Ashley Graham Wants to Be Like Heidi Klum and Other Supermodels, But Curvier

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Ashley Graham is a super successful plus-size model, whose goal is to become a supermodel like Heidi Klum. She realizes there will be one big difference between her and the America's Got Talent judge. She will be curvier. But that doesn't stop Ashley Graham from working to achieve her goal.

In addition to Heidi Klum, Graham also admires Kathy Ireland, Tyra Banks, and Cindy Crawford. She'd be happy achieving the success level of any of her four idols.

"I definitely look up to Kathy Ireland, Heidi Klum, Tyra Banks and Cindy Crawford," Ashley Graham said during a recent interview with The Coveteur. "I've watched their careers and they have just blossomed into extraordinary and amazing things. I can't wait to be the curvier version of all of them."

Ashley Graham has not just modeled for plus-size retailer Lane Bryant--she has landed a bikini ad for Sports Illustrated, too.

And even though she faced much scrutiny at the start of her career, she believes the industry is finally changing.

"I've faced criticism my whole career," she said. "It's come from fans, it's come from agents, and it's come from other models. But I think that it's all a matter of how you handle it and I turned it all into a positive thing. Now the industry has totally changed and it's not as much about size anymore--everyone's really jumped on the bandwagon of not letting size be the defining factor of determining what beauty truly is."

Ashley Graham has never felt the need to lose weight when she began her career.

"I got told at the very beginning, when I was about 12 years old, 'If you lost a ton of weight, you could be a major model' and my mom just looked at the lady, started laughing and said 'We won't be doing that,' " she shared. "That gave me so much confidence because if my mom didn't think I needed to lose weight, then obviously I didn't need to."

Hopefully young prospective models will gain confidence when they read about stories like Ashley Graham's. And hopefully Ashley Graham attains her goal of becoming as famous a model as Heidi Klum or her cohorts.

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.