As a supermodel, Ashley Graham is no stranger to wearing some of the world’s most beautiful jewelry. In addition to the zillions of dollars of sparkling loaners she gets for red carpets and cover shoots, she’s amassed an ‘insane’ jewelry collection of her own. But while almost every girl finds a beautiful bauble irresistible, Ashley says she loves it for another reason: because as a curvy girl, jewelry helps her feel confident.
“I think something that big girls around the world have always been told is: There is not enough fashion for you,” Graham told PeopleStyle at the Forevermark Tribute launch event in New York City. “If you look at any big girl’s closet, the accessories are on point, the shoes are on point, the makeup is on point. My jewelry collection is insane, because there’s no size when it comes to jewelry; that’s why I have a correlation between confidence and jewelry.”
Her favorite piece of jewelry in that insane collection? “I mean – duh – my wedding ring,” Graham said. The model married Justin Ervin seven years ago and revealed that her very first time trying on diamonds happened when they decided to tie the knot. “When my husband and I knew that we were going to get married we started trying on diamonds just to see what I liked. Then he surprised me with something I wasn’t expecting but it was so me,” Graham continued. “I think that diamonds really tell a story about who you are and what kind of woman you are.”
But not all of her favorite jewelry came from a sweet declaration of love—in fact, one came from a bad split she experienced before she found the right guy. “I had a really terrible break up and I went out to Barneys and bought myself this beautiful gold necklace that says ‘I love you’ when you spin it. It was a reminder to myself that men come and go, and you will have bad experiences, but you have to remember to love who you are,” the model told People Style.
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The body-image activist is all about breaking barriers for curvy girls who feel underrepresented in the modeling world—after all, she just launched a swimwear collection made with every single body type in mind—and as the movement continues to gain momentum, Graham wants to be clear she won’t be slowing down anytime soon. “We are here to stay and you can tell by how many designers are putting us on the runway, how many covers we’re on, and the fact that in the last 3 years I’ve never seen more progression in the curve world than ever before and I’ve being doing this for 18 years. We’re not a trend,” Graham said.
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