Since giving birth to her son, Isaiah, in January, Ashley Graham has noticed changes to her body — and she's proud of them. The 32-year-old model recently posed for a new Swimsuits For All campaign (photographed by her husband, Justin Ervin) and opened up to People about embracing the stretch marks, new weight, and other physical adjustments her body has made since she welcomed her first child.
Ashley frequently partners with Swimsuits For All to create size-inclusive styles for women, and will model them herself. She ensured the photos from her recent shoot would go unretouched because, she said, "I want people to see who I am because everybody has a story."
"In the beginning I really had to have a lot of conversations with myself and tell myself, 'Okay, new body, new mindset.'"
"A lot of women I speak to have image issues, body issues around confidence," Ashley continued. "I want them to understand that we all have things that society has told us to cover up and why do we need to do that? So here I am with mine out and about and proud."
Speaking out about body image is familiar territory for Ashley, but over the last six months she's experienced a new set of changes with the birth of her son. "Now with a new postpartum body, I thought that things were going to feel different, and that they were going to look different, and they do, but it's a new found joy in that," she explained.
"It looks so simple and beautiful, but powerful," she added. "I've got more weight on me. I [have] stretch marks, and in the beginning I really had to have a lot of conversations with myself and tell myself, 'Okay, new body, new mindset.' But after this photo shoot, I felt so empowered because I was like, 'Yes. I look good. I feel good. This is my new mom bod'."
Say it louder for the people in the back, Ashley! We have a feeling there are many new moms out there who will take these words to heart. As you continue to think about her inspiring words, check out the stunning images that go with them, below.