Increasing the size of the model in the advertisement more and more.
The term “model” usually evokes the image of a slim woman. But ASHLEY graham is not the model. She has curves, dimples and rich skin. She is a large model, she is becoming more and more obvious in the mainstream. She discussed her career with Gary dakin of ford model’s enlarged department – and her recent underwear ads, which sparked controversy when ABC and fox were rejected.
ALLISON KEYES, host:
Now we continue our conversation with the different sides of the fashion world: the supermodel industry. It sounds like an ordinary underwear commercial.
(voice of advertisement)
Ms. ASHLEY GRAHAM (fashion model) : mom always says beauty is only skin-deep, smiling is the best makeup, and that’s the most important thing. Somehow, I don’t think it’s mom’s idea.
Keith: but model ASHLEY graham’s character doesn’t look like most of the models you see in magazines. It’s not the size and shape of the lollipop, it’s the curve and the vol, the body is full. ASHLEY is a big model. She has designed a new lingerie line for the retailer Lane Bryant, which caters to women who are fully engaged.
But you may not have seen her TV commercials unless you are one of the 3 million people who have logged on to YouTube to watch them. Both ABC and fox declined to broadcast their original form of advertising. The network said the AD was handled in the same way as Victoria’s secret ads. Lane Bryant insists that their ads are an unfair target.
Ashley Graham and her agent, Gary Dakin, are joining us now. Gary is responsible for managing the larger size division of ford’s model company, which is responsible for placing some of the most prominent plus size models on magazine covers and runways around the world. Welcome to the program.
Ms. GRAHAM: thank you.
Mr. GARY DAKIN (ford model agent) : thank you.
Keith: so ASHLEY, how did you get into this?
Ms. GRAHAM: oh, man. It is…
KEYES: meaning modeling, of course.
Ms. GRAHAM: of course, yes.
Ms. GRAHAM: I’m 12 years old. I’m at a mall in Nebraska, and there’s a guy coming up. There’s a phone call in this mall, he’s like, hey, do you want to be a model? I don’t know what I’m doing. I was 12 years old, 5 ‘9 “and 12, so he automatically classified me as a plus, and, you know, it all started there. I don’t know what that means.
Keith: but something really cool is going to happen. It never happened in the mall.
Keith: Gary, what does the plus sign mean?
Mr. DAKIN: that means anything over six, basically, anything that’s not on the motherboard. That is…
Keith: wait, wait, let me back up. Do you add dimensions to more than six sizes?
Mr. DAKIN: in the modeling world, yes.
Ms. GRAHAM: yes.
Mr. DAKIN: you know, it’s an ideal market. So, you know, girls ten and ten look forty-six. So we started our — from the age of 12, and then we realized that we needed this middle ground, and that healthy woman was not portrayed. So we dropped to eight yards.
Keith: what brings you into the big leagues, Gary? You represent several other models – I mean, Crystal Renn. What do you say: this is the one I want to model?
Mr. DAKIN: you know, when I was in New York about 15 years ago, it wasn’t a big business. It’s a call to me, you know? The women of my life have always been – my grandmother was a bigger woman, just like my best friend in high school. So I always look at beauty from the point of view of beauty.
But I want to make a difference. I want to lend a helping hand, help people, and do my job to make people feel more comfortable. I don’t think there’s a limit here. You know, on the other hand, everything is done. No one has ever seen a girl on a cover. No one ever saw a girl on the Chanel runway. No one has. So I know there’s a lot of ways to do this and really do something special, and that’s why I care about it.
Keith: ASHLEY, when you walk into your first institution in high heels, what kind of reaction do you get?
Ms. GRAHAM: I think they like it. Wow, she’s really young, but we have to have her. We just need her. I knew that when Gary and I met for the first time, we had a meeting the next day – with my mother, because I was 15 – and he signed my name the next day.
Keith: what kind of appearance did you get from that? We could say that there were probably no statues in the room at that time?
Ms. GRAHAM: you know, I’ve never had anything negative – any negative model is negative. I’ve always been outgoing and very personal. So people just know me, not my size. It’s never been a problem for me. And I’ve never been overlooked for work or clients, or even from my organization, to lose weight, gain weight or something like that.
