The last two weeks have been all Ashley Graham, all the time. When the curve model recently landed a cover spot on Sports Illustrated , she bridged the gap between straight and plus inclusion in fashion and in media just that little bit more. So it's no surprise that Ashley Graham at the 2016 Oscars is a reality. Why wouldn't one of the most talked-about models of the moment be at one of the most prestigious Hollywood events of the year, right?
Graham made an appearance at the Oscars pre-show alongside Giuliana Rancic and Kris Jenner. And to see a curvier human whose career is rooted in a personal interpretation of plus size visibility and body image activism land herself at such a prestigious awards ceremony feels pretty important.
Graham is no stranger to body-hugging silhouettes and fashions that scream, "I'm not going to blend in." At the Feb. 28 Academy Awards, she's wearing a floor-length red gown with cut-out, cage bra detailing and a form-fitting bodice, and looking as bold and bombshell-esque as ever. In a video interview with Bustle, Graham told the publication that she grew to love herself and boost her own body positivity by looking in the mirror every day and vocally affirming her worth, her beauty, and her brilliance. Tonight, all I'm seeing is that self-confidence.
To watch a woman like Graham — someone visibly above a size 10, with definable curves — be this unapologetically visible feels pretty rad to me. I remember when seeing a woman who I could remotely identify with physically was an impossibility come any red carpet or awards show. But Graham is proof that beauty standards are becoming less exclusionary (even if it's happening slowly), and that media is responding accordingly.
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