Ashley Graham Celebrates Her Curves After Internet Trolls Criticize Her Body

Graham encouraged her followers to embrace their own bodies.

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for NYFW: The Shows

Ashley Graham is proud of who she is.

The 28-year-old model made that clear in a Wednesday Instagram post, in which she celebrates her curvaceous body, shutting down Internet trolls who have criticized her in the past.

“Someone once told me my thighs were ‘cellulite city.’ But I now realize these thighs tell a story of victory and courage,” Graham wrote. “I will not let others dictate what they think my body should look like for their own comfort, and neither should you. #beautybeyondsize #effyourbeautystandards.”

In the photo collage, Graham offers three sultry looks as she poses in a long-sleeved, black swimsuit during a beachside photo shoot.

The Sport Illustrated cover girl has dealt with issues regarding her weight in the past, batting away critics as she forged her way into the modeling industry.

“I had agencies telling me that I had to lose weight,” Graham told PEOPLE in May. “I had one that waved money in my face and said, ‘If you lose more lb’s – pounds – you can make a lot more of this,’ and he was waving $20 bills in my face.”

Although Graham – a Nebraska native – struggled with body image after moving to New York when she was 17, she eventually learned that positive thoughts helped boost her self-esteem.

“A lot of taking care of my body and my mind and my soul had to do with talking to myself and actually giving myself affirmations,” she added. “It got me out of my funk. I still had cellulite, I still had back fat, I still had jiggly arms, and I decided to love every part of it.”

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