Ashley Graham isn’t afraid of difficult conversations.
The supermodel is on the cover of Glamour’s November digital issue; inside, she addresses rumours that she has lost weight, and the launch of her new podcast Pretty Big Deal.
“As a model, I think it’s our duty to not just be a pretty face in the world but to actually speak up and use our platform in a bigger way,” Graham says of the new podcast, which has featured guests like Kim Kardashian, Lilly Singh, and Gabrielle Union since starting last month.
“I think everybody in today’s day and age is curious, right? There are so many different backgrounds, and people are assuming this and assuming that,” Graham says of using the show to have tough and often awkward conversations about race, relationship, religion and more. “What I’ve always done—especially when I first got married and I was more involved in black conversation—[is say], ‘Oh, I didn’t know that.’ You don’t know it because you don’t ask questions.”
Graham has been married to director Justin Ervin for eight years; she credits him with educating her on issues of race and privilege.
“Because I’m white and because of white privilege, I’ve been given a platform. But we can’t erase all the women who came before me.”
Graham also addresses persistent speculation online that she had lost weight after posting a photo of the outfit she wore on Vogue’s Voices of Fashion panel last month.
“It sucked that everybody had to go in on me like, ‘Oh, you lost so much weight.’ If these people actually knew me—which, you know, they don’t and maybe never will—they would know that my body just hasn’t changed,” she says. “To be completely honest, I’ve gained weight in the last five years, not lost weight. If you actually look at my IMG Polaroids from when I first signed with them to now, you can tell I’m thicker. I mean, it’s just age. Geez. Whatever!”