When you're given an 'SI' cover, and you take advantage of it, you can conquer the world. Look at Chrissy Teigen. Look at Tyra Banks. Look at Kathy Ireland.
People would do the sound of a truck backing up - beeeep, beeeep - as I was sitting down.
I think women think I'm inspirational because I'm unapologetic. I have cellulite. I have back fat. I've got a thick stomach. But I work my body like I don't because I don't know any other body. I don't know how to feel thin. I just know how to feel like Ashley.
I wasn't put on the cover of 'Sports Illustrated' as a plus-size model; I was put on the cover of 'Sports Illustrated' as a model, as a rookie, as Ashley Graham.
People will run up to me with tears in their eyes and say, 'You're Ashley Graham?' and I match their enthusiasm and respond, 'Yes, I am!' and all they say is, 'Thank you so much.'
I am more than my measurements. I'm not Ashley Graham just because I'm curvy.
I dated all the wrong men. I thought I could feel appreciated in my body through guys.
I had to realize that if I didn't really love who I was, and if I couldn't appreciate this - my body - as my moneymaker, then I wasn't going to make any money.
Back in Nebraska, I was known as the fat model - the girl who was pretty for a big girl. My body, like my confidence, has been picked apart, manipulated, and controlled by others who didn't necessarily understand it.
I'm being my real raw self, and that's what I always preach anyway. What you see is what you get.
I work out not to lose weight but to maintain my good health. And anyway, if I did want to lose weight, it would be no one's decision but my own.
The runway isn't just about showing fashion, it's about gaining confidence. And I really believe that once you've got your confidence, you can wear anything, you can do anything.
I love blocking people. I'm not afraid to block anybody.
Curvy girls can pull off any look - it's what we do.
I always say, 'Be anxious for nothing,' because if this is my social media, if this is a platform for me to really get the word out and get my brand out, then why am I gonna be anxious about it?
As a professional selfie taker, I know my angles. And I know how to look 20 lbs. heavier and 20 lbs. lighter. If Instagram wants to tell me I've lost 60 lbs. in one week, then damn, I look good.
When I post a photo from a 'good angle,' I receive criticism for looking smaller and selling out. When I post photos showing my cellulite, stretch marks, and rolls, I'm accused of promoting obesity.
The sum total of what I learned about African American culture in school was Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and the Underground Railroad. This was more than my mom knew; she didn't even see a black person in real life until she was 18 years old.
I am just like any other woman, and I think I am the 'fattest woman alive' - but it is really about how you handle your situation.
My fans are incredible. Don't you dare talk bad about me on my Instagram, because my fans will come out, and they will eat you alive.
I had so many agents tell me that at size 18, I would never work or work again. I heard, 'Go home and lose some weight.'
I've had agents tell me, 'You're not gonna be on the cover of anything; you're a catalog girl.' I've had clients tell me, 'You're too fat, and we can't book you any more because you don't fit into the jeans.'
The really hard moment was when my dad said, 'Honey, if an agent is telling you to lose weight, then maybe you should lose weight.' I was 15, standing in our living room, having a moment I will never forget. I never had a parent tell me to lose weight, and it hurt.
My mom is the most positive person. She has always had a smile on her face no matter what came her way. After seeing that, I'm not going to let a little cellulite get in the way of my happiness!
As hard as it is, owning who you are and knowing what you want is the only sure path to affirmation... I want women to know they can get out of any situation if they return to their core source of strength: themselves.
I want to be a better parent than I had. Even though my mom was absolutely amazing. Her and I are still best friends to this day. I think that the next generation should always be better and better.
Do I sometimes wish I were thinner? God, in the old days, absolutely I did, but now I feel that to lose weight would be disloyal to myself.
I'm a confident woman with thick skin, and as a model in the public eye, I'm conditioned to accept criticism.