Pointers to Ashley Graham’s Success As a Plus-Sized Model And How She Met & Married Justin Ervin

Ashley Graham is the plus-sized model who was the subject of the ad content censorship controversy between over-the-top TV network ABC and the clothing giant Lane Bryant in 2010. Lane Bryant had accused ABC of refusing to air its commercial showcasing a new lingerie line named Cacique on the hit show Dancing With The Stars, insinuating that ABC was discriminating against their model Ashley all because she was plus-sized.

Although ABC denied the accusation, calling it a publicity gimmick, the allegations and counter-accusations that transpired ended up being an incident that shot Ashley into the limelight. Since this incident and other challenges, Ashley has gone on to build one of the most impressive careers in the American fashion industry.

Detailing Ashley Graham’s Modeling Achievements

Ever since she was born on October 30, 1987, in Lincoln, Nebraska, Ashley Graham has had to deal with several challenges, particularly in her quest to become a model. Raised in the Cornhusker State, Ashley attended Scott Middle School in Lincoln before proceeding to Lincoln-West High School from where she graduated in 2005.

Her chubby body was unpopular in the industry at the time. Her father even suggested to her teasingly to undergo weight-loss programs to enable her to actualize her dream of becoming a model. She, however, received all the encouragement she needed from her mother, Linda Graham.

Eventually, she went ahead to carve a niche for herself in the industry and led the way for other plus-sized ladies who wanted to become models. Today, she has several achievements to her name, from modeling to television to financial wealth.

A Robust Portfolio for Magazines and Fashion Brands

She signed her first modeling contract with Wilhelmina Models in 2001 after I & I agency discovered her in a shopping mall. Since then, Ashley Graham has amassed a vast and impressive modeling portfolio. In it, are modeling works for magazines and international fashion brands.

For magazines, she has featured on the cover of Vogue, YM, Bust, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, and Elle Quebec. She has also featured on the cover of one of modeling’s holy grail and Sports Illustrated annual Swimsuit Issue. She was the first size 16 model to appear on the cover of the magazine.

For fashion brands, Ashley Graham’s vast achievements include modeling for Michael Kors, Dolce and Gabbana, H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, Christian Siriano, Love Mag, Prabal Gurung, and several others.

She also appeared in a commercial for Lane Bryant, one that became controversial and sparked coverage by major news outlets. Other brands include Levi’s, Marina Rinaldi, Nordstrom, Target, Evans, Elomi Lingerie, and more.

An Expanding Television Career

Beyond driving sales for fashion products for international brands, Ashley Graham is also quite the TV star. She was a plus-size modeling coach on MTV’s Made. She was also a backstage host for major beauty pageants like Miss Universe and Miss USA.

Additionally, she has also been an official judge for America’s Next Top Model. She also once appeared in an episode of Lip Sync Battle. As a TV host, she has hosted Fearless, American Beauty Star, and The Talk. She is also an executive producer of the American Beauty Star.

Also, in media, she has given a TED Talk and is the host of the podcast, Pretty Big Deal. She has appeared in at least two music videos – Toothbrush by DNCE and Girls Like You by Maroon 5.

She is Also a Published Author and a Major Instagram Star

One other achievement in Ashley Graham’s impressive career is in publishing. She is a published author of the book A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like. The book chronicles her life as a model and her body positivity movement in the fashion industry; it was released in 2017.

Similarly, social media popularity is a huge metric of success in modern fashion, and Ashley has plenty of it. The model has more than 11 million followers on her @ashleygraham page. On other social media platforms like Twitter and YouTube, she has more than 328,000 followers and over 222,000 subscribers, respectively.

Ashley Graham Has an Impressive Net Worth

Ashley Graham has succeeded in building one of the most impressive modeling careers you can find in the industry. One of those successes is in her net worth, earned from a decade-long career in modeling.

Through all of her modeling endeavors, the Nebraska-born model has amassed a personal net worth of $10 million. Based on calculations by Celebrity Net Worth, the model’s earnings come primarily from working on fashion campaigns, as well as runway walks.

She Met the Love of Her Life Justin Ervin in Church

Over the centuries, our society has built stereotypes for everything, including for relative values like a woman’s beauty and acceptability. One such stereotype, the alignment of beauty with slim bodies, is what Ashley Graham has challenged successfully in her career. But how successfully has she done that in her marital life as well? How much love has she been able to find despite societal reservations for her body type? Let’s see.

Ashley Graham
Ashley and Justin: image source

For one, the size 16 model is happily married to a Black American videographer named Justin Ervin. Ashley met Justin in church sometime in 2009. Their courtship was uniquely characterized by a video diary they kept together from the beginning of their relationship. The Justin and Ashley Show, as some sections of the media call it, was meant to enable them easily relive the moments of their courtship.

By recording the diary also, Justin proved his talents as a videographer. In an interview, Ashley gushed over Justin. She described him as ‘amazing’ and made an oblique reference to his creativity as a person. So, there is no doubt that the video diary idea was one of the things that endeared him to her.

Barely a year after the couple had been dating, Justin proposed to Ashley with a golden ring. The couple was sitting down together in Justin’s base in Brooklyn, recording an episode of The Justin and Ashley Show when all of a sudden, the videographer reached into his pocket to bring out the ring, which Ashley accepted instantly.

SEE ALSO: Leyna Bloom – Biography, Family, Facts About The Model

Ashley and Justin Have Faced Challenges in Their Union

Just like her education and her career, Ashley Graham’s relationship faced some significant setbacks from the onset. They did not emanate from the couple themselves but rather from Ashley’s family in the form of racial discrimination.

Ashley Graham
Ashley and Justin with their newborn baby: image source

Ashley is a Caucasian with English and German roots, while Justin is a black American. So, Ashley’s family was vehemently opposed to the idea of her marrying a black man. However, this did not stop the couple. In 2010, the couple walked down the aisle and cemented their love. A decade after they became husband and wife, Ashley Graham and Justin Ervin welcomed a baby boy, Isaac. He was born on January 18, 2020.

Chinedu Nweke
A graduate of Pontifical Urbaniana University, Rome, Italy, Chinedu Desmond Nweke is a computer teacher, writer and a humanist.


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