As people around the world highlighted women's numerous achievements in science, business, politics, culture, and economics for International Women's Day, one new mom shared an intimate look at what she has deemed her greatest accomplishment on Sunday. To celebrate International Women's Day, Ashley Graham shared a birth photo along with a powerful message about the strength women possess.
"This is the face of my greatest strength," the plus-size model and new mom wrote in an Instagram post featuring a photo of her in labor. "The greatest pain I've ever known and the greatest accomplishment that I've ever achieved."
In January, Graham welcomed a son named Isaac Menelik Giovanni Ervin with her husband, Justin Ervin. The couple later revealed in an episode of Graham's podcast and YouTube show Pretty Big Deal that their son's arrival was "all natural home birth." The model went on to say that childbirth had left her feeling capable of taking on anything.
"I have to say now, though, that I gave birth and I did it naturally and I felt everything, I feel like there's nothing I can't do," Graham said. "Like, there's nothing that can come my way where I say, 'Oh, that's too hard, I can't handle that.' I went through laboring for six hours naturally." Graham and Ervin later clarified that Graham had given birth naturally at home in "a big ol' pool" that had been set up in their living room.
While speaking with Ervin on Pretty Big Deal, Graham said she wanted other women to be able to feel the same sense of invincibility that pregnancy and childbirth had given her. "Going through the hardship of my body changing... and then going through the invincible laboring birth experience that I did and now to be able to stand tall and say, 'Wow, I did it' — I'm so proud of myself and I want other women to feel that exact feeling of just being invincible," she said.
On Sunday, Graham shared an intimate photo of herself in labor in an effort to remind her followers of the strength and power women hold. "On this International Women's Day, understand that despite whatever pain or trial we have all experienced as women, we are also strong, powerful and capable of accomplishing greatness," Graham wrote on Instagram. "Happy International Women’s Day! Let's all celebrate our, and each other's strengths today."