Model Ashley Graham has had to deal with more than her fair share of hate online throughout her very public career. When she simply shares a photo of herself at the beach on Instagram, she triggers a frenzy of heated comments between fans and haters. Often, she ignores trolls but this week, while scrolling through her feed, Graham found an account dedicated to fat-shaming the Sports Illustrated swimwear model and claiming she isn’t a “real model” because of her dress size—and she couldn’t hold back from calling the account out.
The trolling account posted side-by-side images of Graham with other high-profile swimsuit models such as Miranda Kerr, Candice Swanepoel, and Alessandra Ambrosio. In the captions, the account claimed Graham was not a “real model” and used hashtags such as #fitvsfat and #againstplussize.
Once she spotted the account, Graham took to her Instagram story to shut the troll down and gave haters a lesson on why there’s no definition of a “real model”. First, she reposted screenshots of some of the comparison images and then explained: “I know I’m being a little petty by posting these stupid photos of somebody who wrote ‘real model’ and ‘fat model,’” Graham said. “But I will let you know that nothing defines what a real model or a fat model or a fake model is.”
Next, Graham directly addressed aspiring models that might be turned off a career in the industry because of negative comments they’ve received about their physical appearance or dress size. “Your weight, your skin, your hair, your religious background. None of that determines whether you are a real model or not, so all those girls out there who have dreams and hopes, keep fighting for them and don’t let all the losers on Instagram stop you,” Graham said. She closed with some golden words of wisdom: “There is no definition or requirement for what a ‘real model’ is. Anyone is and can be a model. As for trolls, they can take a hike.”