Rising to fame and becoming an international supermodel, Ashley Graham has come a long way to prove her worth in high-profile shoots and runways. The plus-size model has opened up about how her Christian faith continually keeps her grounded.
Speaking to Elle UK as she posed for an outdoor shoot, Graham admits that she was always “aware” that her pastor follows her account on Instagram. She also revealed that she “always felt sexy” regardless of her body size or inability to take care of her body in the past.
“You should be the same person from the moment you wake up to when you go to bed,” Ashley shared about the impact of her faith on her career.
However, the 29-year-old model, who was the first plus-size model to be featured on the cover of “Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit Edition,” headed off to a rocky start before rising to fame.
“I come from a Christian background, and when I moved to New York, I got away from God,” she said. “Then I realized that living here, you need something to keep you grounded or you’ll go crazy.”
Ashley crossed paths with her husband, photographer Justin Ervin, at church in 2009; the couple tied the knot the following year when she was 22. The “America’s Next Top Model” mentor-judge previously revealed that she chose to abstain from sex with Justin until they finally exchanged wedding vows.
Earlier this year, Ashley said that her Christian family initially had a hard time accepting the fact that she had an African-American man as her husband. The body image advocate explained in her new memoir titled “A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like” that she had been shocked of her family’s reactions to her beau. She acknowledges Justin’s patience and understanding when it comes to her Midwestern family and their criticisms. Eventually, her loved ones began to accept and love her husband.
"I think that faith is definitely something that got me through the hard times in fashion. It got me through the hard times with body confidence, and the terrible decisions that I had made. My faith is something that brought me back to finding truth and value in who I am," Graham previously said in another interview.