Ashley Graham has had quite the year – from appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue to her Additional Elle lingerie showcase at New York Fashion Week 2016. Now, the model is rounding the year off with two big honours – accepting her Glamour Woman of the Year award in Los Angeles on Monday and unveiling her very own Barbie doll.
Graham, who is known for promoting body positivity and reminding us that #thickthighssavelives, wanted to make sure that the iconic doll possesses the same confidence she does in real life.“I’m just so honored that Mattel even thought that my message even mattered enough to ask me to be a part of an iconic brand. She looks like me,” Graham told Us Weekly.
However, it was also reported by Huffington Post that in the process of constructing her Barbie, she had only one condition:
“All we did was take 360 degree photos of my body to send to them, and afterward we fleshed out some details. The color of my hair, a few details on my face like beauty marks and full eyebrows. The number one prerequisite, though, was that her thighs touched. I was like, ‘Guys, we can make this Barbie, but if her thighs don’t touch, she’s not authentic.”
“I’m thrilled Barbie has not only evolved their product, but also has continued to honor women who are pushing boundaries,” Graham said in a statement, “We need to work together to redefine the global image of beauty and continue to push for a more inclusive world.”
Mattel, in a push for inclusivity, debuted their dolls with three new body types in January: tall, curvy and petite, along with an expansive range of skin tones, 22 eye colors and 24 hairstyles. Graham remembers feeling excluded by her Barbie dolls growing up, and is thrilled to be a part of the brand’s more inclusive and diverse future.
“Now every girl does look like Barbie,” the model said to The Hollywood Reporter, “It’s not an unattainable thing.”