Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar

Red-carpet styles for your next black-tie event.

As a teenager, model and television presenter Ashley Graham didn’t appreciate her growing curves. But they would end up being responsibl­e for a career that’s now at the forefront of the body positivity movement

- Interview by CLARISSA CRUZ

You’re the first plussize model of your generation to be a Revlon ambassador. How does it feel to represent women who not too long ago would have been considered more token? It’s incredible. I’ve had so many groundbrea­king, game-changing things happen in my career. But this is one I honestly never even thought was a possibilit­y until my agent told me. And I was like, “What? They want to sign a big girl?” Sure enough, this campaign has one of the most diverse casts I’ve ever been in, with Adwoa [Aboah], Imaan [Hammam] and Raquel [Zimmermann]. Do you think celebratin­g all sizes and ethnicitie­s, as your Live Boldly campaign does, marks a new normal, particular­ly in the midst of the #Metoo movement? It has to be. Everybody has their own definition of beauty and they’re being vocal about it. So beauty companies need to catch up. I have been fighting for the concept that curves are not a trend. And skin colour is not a trend. And age is not a trend. Seeing someone, when I was a young girl, who looked like me in a beauty campaign would have changed my whole outlook on life. Maybe I wouldn’t have seen my cellulite as such a hideous thing or my stretch marks as the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen. If some woman was out there talking about that that was also part of a beauty campaign? I’d have thought, “Who cares? She has it, too.” Speaking of, you insisted the Ashley Graham Barbie not have a thigh gap. Yes, and that’s the first thing people do when they meet her – they lift up her skirt to see if there’s a thigh gap. She’s living on my bookshelf right when you walk into my apartment, and whenever anybody sees her they’re like, “Hi, Ashley.” What would be your last meal on Earth? Some kind of pasta – with truffles on it. And then I would get a whole pizza, a four-cheese pizza, and I’d eat them both at the same time with a whole bottle of red wine. You’ve been married to your cinematogr­apher husband, Justin Ervin, for seven years. You wrote in your book, A New Model, he says you are a bad kisser. Have you remedied the problem? He said I was a bad kisser, but then I said, “You’re a bad kisser!” It was sloppy, but now he’s such a good kisser I forgot how bad it was [laughs]. What’s the secret to making your marriage work? Justin goes to LA often for work. And we have to manage our travels as it gets intense sometimes. We don’t go longer than two weeks without seeing each other, and when we do see each other it has to be for at least a whole week. Last night at a Revlon event they had [tattoo artist] Jonboy there, who you can’t get an appointmen­t with for months. I’d always wanted a “J” behind my ear so Justin – he has an art background – drew his initials and Jonboy tattooed them on me. Justin was freaking out. What’s the coolest thing a fan or follower has told you lately? People email me and pour their hearts out. Maybe there’s something about me being so open and honest that makes them want to be open and honest. If we told our stories more we’d understand each other better. A woman told me she recovered from bulimia because she realised she needed to love herself before someone else could love her – something she said she learnt from my TEDX Talk. And there was a man who told me he and his wife were now having sex with the lights on because she now has sexy lingerie to wear,

and she feels confident. What about you? Have you had any celebrity encounters lately? Reese Witherspoo­n emailed to congratula­te me [on the Revlon campaign]. That was exciting, and then of course I just let her have it: “I’ve loved you since Cruel Intentions, Legally Blonde and Walk The Line.” We’re big fans of each other. I can’t wait for another season of Big Little Lies. You’re a role model for many women. Who’s yours? My mother. She is not only one of the most positive, joyful women I’ve ever met, but she never told me I wasn’t good enough, she never told herself she wasn’t good enough or that she needed to go on a diet. And it stuck with me. I’ve seen her go through so much heartache and struggle, and still do it all with a smile on her face. It’s on record you are obsessed with Dr. Pimple Popper, the unlimited bread sticks at Olive Garden restaurant and alien and mermaid videos. What’s your biggest guilty pleasure? I’m definitely one to binge-watch a show, order [takeaway] and not move from my couch. I’ve done that with The Handmaid’s Tale, 13 Reasons Why and right now, I know I’m mad late, but House Of Cards. What would people be surprised to learn about you? Besides the aliens and the mermaids? [Laughs.] I think what surprises people is that what you see is what you get: how I am in interviews and on TV is exactly how I am when all the cameras and hair and make-up are gone.

“When I was a young girl, if someone looked like me in a beauty campaign it would have changed my life. I wouldn’t have seen my cellulite as hideous”

Think clean skin, and you don’t necessaril­y think of charcoal – but that’s about to change. “Charcoal has unique absorbent properties, and whether it’s black or white, each has a porous, extremely absorbent surface that attracts certain substances, including our skin’s oil, like a magnet,” explains Paula Begoun, founder of skincare brand Paula’s Choice.

Charcoal not only soaks up skin’s oil and surface debris, it also traps them. The upshot: when you rinse off any charcoal product using water, everything you don’t want lingering won’t. So you avoid re-depositing the bad stuff on your skin and instead wash it down the drain, says Begoun. As for products claiming to contain “activated charcoal”, Begoun clarifies the label: “In skincare, all charcoal is ‘activated’ – activating charcoal simply refers to the process of turning the element carbon into charcoal.”

Their ability to cleanse skin both gently and deeply makes charcoal skin products beneficial for excessivel­y oily or congested skin, a shine-prone T-zone and enlarged pores. Begoun recommends products that combine charcoal with hydrating and smoothing ingredient­s; this will help skin achieve balance, without leaving it feeling dry and tight.

 ??  ?? THE NEW NORMAL (from left) Ashley Graham on the runway for Prabal Gurung A/ W ’18/’19 at New York Fashion Week last month; with her cinematogr­apher husband Justin Ervin last year; posing with her mum, Linda Graham, for the Swimsuits For All...
THE NEW NORMAL (from left) Ashley Graham on the runway for Prabal Gurung A/ W ’18/’19 at New York Fashion Week last month; with her cinematogr­apher husband Justin Ervin last year; posing with her mum, Linda Graham, for the Swimsuits For All...
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