Ashley Graham on Celebrating Her Stretch Marks After Pregnancy: "We’re All Superheroes"

Ashley Graham spoke candidly about learning to love her body and her stretchmarks after pregnancy and childbirth in an interview with Kristen Bell for Elle.

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(Image credit: Jamie McCarthy)

  • Ashley Graham spoke about learning to love her body after pregnancy and childbirth, in an interview with Kristen Bell for Elle.
  • "When I got pregnant, I had to reimagine my relationship with my body with this creature inside me taking over," Graham said.
  • Getting stretchmarks was "devastating" at first, she said, before she decided, "No, this is exactly what every woman has talked about for ages. This is not just a battle wound. This is something that has changed my life forever, and I’m going to celebrate my new body."

Ashley Graham opened up about how childbirth and pregnancy changed her relationship with her body, speaking to Kristen Bell for the latest issue of Elle. Graham gave birth to Isaac, her first child with husband Justin Ervin, in January.

"When I got pregnant, I had to reimagine my relationship with my body with this creature inside me taking over. I was gaining weight so rapidly. Then, to get stretch marks on my stomach, that to me was like, 'Oh my gosh. I can’t believe this happened,'" Graham said. "At first it felt devastating, and then when I met Isaac, I said, 'No, this is exactly what every woman has talked about for ages. This is not just a battle wound. This is something that has changed my life forever, and I’m going to celebrate my new body.'"

Graham also spoke about being an ally to the Black community, and hoping for a better future for her son. "Our country is in pain. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and their families deserved better. Everyone in the Black community whose voice has been ignored for far too long deserves better," she said. "My son Isaac is only a few months old, but the past few weeks have sparked deeper conversations in our family around the inequalities facing the Black community and what it means to be Black in America. I want him to grow up in a world where justice exists for everyone and no one is discriminated against because of the color of their skin."

"Opal Tometi, a renowned human rights advocate and cofounder of Black Lives Matter, took over my platform to share her perspective and highlight the important work she is doing in the fight against systemic racism. I’m so inspired by Opal, and during her takeover, she discussed how ally is a verb and the world doesn’t know you’re an ally unless you’re in motion," Graham continued. "Her words really resonated with me, and I’ve been listening to Opal and other Black leaders’ voices to better understand how I can be an ally in motion in their fight for a better tomorrow. I’m also reading and listening to other activists and writers, such as Luvvie AjayiRachel Cargle, and Brittney Cooper, to continue educating myself on the stories and issues that matter."

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Emily Dixon
Emily Dixon

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.