Most women's bodies undergo a whole slew of changes during pregnancy. It's just the way it goes. So when Ashley Graham proudly displayed pregnancy stretch marks during a bikini photo shoot recently, it was seriously empowering. Even for this mom of four right here who has been hiding her own stretch marks under a tasteful black one-piece for years.
Graham and her filmmaker husband Justin Ervin welcomed their son Isaac back in January. Now that he is 6 months old, it seems his mom is getting back into some modeling. Graham has long been an advocate for body confidence throughout her career, and motherhood has only enhanced her sense of openness with her millions of followers. She's taken amazing real-life breastfeeding selfies and has been honest about trying to multitask as a working mom.
And now she's out here proudly displaying her pregnancy stretch marks in a bikini in a backyard photo shoot for the swimwear company, Swimsuits For All. "Some things I love: a cute bathing suit and a backyard shoot with the family!" Graham captioned the photo on Instagram. "We’ve had such great time making the most of this summer in Nebraska and these suits have me feeling great for my first summer as a mommy!"
Naturally, the proud mom's fans were quick to praise her gorgeous photos and her body confidence. "Thank you for normalizing stretch marks. Love you," one commented, while another wrote, "Thank you for being REAL! You are beautiful. All these celebrities that seemingly 'bounce back' and look like they never gave birth to a child is so unrealistic."
Graham told People that she insists on making sure her photos as real as possible. "There's always a question of what do you want us to retouch, and what do you want us to take out? And I said, 'Nothing,' except from a clamp holding up the DIY backdrop," she told the magazine. "I want everybody to know genuinely... I want people to see who I am because everybody has a story."
This isn't the first time Graham has shared her stretch marks with her fans. Mere weeks after welcoming Isaac she shared a naked selfie baring her belly and her stretch marks in all their well-earned glory on Instagram. "Same me. few new stories," she captioned that photo.
While Graham exudes confidence, she is also honest about struggling sometimes. She admitted to People that she was feeling a bit insecure as the photo shoot got under way, "But after this photo shoot, I felt so empowered because I was like, 'Yes. I look good. I feel good. This is my new mom bod.'"