According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2016 is the year of the monkey. But according to our style calendar, it’s also the year of Ashley Graham. She landed a barrier-breaking Sports Illustrated Swim cover, plus a ton of empowering campaigns. She started her own lingerie line and her own clothing line with Dressbarn. Now the size 16 model is disrobing once again for another big honor: the cover of Maxim.
The 28-year-old star opens up to Maxim about her super-sexy year, revealing, “My life, lately, is naked.”
She also shares her plans to take the fashion industry by storm. (We’d say she already has that covered.)
“I know these celebrity entrepreneurs are just people,” she tells Maxim. “They’ve just been given the right opportunities and have soared with them. And that’s what I’m trying to do.”
In one photo from the racy shoot, Graham models a strappy black one piece from her new Swimsuitsforall collection, debuting in May.
RELATED VIDEO: Are You Really Plus-Size? Ashley Graham Breaks it Down!
She also stays true to her “life is naked” motto, even enlisting husband Justin Ervin to serve as her “hand bra” in one shot.
Not to mention the strappy black thong and lace bra combo seen below…
Graham’s shoot marks the first curvy for Maxim, a title she’s proud to hold. She also debunks and rumors that her cover shot changed her body shape.
“I was not slimmed down on the cover, and Gilles Bensimon did an amazing job capturing my true figure in all of the photos,” Graham said in a statement. “This is another major advancement for curvy women, especially those who work in the fashion industry who are working hard to get the recognition they deserve. I now encourage more publications and designers to put more diversity on their covers and runways. Let’s continue to show that beautiful bodies come in different sizes and they should all be celebrated.”
After landing her SI Swim cover, Graham told us that not only was it a personal victory, but it marked a societal shift which she’s very passionate about.
“Girls who are insecure about their bodies, girls who feel fat, girls who have cellulite, girls who have stretch marks on their body — those are all the things that I had as a kid and I never had a woman like me growing up to look at,” Graham told PeopleStyle. “I had my mother and that’s one thing, but to have somebody who has cellulite, who has things that jiggle, who has back fat and talk about how you can be a overcomer and not let society take you down for all of that. That’s real.”
Visit Maxim.com for more on Ashley’s interview. What do you think of her latest cover spot? Share below.