Ashley Graham has already done plenty to inspire women to love themselves, but her recent nude selfie went above and beyond. Last week, the 31-year-old model shared a photo of her naked pregnant body — stretch marks, rolls, and all — to show that we should still appreciate our bodies even as they change. Women on Instagram took Graham’s message to heart and are now sharing their own naked selfies, along with their own personal journeys of self-love.
Graham’s original post showed the side of her tummy, butt, thighs, and breast with the caption “same same but a little different,” in reference to her body changing during her newly-announced pregnancy. The post has over 1 million likes and has empowered other women to bare it all on Instagram, some pregnant and some not. The stories being shared are just as beautiful as the photos.
One user recreated Ashley Graham’s pose, opening up about her difficult pregnancy in the caption. “Only the Lord and my Husband really know how hard this pregnancy is for me,” she writes. “From having Placenta Previa [when the placenta wholly or partially blocks the opening of the uterus], always being out of breath, restricted from going to the gym, mentally going through some things, and my body and mood changing completely.” Even though she already has a child (who is now 13), she says that the journey to accepting her pregnancy body is ongoing and ever-changing.
Others shared stories of eating disorder recovery. “The reality of eating disorder recovery is weight gain, it is those changes that we used to fear,” another user writes. “For me, weight gain, stretch marks, cellulite, rolls, & dimples are all signs of strength, survival, & recovery. They use to be all the things I feared happening to my body. Today they are a celebration! Just like @ashleygraham is celebrating the little one growing inside of her.”