Ashley Graham shares her heartbreaking story of being called big and being judged by her teachers at age 9

Ashley Graham shares her heartbreaking story of being called big and being judged by her teachers at age 9

Ashley Graham has looked back at her early years in a new interview on Time titled The Words I Use To Encourage Self Love.

The 36-year-old cover girl has served as a prominent face in the world of modeling and the body positivity movement.

But when she was a child, she was crushed that she did not look like tall, skinny blonde girls.

And the siren felt the way her teachers looked at her was awful. She was also not thrilled when other kids called her ‘big.’

Meanwhile, she was flying to New York City on the weekends for modeling work, as her career was already taking off.

But it was her mother who comforted her with her wise words when she told Ashley that she would one day change the world with her fuller figure.

Graham’s accomplished career has led to her gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2016, being a part of the TIME100 List in 2017, and recently releasing her own children’s book titled, A Kid’s Book About Beauty.

Graham exclusively shared with TIME about the earliest moments when she was confronted with beauty.

She was made fun of growing up for having a body that wasn’t conventionally attractive.

Graham on the moment she was confronted with the notion of beauty when she was a kid.

‘I was 9 years old when I was first confronted with the idea of beauty. I’d always been a larger kid—stout, athletic. People would tell me I was «big and strong,»‘ she shared.

‘But this girl, a stranger I saw one day at Target—she was different.

‘She had long, thin legs, a flat tummy, and grown-up breasts. Her blonde hair fell perfectly down her shoulders.

‘I was so young, and yet I knew: she was pretty. I wanted to be that. I didn’t know what modeling was back then—I didn’t even know what fashion was—but I wanted what she had. I wanted to command attention.’

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Ashley Graham shares her heartbreaking story of being called big and being judged by her teachers at age 9
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