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Ashley Graham Reveals Why She Chose to Not Retouch Stretch Marks in Bikini Photos: ‘This Is My New Mom Bod’

Role model alert! Ashley Graham opened up about her decision to show her true body in the new campaign for her collaboration with Swimsuits for All.

Related: Ashley Graham's Sweetest Breast-Feeding Shots

In the photos, shot by husband Justin Ervin, the model, 32, poses in a printed bikini with her stretch marks proudly front and center. “There’s always a question of, ‘What do you want us to retouch, and what do you want us to take out?’ And I said, ‘Nothing,’ except from a clamp holding up the DIY backdrop,” she told People on Wednesday, July 29. “I want everybody to know genuinely … I want people to see who I am because everybody has a story.”

Graham hopes her own self-acceptance will rub off on others. “A lot of women I speak to have image issues, body issues around confidence,” she explained. “I want them to understand that we all have things that society has told us to cover up, and why do we need to do that? So here I am with mine out and about and proud.”

Ashley Graham swimsuitsforall stretch marks
Ashley Graham Justin Ervin for Swimsuits For All

Related: Stars Who’ve Hit Back Against Body-Shamers

The Nebraska native, who welcomed son Isaac in January, revealed that she had to come to terms with her new physique after giving birth. “It looks so simple and beautiful but powerful. I’ve got more weight on me. I have stretch marks, and in the beginning, I really had to have a lot of conversations with myself and tell myself, ‘OK, new body, new mindset,’” she recalled. “But after this photo shoot, I felt so empowered because I was like, ‘Yes. I look good. I feel good. This is my new mom bod.’”

Related: Celeb Moms Clap Back at Parenting Police

Graham divulged more details about the campaign on her Instagram account. “Some things I love: a cute bathing suit and a backyard shoot with the family!” she wrote on Wednesday. “We’ve had such [a] great time making the most of this summer in Nebraska and these suits have me feeling great for my first summer as a mommy!”

Earlier this month, the American Beauty Star host shared intimate photos of her son breast-feeding. She captioned the Saturday, July 25, post, “After pool chilaxin.”

Graham and Ervin, 31, previously teamed up for her Harper’s Bazaar UK July 2020 cover shoot. She modeled for the filmmaker as her other family members pitched in to help while quarantined together at their Nebraska farm during the coronavirus pandemic.

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