#IMNOANGEL Campaign Launch

(Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images)

If you don’t yet know the name Ashley Graham, you will certainly recognize her face: she’s one of the most successful plus-size models in the game, having appeared on the covers of ELLE Quebec and The Edit magazines and in the pages of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Glamour. Ashley is also a lingerie designer–her collection debuted at Addition Elle in 2013, and trust me, her bras are amazing–and she’s a body-positive activist, having recently given her first TEDx Talk called “Plus Size? More Like My Size“. Oh, and if that weren’t enough, Ashley was the very first curvy model to be featured in Sports Illustrated magazine.

I’ve been a huge fan of Ashley’s ever since she appeared in the October 2009 issue of Glamour magazine. I was in my second year of university and I remember being struck by the fact that I had never seen a woman with curves in a national magazine before. I cut out her photos and pasted them up on my bathroom mirror. Getting to ask her five questions was pretty much a dream come true for me. This is my #blessed moment.

And now, without further ado, here are five questions for model, activist, and designer Ashley Graham.

The Gloss: What has been the biggest highlight in your career this far?
Ashley Graham: I’ve been modeling for 15 years and have worked on so many amazing shoots, but my favorite project to work on so far has been preparing for my TEDx talk called “Plus Size? More Like My Size“. It was one of the most challenging and humbling experiences of my life. It was a great platform for me to discuss my role as a body activist.

We love your lingerie line for Addition Elle–I own three of your bras myself! What inspired you to design a lingerie collection?
I’m so glad you love the line! I’m always inspired by my fans and my fellow curvy girls, who I know are in need of really sexy and beautiful lingerie. They talk to me on social media and let me know their favorite pieces and what sizes they need, and I take all of that into consideration when I’m designing with Addition Elle.

ashley graham for addition elle

(Photo courtesy Addition Elle)

You’ve had some pretty incredible career highlights, so I’m curious: what do you want to accomplish next?
I’m inspired by models like Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks who have built empires around their modeling careers–that is my goal. I’m currently developing my own workout series called “Curvy Fit Club” that caters to women who want to keep their curves tight and toned. I’m excited for it to fully launch and become a household name. And who knows, maybe one day I’ll be hosting my own show and be on the cover of Sports Illustrated!

What’s your approach to makeup and beauty in the summer? Any products that you love in particular?

I keep it easy and glowing! I like to throw my hair in a top knot or high ponytail. And my favorite beauty product right now is the RMS luminizer for a constant glow.

ashley graham elle quebec

(Photo: ELLE Quebec)

If you could give your younger self some advice, what would that be?
Be your own role model. Envision the woman you want to be in 20 years, and aspire to be HER and no one else. Start developing your own definition of beauty. Embrace your body, love everything about your body. You’re only given one!

To learn more about Ashley Graham, visit her website and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

Do you know someone who should be featured in an upcoming 5 Questions For column? Tweet me or email me: kristynfilip@gmail.com