Ashley Graham is all about body positivity. Recently, on Instagram, the model posted a photo of herself in a bikini with her stretch marks on display, showcasing one of the looks from her Swimsuits For All swimwear line. In an interview with PEOPLE, Graham explained exactly why she wouldn't be editing photos of herself, as she's all about embracing her natural self.
On Wednesday, Graham posted a photo of herself donning one of the bathing suits from her collaboration with Swimsuits For All. In the snap, which was taken by her husband, Justin Ervin, the model donned a tropical two-piece. Her stretch marks were visible in the post, as it was taken six months after she gave birth to her and Ervin's first child, a baby boy named Isaac. "Some things I love: a cute bathing suit and a backyard shoot with the family!" she captioned the post. "We've had such great time making the most of this summer in Nebraska and these suits have me feeling great for my first summer as a mommy!"
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In her interview with PEOPLE, Graham explained why it was vital for her to post photos of herself that weren't retouched or edited. "There's always a question of what do you want us to retouch, and what do you want us to take out? And I said, 'Nothing'," except from a clamp holding up the DIY backdrop," she said. "I want everybody to know genuinely... I want people to see who I am because everybody has a story." The model went on to explain that many people deal with issues related to their bodies, and she wants the world to understand that it's important to love yourself exactly the way you are. She continued, "A lot of women I speak to have image issues, body issues around confidence. I want them to understand that we all have things that society has told us to cover up and why do we need to do that? So here I am with mine out and about and proud."
Graham also opened up about working with Swimsuits For All. The model told PEOPLE that she wants consumers to feel just as empowered as she does when she wears a bikini, and it was important for her that each style was "thoughtfully constructed with stay-put fabric and no-quit elastic" to hug the body in the right places. Ultimately, Graham said that she felt like her most empowered self during this recent photoshoot, as she was able to feel confident and look stunning in the process. She said, "I've got more weight on me. I've stretch marks, and in the beginning, I really had to have a lot of conversations with myself and tell myself, 'Okay, new body, new mindset.' But after this photoshoot, I felt so empowered because I was like, 'Yes. I look good. I feel good. This is my new mom bod'."