Model Ashley Graham has been happily married for seven years, but her road to marital bliss wasn’t always easy — in a new interview, Graham revealed she was once dumped in high school because a boyfriend feared she’d one day be the same weight as his mother.
“That really made me hyperaware that I am a big girl, and that’s how people see me,” the 29-year-old told New York magazine.
The boyfriend in question likely feels a fool now — in 2016, Graham snagged a coveted cover spot on the swimsuit edition of Sports Illustrated.
She’s also the first plus-size model to grace the covers of British and American Vogue.
While the heartbreaking rejection may have led Graham to some questionable moves — she admits that after the incident, she “went a little wild” and lost her virginity to the high school quarterback in the basement at a house party — she is confident now that, having been through it all, she can serve as a role model to young girls.
“This is the thing: I know I’m paving the way for the next generation of girls, and they’re not going to have to do this,” she said. “That’s what I hope. I’ll take the brunt work and just handle it, and then you guys can just sail right on through.”
This isn’t the first time she’s spoken out on having to deal with body shamers growing up.
In March, she recalled a similar story, though it’s unclear if the boyfriend in question is the same one she mentioned to New York magazine.
“I’ve lived the torment of the names. I’ve lived the torment of boyfriends breaking up with me because they were afraid I was going to be too fat later in life,” she said at the Urban Arts Partnership 25th anniversary benefit. “It’s the same cycle, it doesn’t matter what generation we are in. Every kid is going through the same thing.”
Graham married hubby Justin Ervin in 2010. (NY Daily News)