celebrity

We don't understand this photoshoot but it's strangely sexy.

American model, businesswoman and founder of ALDA Modelling Agency, Ashley Graham has posed for the cover of V Magazine.

The magazine’s January issue features images of the 28-year-old model in quite unusual poses – such as picking up her male counterpart – alongside her interview with Chelsea Handler.

“Ashley Graham is taking charge in our January issue,” the caption of an Instagram photo from V Magazine reads.

In another photo, the America’s Next Top Model judge is seen in stockings and a cape (with a pair of very bleached eyebrows) and a caption that reads:

“I want to contribute to helping create a world where women can stand up for who they are and express who they want to be. I want to be seen as a woman who helped shape an environment that allows women to be unafraid to take risks.”

And, in the V Magazine cover story, Graham talks about exactly that.

When asked what she thinks of the label “plus-sized model”, her reply is of anger.

“I can’t stand that question anymore. I mean, I’ve been doing this now for 17 years and I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve spoken up about the label ‘plus-size’,” she said. “I don’t think women should be labelled at all. I think that it’s completely divisive. But, for whatever reason, I am the one that has been given the opportunity to be on so many covers and to have a voice. I don’t take that lightly.”

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On inspiring other people, Graham is humbled.

“When someone comes to me crying and says, ‘Because of you, I wore shorts today,’ or I’ll get an email that says, ‘I had sex with my husband with the lights on’,” she said. “At those moments, I’m like, ‘Wow, you are changing people’s lives, and you’re doing it by just being yourself’.”

On referring to genitals with her future children, she has a game plan.

“I always tell my husband, “When we have children, we are going to use the actual word for the private parts,” she said. “We are going to say vagina, we are going to say penis, we are going to say breasts!”

On her bravest moment, Graham spoke about following her dreams.

“You know, some people think it’s brave to be in front of the camera in lingerie or a swimsuit. But that’s nothing,” she said. “One of the bravest moments for me was leaving an agent I had been with for 10 years. I was agent-less for about eight months and it was a very scary time of my life. I gathered a community of women around me and we ended up founding ALDA, a collective of models that embraces this idea that beauty exists without regard to colour, size, or any number of categories within our industry rooted in exclusion.”

Finally, on being a diva, Graham is proud.

“A diva is someone who works hard and gets what she wants and doesn’t take no for an answer.”

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