain photos of herself. On her Fearless show earlier this year, she discussed one such inner debate over posting a naked pic: “I just felt terrible. That morning actually, I really thought to myself, ‘Get it together, Ashley. There are other women out there who are going through the same thing as you. Why don’t you have a dialogue with them? This is a new body that I’m walking into. Why don’t I just put myself out there with this new body?’” But once Graham saw how many people she helped by posting a nude pregnancy photo, there was no stopping her.
In her latest post, Graham acknowledges the very real truth that so many women learn: that stretch marks tell a beautiful, honest story. From there, many women opened up about their own postpartum stories. “Such a beautiful map of a life well traveled!” someone commented. “Thank you for this picture, makes me feel so much better of myself and my similar stretch marks!” another follower wrote.
Tiger stripes, as some call them, are normal and nothing to be ashamed of. If anything, they show just how fierce and brave this new mama is. Welcome to motherhood, Ashley!
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