Betty Moses

Who, you might ask, is Ashley Graham?

For those of you who have a very busy life and don’t have time to spend checking out fashion shows online or turning through issues of Vogue or Harper’s Bazaar, Ashley Graham is one of the top models in the country.

She’s a gorgeous brunette who models runway shows, has her own line of swimsuits and has appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue — not that any of my readers would be checking out the swimsuit issue — as well as other publications.

What’s so special about that?

Like I said, Ashley is stunningly beautiful, and here is what makes her stand out. She is known in the model industry as a plus-size model — if size 16 can be considered plus-size.

What’s more, she has cellulite and is not afraid to show it.

She is confident in her looks and not apologetic about her weight, and I think she’s a role model we normal, everyday women can admire.

O f course it doesn’t hurt that her face is flawless, but nevertheless I feel the acceptance of Ashley as a star in the modeling field has caused the advertising world to acknowledge that beauty comes in all sizes.

Original supermodel Cheryl Tiegs set off a firestorm after saying full-figured women were being glamorized and a waist should be smaller than 35 inches. She said it wasn’t healthy.

After a backlash, she later tweeted out an apology.

Whether or not Ashely has influenced how television tends to portray women, more commercials feature full-figured models, and I, for one, welcome the change.

I’m not encouraging women to forego healthy eating habits or to slack up on physical activities. But I do want them to realize that good health and larger bodies can coexist.

Everyone can’t be a size 6 or even less, and it’s a lesson we need to teach our young girls. A search for the unattainable can lead to a life of frustration and a feeling of inadequacy.

Evidently, my genes came from a hearty stock of farmers who lived off the land. When I was my most active during the years before I had children, my weight stayed the same.

After childbirth, my body and my metabolism changed. I struggled through most of my life unsuccessfully trying to get back my girlish figure. The frustration only caused me to pacify myself with food. A vicious circle. I think acceptance of the changes that occur as one ages would have made me appreciate myself as I was, and I would not have spent so much time fretting over my weight, leading to eating to compensate.

That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it, but I do truly welcome the acknowledgments that we are all different sizes, shapes and colors, and we need to appreciate what makes us unique — and beautiful.

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