I was body shamed as a kid but got last laugh – now Im worlds sexiest woman

Ashley Graham had to overcome body-shaming critics to make it in the modelling industry.

For a recent magazine cover shoot, the 35-year-old revealed industry insiders have been nitpicking her weight since she was a child.

She told Vogue Germany: “One of the first photographers I worked with said to my mother, ‘If Ashley would lose weight and go from a size 12 to a size 6, she could work all the time'.

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“I was 12-years-old then. I can imagine how young girls must feel about social media these days.

“I was very aware that my thighs were rubbing together, that my belly fat was bulging over my jeans, that my arms were bigger than my girlfriends."

Ashley, from Nebraska in the US, proved doubters wrong though.

After making her debut on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 2016, her career has continued to blossom.

As well as appearing in countless magazines, she's gone on to model for luxury designers including Dolce and Gabbana, Tommy Hilfiger and Michael Kors.

She boasts more than 21.3million followers on Instagram and has written her own book.

And what's more, she was named the "world's sexiest woman" this year.

Ashley replaced Paige to win the 'crowned title' for Maxim magazine's cover page and held off the challenge of Margot Robbie, Cara Delevingne and Doja Cat.

And after winning, she said: “We can look at everybody’s shapes and sizes, gender, ethnicity, and age as part of who they are. It doesn’t have to be a negative or a positive.

“It should be something that’s easily embraced, and we don’t need to be having these conversations all the time. Our bodies are always changing, and they’re always evolving.

"I’ve been using my own body as a tool to be able to talk about these feelings.”

Ashley believes becoming a mum helped her to embrace her body.

She loves her physique after marrying her partner Justin Ervin in 2010 and "becoming a mother of three".

The bombshell said: “I don't want to lie to myself and say, ‘Belly, after three children you look so great!’ But I can accept and love my body and thank it for giving birth to three healthy children."

And she hopes sharing her story will inspire other curvy ladies to be more confident.

Ashley added: “The day it becomes normal not to talk at all about someone's body who wears a size larger. Then we know that the next step towards change has finally been taken.

“I've paved the way for women and I'm still paving it."

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