Parents

Pregnant Ashley Graham Shows Off Stretch Marks On Instagram

The model announced last week that she is expecting her first child.

Ashley Graham, who announced days ago that she is pregnant with her first child with husband Justin Ervin, shared an empowering nude selfie that revealed her stretch marks.

“Same same but a little different,” the model wrote in the caption of her Instagram post, which drew praise from her celebrity friends and fans alike.

“My Lord, thank you for this,” wrote singer Hillary Scott of the country group Lady Antebellum. Victoria’s Secret Angel Lily Aldridge left three heart emojis.

“This made me tear up. I really needed this today,” a fan who said she was pregnant commented on Graham’s photo. Another added: “You make me love myself more.”

The 31-year-old model has been outspoken in asking photographers and editors to leave her stretch marks in photos, and she regularly posts unedited pictures on her Instagram account.

“This is the kind of conversation I’m still struggling to have on set: ‘You see those red stretch marks on the inside of my thigh? Leave those,’” Graham said at a New York Times “Reshaping Beauty” event earlier this year, as reported by Health.

“Those are new and those are real, and we need to talk about those. People will take them out, but I’m not afraid to talk about it. I’m not afraid to show it on social media,” she added.

Graham made the announcement with an Instagram video that starts with a closeup of herself and her husband, and zooms out to reveal her obvious pregnancy. “Surprise!” they say, clearly both giddy. She followed it up with a profile shot of her protruding belly, captioned “Can’t wait to meet you.”

Her pregnancy activities so far, via her Instagram, involve napping (relatable!) in St. Barts (less relatable) as well as doing yoga, which she said makes her feel “flexible & strong.”

Graham and Ervin, a producer and cinematographer, have been thinking about having kids for a while now. Back in 2016, she told Entertainment Tonight that they plan to start their family “in the next few years.”

Graham has spoken before about how she gets her confidence. Some of it comes from a mantra, she’s said: she came up with a few sentences when she was a teenager and people were telling her to lose weight.

“I am bold. I am brilliant. I am beautiful. I am worthy of all. I love you,” she repeats every day to maintain her confidence.

“This really just started shifting my brain because I know words have power,” Graham said at the same conference in April. “If you’re telling yourself you’re dumb, if you’re telling yourself you’re ugly, if you’re telling yourself you’re not worthy enough to have anything that you want, then that’s going to be your future. So I had to change my words.”

With files from Maija Kappler