Mr. DAKIN: it’s really interesting because we see the support of the linear scale community in the model industry.
Ms. GRAHAM: yes.
Mr. Darkin: the models from other agents are incredible, incredible, incredible. Customer – this is true, this is new, but it must be – has changed over the past few years.
Keith: I mean, you said it was interesting, because if you read the media, it sounds like the skinny side is not happy. I mean, but Gary, do you think the fashion industry is really more open? Or is it just the taste of the moment?
Mr. DAKIN: no, I don’t think it’s taste. I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I’ve seen several starts and stops in the past. You know, Amy was a moment, when Kate Dillon appeared, she was definitely a moment. This is not a moment. This is definitely a sport. We do see that people are more supportive and supportive in every way.
This is interesting, because we’ve seen Paris Vogue’s Carine Roitfeld using Crystal almost every month for the last three or four months. We saw the cover, we saw the runway, we saw Ashley’s AD. We see all these different things at the same time. So there’s one and two, and now it’s the same. This is once a month.
Cindi Leive, from Glamour, made the huge announcement that she will use all the colors of all colors in the magazine every month. She kept her promise. And – everybody does.
Keith: but one of the magazines, I think it’s British Vogue, they’re not interested in using big women. They say the editor says she doesn’t think people want to see a negative two, but she doesn’t think women want to see a 16. ASHLEY, what do you think of that attitude?
Ms. GRAHAM: I mean, it’s sad. But I mean, I know there are a lot of women in London, they’re all 16 years old, and they want to see what they look like in magazines. So they might understand that next year.
Keith: if you just join us, this is more from NPR news. We’re talking about big model industries with Gary Dakin of Ford Plus, a modeling agency, and Ashley Graham, a famous model of Lane Bryant underwear. So, when it comes to Lane Byrant, we have to talk about that now.
Keith: the whole debate about the cute lingerie AD we heard at the beginning. According to lane Bryant, ASHLEY’s AD was banned from prime-time on ABC and fox because it was deemed too sexy. Lane Bryant continues to blame the two networks for sexually suggestive images and content during prime time, and only when they are involved can we speak of a more slender person.
We contacted Fox, and they said Lane Bryant was asked to edit their ads like Victoria’s secret. When Bryant refused to do so, it was a delay. ASHLEY, when this happens, is it a good thing for you? Still a little disturbing?
Ms. GRAHAM: I mean, nothing is bad. We are very sad – all disputes happened, but it also happens, it’s so amazing, because we are talking about, you know, the woman of his heart and another kind of beauty of form, is not only the size of the two boxes, size 4. We can talk about the size 16.
Keith: I want to know, I will ask the two of you, I read a few places, it is suggested that on the page of the magazine to see a large model will send a bad news for young girls, this is the same bad news, see two people will send negative. Do you think it’s true? First ASHLEY, then Gary.
Ms. GRAHAM: no, I actually think it’s ridiculous. When I grew up, I never played a role model in the media. I have my mother, of course I have j.l., but she has only one big trophy.
Ms. GRAHAM: so I’ve never had anyone full of imagination and confidence, full of femininity. So now I think young girls and women all over the world have role models, they will come out, they will enter the media, they are – they take pride in their appearance, they are very proud of their shape, they will not change their world curve of any things.
I think if we are, I think it promotes obesity, but I don’t think it has anything to do with it, and we’re all promoting health. We all solve it. We eat healthily. Our way of life does not make the wrong choice. So it has nothing to do with obesity.
Mr. DAKIN: yes, when I heard someone say it was because Ashley touched the head, it wasn’t fat. Just like, if you look at most of these girls’ BMI, they’re all within the parameters of a healthy lifestyle. Their bodies are built differently. You know, I’m going to challenge and say that they’re probably healthier than most people you see in magazines, including celebrities.
And they did eat well. They worked very well. Like, a lot of their work is underwear. So, like ASHLEY, that’s why ASHLEY is famous. So their bodies must be regulated. Like, you can bounce a quarter from her ass. Like, she’s very, very firm.
Mr. Darkin: girls are very, very healthy and active.
Keith: ASHLEY, I have to ask, I mean, you say frankly, it’s gorgeous. But learn how to show off, or somehow twist the hip, or…
Ms. GRAHAM: no.