Ashley Graham, Swimsuitsforall

swimsuitsforall.com

Work it, girl!

Ashley Graham has already made waves as the first plus-sized model to be featured on the glossy pages of Sports Illustrated (albeit in an advertisment), and now the designer tells E! News that she wants to use that platform to help other girls and women have the confidence that her mom helped to instill in her!

Skinny models might be plastered all over the place, but Graham is hoping that she and her work will be able to really kick off the "curvy girl era." And what does she recommend ladies do to feel better about themselves?

"Put on a swimsuit, look in the mirror and tell yourself 100 times that you love yourself and you feel great," she tells E! News. "When you feel confident, it shows and it's contagious. That's why this campaign with swimsuitsforall is so great—they believe that every curve is sexy."

Ashley Graham, The Edit

Net-a-Porter.com’s The Edit

Graham's confidence is most definitely contagious, but she says that she wouldn't be that way had it not been for woman very special woman in her life.

"My confidence comes from my mom telling me my entire life that beauty comes from within," she dishes. "She instilled confidence in me at a young age and I've carried it through my adult life and my career."

"I hope my work helps to build self-confidence in more young women," she added.

There's no doubt that Graham looks absolutely stunning in her ad for swimsuitsforall, an online swimsuit retailer for curvy women. But while some might be offended by the term "plus-size," Graham isn't upset by it at all because of everything else she has going for her including a lingerie line with Addition Elle.

"I've been called a plus-size model for 15 years. At this point, it doesn't upset me," she reveals. "I don't believe in labels; I'm a model, designer and body activist. At the end of the day, I don't need people labeling me because of the size of my hips."

PREACH! (Insert raised hands emoji here.)

Now that she has made history in the famous magazine, Graham can only dream of the next big thing that could come her way, saying, "I definitely hope to be on the cover next year!"

The request is in, Sports Illustrated.

Although her job first and foremost is a model and up-and-coming designer, Graham also wants to focus her efforts on helping to decrease the amount of eating disorders plaguing young men and women, which she believes begin in schools. Because of the skinny models that appear in ads, commercials and fashion campaigns, Graham says a start to trying to fix this huge issue is to feature more women like her.

"There needs to be more body diversity in mainstream media," she says, adding, "Sports Illustrated is a great place to continue the conversation."

Citing Cindy Crawford, Kathy Ireland and Heidi Klum as her role models, Graham says she hopes to follow in their footsteps.

"They've made their careers into empires, and that's what I'm on my way to do now," she says.

With her mega-watt confidence and gorgeous looks, we know she'll definitely accomplish that!

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