In a first for Ashley Graham, the 34-year-old model appears on a giant billboard in Los Angeles posing nude. It’s an advertisement for Spanx’s new ‘Silver Lining Technology,’ which promises no panty lines, ever. To prove the veracity of this claim, Graham’s picture stands behind a real curtain of Spanx’s ‘100% opaque’ fabric, her curves shrouded by its undulating white ripples.
It’s a first for the company as well. They’ve never worked before with a celebrity spokesperson. This is also their first ad campaign since they were acquired by the private equity firm Blackstone in October, which has investors included Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon. At the time of the sale, Spanx was valued at $1.2 billion.
Graham, who welcomed twins Roman and Malachi in January, is no stranger to a debut. She was the first plus-sized model to appear on the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, in 2016, and has been a vocal advocate for body positivity in an industry that’s a sea of, well, skinniness.
She shot the picture just 3.5 months after giving birth.
"My body has changed so much," she tells People. "I have much more gratitude toward my body because of how much work it's been through, but it has definitely taken time to, you know, look at my new body, and my postpartum body, and recognize it again."
Like most other women, the Lincoln, Nebraska native is familiar with the world of shapewear, and was not a believer when she was told of Spanx’s ‘100% opacity’ promise for their new Silver Linings product.
“I didn’t believe it,” she told People. “Then I had a fitting and I wore black granny panties on purpose, and sure enough, I put on the pants, I bent over in front of the mirror, and I screamed to my assistant, ‘You can't see the underwear!’”
The billboard may hide Graham’s body from the shoulders down, but the accompanying video reveals a few of her postpartum curves in the flesh.
While she’s enjoying the opacity of her new Spanx, when it comes to motherhood, Graham is all about transparency. She’s been vocal about the postpartum changes in her body, the challenges of tandem nursing, and the ‘B.S.’ of the postpartum snapback.
She and her husband Justin Ervin are also parents to son Isaac, 2, and with three under three, Graham told People last month that her home life is “Loud, organized chaos.” With a good amount of joy sprinkled in. “Honestly, we are having so much fun.”
Still, even at her most positive and beautiful, the working mom had to psych herself up just a little for the nude shoot. She "had a little talk with [herself] in the mirror," she told People. "I said, 'Everything's gonna be okay. You look fantastic.'"