By Kirsten Humphreys
They’re starting a movement- fearless and confident. Nothing to lose and everything to gain. The ones that have a message, and are using their god damn voices to project it loud and clear for the world to hear. We better listen to them, because one way or another, they’re making their mark.
In a previous article, I addressed the issues around Model Standards and why socially they’re not acceptable. Turns out, I’m not the only one that thinks this. Standing up for themselves and committed to what they believe in, these models-of-the-moment are doing just this. Introducing Adwoa Aboah and Ashely Graham, the female model power forces of the minute.
When I listen to videos of Aboah talking about modelling, she talks about it in such a way that it shows the real negatives that can come from being constantly judged. After suffering from depression surrounding body image she proclaimed that:
“Losing out on jobs and being judge on appearance definitely contributed to the negative way I viewed myself. If you don’t like being in your skin it doesn’t matter how many times people say you’re beautiful or how many jobs you get. Self-hatred is something I work on daily”
From this Aboah attained a sever drug addiction, one that nearly killed her. But within this story is a great positive, that I feel, can come from such a negative: fighting back Aboah decided to start an army. A gurl army (I’m rejoicing right now).
Gurl Talk is an online platform that encourages young woman to share their stories. Most articles include the stigmas young woman face growing up with mental illnesses, discussions around self-acceptance, sexuality and the issues surrounding career choices for women.
“We strive to show girls that you’re not alone and by opening up and sharing your personal stories you too can discover that many others are going through the same things. Gurls Talk is about empowerment and taking the time to listen.”
I have no words for this, only deep fucking applause from the bottom of my heart.
Graham, the ultimate bombshell, is in my eyes and many more the definition of confidence and self-acceptance. The plus size model has stayed true to her own body by indirectly giving the finger to original model standards.
There is no denying that Graham is a leader for body positivity and female empowerment. She is a true chameleon for young girls, something that is so needed in this industry that claims only 2% of women find themselves beautiful.
Recently I watched a video of Graham talking for Goal Coast, where she revealed her secret to beauty:
“I felt freed once I realised I was never going to fit a narrow mold that society wanted me to fit into. It’s true, I honestly love my cellulite, my rolls, the inner part of my thighs that jiggle and touch. It’s gorgeous.”
“We need to stop looking beyond the exterior of a women and we need to start looking at her for what she’s doing, who she is, because I like so many young women, struggled to love the women I saw in the mirror because of society’s narrow vision on beauty… it wasn’t until I reclaimed ownership of my body that I was then able to love the woman within. Once that happened, my career, my success, my drive, it all began to follow”
Watch the video here.
Graham became her own role model- reclaiming purpose of her own body and projecting that no one can manipulate her otherwise. In my eyes, her voice deserves every bit of recognition it can get, so listen up people.
Lastly, this is no trend for both Graham and Aboah but a way of life and we’d all be obliged to follow suit- these issues are affecting our lives too. Let’s listen, absorb and get active. A true activist is never silenced.