Model Ashley Graham is smashing it right now. She has become the first 'plus-size' model to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated, walked on the runway at Paris Fashion Week and been a part of a fashion panel at the Oscars - all in the last month alone. But all too often with success comes haters and one in particular has been on Ashley's back in recent weeks.
As an ex-Sports Illustrated cover model herself, you might expect Cheryl Tiegs to be somewhat familiar with the pressures of being in the spotlight, yet she still managed to rather insensitively come out with criticism of Ashley in a recent interview. When Cheryl was asked if she was happy about seeing fuller-figured models in the industry, she replied:
"Actually I don’t like it that we’re talking about full-figured women because it’s glamorizing them, and your waist should be smaller than 35 [inches]. That’s what Dr. Oz said, I’m sticking to it. No I don’t think it’s healthy. [Ashley’s] face is beautiful, beautiful but I don’t think it’s healthy in the long run.”
She followed up by posting a tweet which she later deleted:
The tweet has since been replaced with this one:
But Ashley has spoken out against the comments and shown that quite clearly she does not give a damn. She told E! News:
"Cheryl Tiegs may have said what she said, and it may have hurt a lot of people's feelings but my skin is so thick. I kind of rolled my eyes, I was like, 'Oh whatever, another one of these ladies.' But what's great is that – the fact that she said it – it means that other women think like her. And what that means is that we really need to change the industry. There are too many people thinking they can look at a girl my size and say that we are unhealthy. You can't, only my doctor can!"
Ashley also said that even though she had not yet received an apology, she would still say hi to Cheryl if they ever were to cross paths:
"I've never personally heard from her. She said her comment about me, then never heard a follow up. People are saying she apologized. But I never heard one. You never know, and I will go up to her and say hello, and all the SI girls, I've always looked up to them. They are classic, amazing, beautiful women and it's a shame that we have to bring other people down, but that's why I'm here. I've got to bring other women up."
Proof that Ashley Graham truly is a beauty, inside and out - but it's not quite over yet. In response to Ashley's observations, Cheryl has posted an open letter on the Huffington Post apologising and claiming that her comments were not directed at Ashley personally. She also reveals that she has a 37-inch waist herself.