Plus-size model Ashley Graham has been championing the new body acceptance movement around the world for some time now. In honour of her efforts, Graham was recently honoured at Glamour’s Women of the Year awards, where she was presented with her own version of a Barbie doll by Mattel.
Graham, who earlier this year became the first plus-size model to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated annual swimsuit issue, had one rigid requirement of her own though: The doll cannot have a thigh gap. “She had to have her thighs touch. No ands, ifs or buts about it. And I asked for cellulite but obviously plastic and cellulite don’t go hand in hand,” Graham told the Hollywood Reporter. She added, “It was important that the Barbie resembled me as much as possible. The thighs touching was one way to show young girls that it’s OK for your thighs to touch, despite society saying that a ‘thigh gap’ is more beautiful.”
The doll’s outfit has been inspired from one of Graham’s appearances in an Opening Ceremony Dress, a Sonia Rykiel denim jacket and Pierre Hardy leather boots.
Barbie has been the object of controversy due to its ridiculous body proportions and the negative message that it sends young girls about their body image. Mattel has been trying to reverse that image and has a new range of Barbies, called the 'Sheroes', that include other body positive role models like Beyonce, Gabby Douglas, Zendaya, Ava DuVernay and now, Ashley Graham.