The beautiful Ashley Graham started to gain public attention for her work as a plus-size model and for promoting body positivity, a social movement that encourages all human beings to have a positive body image, while challenging the ways in which society dictates how a "perfect" body should look like. She is nowadays one of the most successful social media stars - her more than 9 million followers on Instagram, who praise her for sharing pictures showing her body just the way it is, can easily prove it. 

In 2016 Ashley Graham became the first size 16 model to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issueand the rest is history. Since then she has been breaking traditional stereotypes with the use of her own body as a tool to talk about taboo subjects like cellulite or belly fat, which have been some of the women's recurrent concerns in regards of their physical appearance. Her beliefs on body positivity earned her a participation as backstage host for Miss USA 2016 and 2017, and Miss Universe 2016 and 2017; as well as an appearance as official judge of the reality television show America's Next Top Model. 

But what was she doing before being so famous?

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Ashley Graham walks down the runway during the Addition Elle/Ashley Graham Lingerie Collection fashion show during the Spring 2016 in New York City

Ashley Graham - Her life before a famous plus-size model and social media star

Ashley was identified in 2000 by the I & I agency while shopping at Oak View Mall in Omaha, Nebraska, when she was only 14 years old. One year later, after attending a model convention, she signed a deal with Wilhelmina Models, which currently represents and manages models and celebrities like Nicki Minaj, Shawn Mendes, and Demi Lovato. In 2003 Ashley Graham signed her second deal, this time with Ford Models, also known for representing Channing Tatum, and Alison Nix, among others. 

In 2009 Ashley appeared in Glamour magazine's editorial "These Bodies are Beautiful at Every Size," alongside other plus-size models like Amy Lemons, Jennie Runk, and Kate Dillon Levin. In 2010 she appeared in a controversial Lane Bryant TV commercial called "This Body," featuring Ashley and other industry colleagues like Tara Lynn and the Precious star Gabourey Sidibe wearing little or no clothing while boxing or breastfeeding. 

At the end of 2012 Graham was named the Full Figured Fashion Week's Model of the Year. 

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Ashley Graham speaks onstage during the Lane Bryant launch of the #PlusIsEqual campaign in New York City, 2015

Six quick facts about the gorgeous Ashley Graham

-She is 31 years old and grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska

-When she was little she was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and dyslexia

-In 2017, Graham released her book A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like

-She has been part of major events like TED Talks where she advocates for self-acceptance with regards to body images

-She is married to videographer Justin Ervin since 2010. She once revealed that her interracial relationship with him was shocking for her Nebraska family

-Ashley and Justin are currently expecting their first baby! She loves to show off her baby bump on Instagram as well as cute videos with her husband!

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