Ashley Graham has had one hell of a year: Not only was she the first curvy model to appear on the cover of a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue in the spring, but she was also chosen by Glamour to front its special-edition "Chic at Any Size" issue, scored a nearly nude Maxim cover in April and is the face of Lane Bryant's groundbreaking "The Body" campaign, which has become a pop cultural phenomenon. Along the way, she's dealt with plenty of naysayers and haters who had less-than-kind things to say about her physique, but that's not stopping her rapid ascent to the top of the industry.
The 28-year-old was just announced as the cover star of Cosmopolitan's August issue, shot by Ben Watts in a variety of super-sexy ensembles, including a bodysuit by Ashley Stewart and a bra-and-panty set. In the accompanying interview, Graham gets real about her experiences in the modeling industry as a woman with curves, and why she prefers not to use the term "plus-size." She tells the magazine, "Just because I'm not calling myself plus-size doesn't mean I'm not representing a woman who is… I'm giving curvy women a seat at a table that we've never been invited to before — a table with high-end fashion people who have never considered us beautiful."
Speaking of not calling oneself plus-size, Graham also threw some low-key shade at Amy Schumer, who famously denounced her inclusion in the aforementioned Glamour supplement. In regards to Schumer's comments, Graham had this to say: "I can see both sides, but Amy talks about being a big girl in the industry. You thrive on being a big girl, but when you're grouped in with us, you're not happy about it? That, to me, felt like a double standard."
Head over to Cosmopolitan for a preview of Graham's issue, which hits newsstands on July 12.