Ashley Graham bared her soul in her upcoming book titled A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like. The book is an open door to Ashley’s life experiences, including some heart-wrenching ones.
Recently, the body positivity activist revealed her family wasn’t always acceptive of her interracial relationship. This is all part of her memoir book which releases on May 9.
Breaking the walls of racism
Even when Ashely Graham and Justin Ervin have been married for seven years, her family didn’t accept at first the interracial relationship.In an excerpt of her new book for Glamour, the supermodel opens up about her family’s first denial of the relationship and how everything eventually worked out.
The couple met in 2009 while volunteering at her church in New York City. For the first time, she felt a real connection with someone.
“All I wanted to do was keep talking to Justin,” she writes. “The consistency and openness were so new it felt weird. […] My romance with Justin was innocent and sweet. We went rollerblading and biking; we did karaoke, went to the movies, took an improv class together. ”
Everything was looking good and it was time for Justin to meet her parents.
“Now, I should probably mention that Justin is black and that I didn’t grow up around many black people. 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,” she says in the book.
Ashley naively didn’t tell Justin about her family’s lack of exposure and didn’t tell her family about his background. When they went to Nebraska for the anticipated get-together things weren’t as smooth as she hoped.
“My grandmother was cordial but cold. She greeted him and immediately walked away,” she says in the book. “When it came time for them to leave, my grandparents didn’t even acknowledge him. Instead, my grandmother looked me in the eye, with Justin standing behind me, and said, ‘Tell that guy I said goodbye.’ “
Which was quite a shock for the model, “I had never seen my loving, hard-working, and wonderful grandma be so hurtful and so racist. I was in shock.”
However, Justin was much more accepting than Ashley, pointing out to a sad but true fact., “Justin made me understand that someone like my grandma only saw black men depicted on television in situations involving guns, rape, and violence—situations that perpetuate racist stereotypes against black people in general and black men in particular,” she wrote.
But Ervin eventually won Graham’s grandmother over.“He’s not a texter or an emailer; he’s a pick-up-the-phone-and-call-you person, and anniversaries are a big deal to him,” she writes. “Afterward Grandma called my mom and said, ‘You’ll never guess who called me.’ And from then on out, she loved him.”
In her new book, A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like, the body positivity activist gets real on her struggles.
Turns out Ashley has felt with humiliation through her life and it didn’t only came from strangers but family too.Graham opened up about growing up with a verbally abusing father. She recounts a time an agent told her to tighten up, and her father responded that she should loose some weight.
The humiliation and rejection eventually led her to date, unsuitable guys.
“Any male attention was good attention as far as I was concerned,” Graham wrote.
“My first boyfriend and I were together for three months, until he said, ‘I have to break up with you because you won’t have sex with me. And I’m afraid you’re going to be as fat as my mom.”
“Thus started a pattern of going out with anyone who thought I was hot; I lost my virginity to a guy I barely knew because he gave me compliments,” she wrote.
The supermodel also opened up about being molested when she was ten years old.
Graham also revealed she began experimenting with cocaine and Ecstacy when she first moved to New York. She did this because she wanted to be “popular.”She did this over two years until she was almost fired for missing a flight. “I hit bottom,” she writes.
Her memoirs offer an insight into the life of a woman that overcame different life situations and turned into a role model for many.Ashley not only brought plus size models into the conversation. She has made them part of the fashion world and has raised her voice on the matter.
She’s also an activist on bodyposititvy helping women to really love, accept and take care of their bodies and accepting themselves as they are.
Source: USA Today