Every Body is Beautiful

Ashley Graham Showed Her Stretch Marks Proudly On The 2022 MTV VMA Red Carpet

She also posted a Instagram video in the nude, proving she is confidence goals.

Ashley Graham attends the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards at Prudential Center on August 28, 2022 in New...
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

There’s no question that after being pregnant and giving birth, a person’s body is never quite the same. In a culture constantly focused on “bouncing back” after the baby and getting rid of that postpartum body, it’s more than refreshing to see model Ashley Graham have no issues with showing off her figure and the stretch marks that go along with it, especially as a celebrity.

Graham is no stranger when it comes to working to change traditional beauty standards and work toward a more body-positive world. She’s always been straightforward and honest about the “flaws” on her body, including stretch marks, skin blemishes, and a size that’s not standard in the traditional modeling industry. So it’s no surprise Graham showed up to the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards red carpet wearing a cut-out dress that displayed her stomach and stretch marks without apology.

Graham’s dress is a friendly reminder that tons of people have some stretch marks, especially those who have carried babies — even if they’re consistently airbrushed, photoshopped, or hidden. They are not something that one should shy away from, but rather, should embrace as a physical proof that life grew inside that stretch-marked body.

When Graham became pregnant with twins in 2021 (her second pregnancy), she was open and honest about the transformation her body went through. She shared that her husband, Justin Ervin, said that her stretch marks looked like “the tree of life.” What a beautiful metaphor for what the human body goes through while experiencing pregnancy.

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Graham had a lot to say about the toxicity of “bounce-back” culture when it comes to moms working through their new life and new body post-baby. She explained that after she gave birth to her first son, Isaac, she struggled with her own body image and how hard it was to relinquish control over what her body was doing during her postpartum journey.

“I learned that the hard way when I tried to control everything when I was pregnant with Isaac and I told myself that I was going to bounce right back because I was breastfeeding and everybody told me, ‘Oh, if you breastfeed you’re going to lose all the weight,’” Graham told People. “It’s so hard acknowledging and accepting the loss of control of your body when you’re pregnant.”

Days before she showed off her stretch marks on the red carpet, she posted an all-nude Instagram video captioned, “Made in the image of God.” In the video, she shows off her famous curves, imperfections and all, and compares them to classical art, while only covering up with a pillow.

Graham is an inspiration when it comes to being vulnerable about one’s body image and working to try and feel comfortable in a world telling mothers to “bounce back” quickly after pregnancy. She also looks amazing while doing it!