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Plus-Size Lingerie Model Ashley Graham: 'Men Want to See Curves'

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Cindy Ord/Getty

Ashley Graham made waves by being the first plus-size model to appear in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue – and again as part of Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel lingerie campaign featuring women of all shapes and sizes – but she’s actually been showing off her curvy figure for over a decade.

“I was born plus-size,” Graham told Yahoo! Style. “My first [modeling] job ever was lingerie. My mom had to sign a petition that said they would airbrush my nipples out!”

The Lincoln, Nebraska, native started modeling for Lane Bryant when she was 14, and despite her loyalty to the brand and her starring in their seemingly anti-Victoria’s Secret campaign, she wouldn’t turn down an offer from the lingerie giant.

“Absolutely,” Graham – who hopes people view her as a “curvaceous, sexy, gorgeous hunk of woman” – responded when asked if she would ever model for Victoria’s Secret.

The boundary-breaker was recently ranked No. 11 on Ask Men’s list of “Top 99 Outstanding Women 2015,” ahead of Michelle Obama at No. 12.

“Weird moment,” she said, joking that she nabbed the higher position because “men want to see the curves.”

And while she tries to stay away from fried food and dairy to maintain her shape, she admits that she’ll have a french fry every now and then, and isn’t afraid of consuming carbs.

“I’m not gluten-free,” she says. “I love gluten!”

Meet Ashley Graham, the First Plus-Size Model to Be Featured in the SI Swimsuit Issue