Ashley Graham talks the importance of body-inclusive NYFW runway shows
On Wednesday afternoon, for the second time ever, model Ashley Graham walked the New York Fashion Week runway at Kia Style360 dressed in revealing lingerie from her collection with plus-size fashion brand Addition Elle.
While this season's fashion week has been more inclusive than ever, with a handful of plus-size women walking alongside straight-sized models, Graham's curves-only show made a powerful statement about the importance of normalizing all different body types on a highly scrutinized platform, like, in this case, a runway during NYFW.
"I was a girl in middle school who never had representation of a body like mine," Graham said in an interview with Mic after the show. "I also went through high school thinking that I was ugly and fat because I had cellulite and like fat in weird places and nobody had a body like mine."
Graham continued, "And you have seen so many different types of bodies in this runway show, some of them were in clothes, some of them were in lingerie and young girls get to see what they look like."
And that is why Graham believes designers should be continued to be praised for casting a diverse spectrum of models, even if it becomes the "norm."
"No one's talking about [how model] Marquita Pring walked in the Tome show," she said. "It's great and it's bad. Not bad in a sense that it shouldn't have happened, but that's exactly what we want. We want models that are curvy to be integrated into the high-end, straight-sized world. But we also want to talk about those designers that are doing it. It's happening. Right before our eyes."
At the end of the day, with a significant amount of imagery still featuring one "ideal" body type, Graham simple recommends that women stop comparing themselves with one another.
"I swear I compared myself to other women for way too long, and the moment I stopped doing it I actually became successful and very happy with my skin," she said.
See more images from the Addition Elle Holiday 2016 and Ashley Graham Lingerie runway show below.