Ashley Graham says her career "really started to take off" once she accepted her body
The 32-year-old model - who is expecting a baby boy with husband Justin Ervin - has previously tried "every diet known to man" to lose weight and used to get told she needed to shed the pounds, and it was only once she let go of the fact that she will never be "thin" that she became "more confident" in herself
9 December 2019
Speaking in the January 2020 issue of Vogue magazine - of which she is a cover star - she said: "I've never been thin, so I don't even know what that feels like. But I've had people tell me I needed to lose weight. I've tried every diet known to man, but they don't work, because I'm a curvy woman - a big-boned, healthy, corn-fed Nebraska girl. It is who I am.
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"And once I accepted that, the more confident I became, and that's when my career really started to take off."
Ashley has gained 40lbs during her pregnancy and she has admitted she felt very "alone" because she no longer has "control" over her changing body, but after she took the advice of her stylist to start making friends with other expectant mothers, she started to feel a lot better.
She said: "I've always had control over my body - when everyone else wanted to dictate what it should be, I took full control over it - but I had this life inside of me saying, It's not yours anymore, it's mine. And you have to just succumb. And I felt like I didn't have anyone to talk to. I was gaining weight rapidly. And I felt alone.
"And the one piece of advice that my stylist, Jordan Foster, gave me was, Make pregnant friends. None of my friends were in relationships, let alone pregnant. And now I have nine pregnant friends."
And the former 'America's Next Top Model' judge says she wanted to "change the narrative" of pregnancy and let other mothers know that it's OK to be "scared".
She added: "I wanted to know every single thing, and I still love talking about it.
"Because I feel like it's important to kind of change the narrative and be like, it's normal to feel scared, and not be one of those women who are like, 'Oh, it's so great!' Just be scared out of your mind. That's normal."