Ashley Graham can’t win. No matter what she looks like, whether she’s “too big” or “too small,” someone in the internet will always have an opinion on her body. Lately, the consensus is that she’s “too small,” with sites like HollywoodLife and the Daily Mail reporting that she’s lost 20 pounds.
On a recent episode of her podcast, Pretty Big Deal, the 30-year-old responded to the accusations after answering a question from a fan on why she works out before events, such as the Met Gala. The question came after Graham revealed in a previous episode that she prepares for big red carpets by self-caring, such as working out.
In her response, Graham explained that she worked out not to change herself physically, but for mental stability. “For me, going to the gym isn’t about losing weight. It’s about gaining, not only confidence, but there’s a mental stability that I get through it,” Graham said. “I get this euphoria. Your body, your brain is releasing endorphins when you work out. You just feel better when you leave the gym. You hate going. You love when you leave.”
Graham also addressed the ongoing speculation over her body. She explained that she often looks different depending on what she’s wearing or what angle the photo is taken, but that doesn’t mean that she’s lost weight. And even if she did, she has one message to the haters: “It’s nobody’s business.”
“People think that working out sometimes equates to wanting to lose weight,” Graham said. “I’ve had so much backlash of certain angles or photos taken of me or dresses that make me look big or make me look small, and God forbid, she gains 20 pounds. God forbid, she loses 20 pounds.
As for why she works out before red carpets, Graham said it’s not to fit into beauty standards but to feel as confident as possible. “The thing about the Met and big events like that, yes, it’s a 360 of judgement,” Graham said. “You’ve got cameras on every single angle. Everybody there looks incredible. I’m not trying to fit into any standard that people imagine me to fit into, but what I am trying to do is to feel my best because there are cameras, because I don’t want to have to think about, ‘Oh God! I don’t want them to get me from that angle!’ It’s really, truly about mentally feeling great.”