Ashley Graham is being praised for promoting body positivity after sharing an unedited nude photo displaying her stretch marks with pride.
The plus size model announced her first pregnancy last week with husband Justin Ervin, and is already showing according to her latest snaps on Instagram.
One picture, garnering more than 1.2 million likes so far, has exploded on social media, with commentators – of all genders – praising her confidence and body positive message. Captioned ‘same same but a little different’, the unedited nude image shows a side on view of Graham’s stretch marks.
“I’m a man and I love seeing this. My Mom she had 10 of us. I remembered as a child seeing her tummy. She explained what they were and it made me felt sad for her. My wife now is on her third trimester. I can see how my unborn son is changing her physical look,” commented user @vavau_viking.
Another, @michellefarrant said: “I love this. We are all beautiful and unique. A size 6 or 36 it doesn’t matter we are all human. I love how you embrace you. You inspire me to love the body I have now after my 3 pregnancies ?”.
More still told how Graham’s confidence had helped them face up to their own insecurities about their bodies and accept the changes pregnancy causes.
“I showed my husband this photo and he said, “See! She’s just like you” I am almost 21 weeks pregnant and I’ve been struggling with my changing body. I love how much you embrace it.“ - @hippieparades
'This pic seems so unhealthy'
However, the image also attracted criticism with some questioning whether the move was “really necessary”.
“I will never understand this need to have total strangers look at your body! So little #selfrespect & so much lack of proper parenting. I mean what are you hoping to accomplish? Become a porn star? This is gross & inappropriate. If you don’t do this at your grocery store, then don’t do it online either. The “internet” is a public place,” complained user @_designerspaces.
Some said their issue was not with the decency of the image, but said it could promote obesity, leading to health issues should impressionable viewers attempt to emulate Graham’s aesthetic.
“We should understand the difference between body positivity and being healthy! Thinking about the rising diabetes, cancer and heart diseases all around the world there is no doubt about the cause. Obesity is really a big problem for humanity and sorry but this pic seems so unhealthy even if it aims to give a positive message. This is not body positivity, this shouldn't be. We should not normalize the obesity since it is the major cause of the most serious diseases,” claimed @_jasstagram_.
Though many jumped to Graham’s defence, pointing out that she was pregnant as opposed to obese. The model, who is a US size 16 (equivalent to a UK size 20 or European size 46), has long been a proponent of body positivity campaigns, including spearheading movements such as Healthy At Every Size.