Ashley Graham is one of several models who appear together on the cover of the March 2017 issue of Vogue, posing with Liu Wen, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, Adwoa Aboah, Imaan Hammam and Vittoria Ceretti.
With the women all wearing high-wasted shorts and matching black turtlenecks for the shot, the cover immediately began generating controversy when critics began pointing out something different about Graham’s pose, in that she’s the only one of the seven women to place her hand on her thigh in what some are charging is a strategic manner in order to make her look slimmer.
In addition, others claimed that the way Hadid’s arm reaches beyond Jenner’s waist and through to Graham’s is an indication that Photoshop was used to thin Graham’s midsection.
To quell the controversy, the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue model posted a comment on her own Instagram page to clarify that the pose she struck was her own doing and not part of a conspiracy to make her appear thinner.
“I chose to pose like that,” she wrote. “No one told me to do anything.”
Inside the issue, Graham speaks candidly about the changing size of supermodels. “Sixty-seven per cent of the women in America wear a size 14 or larger,” she tells Vogue. “Sixty-seven per cent. Maybe you could ignore those consumers before, but now, thanks to social media, they’re making their voices heard. Women are demanding that brands give them what they want. And what they want is to be visible.”
She added: “Designers aren’t the only ones pushing fashion in an all-embracing direction.”
Weighing the evidence, Graham has never tried to hide her full-figured physique, and recently posted an unflattering photo of her own cellulite on Instagram in order to get across the message that “I’m not ashamed of a few lumps, bumps of cellulite… and you shouldn’t be either.”