The model looked for affirmation in all the wrong places
Ashley graham has confessed she felt severely insecure after her first boyfriend walked away as he thought she’d get “as fat as his mom.” This led the star to go on a series of casual dates seeking affirmation and it took her a while to regain control.
She explained to Britain’s Cosmopolitan magazine: “He’s like, ‘First, you won’t have sex with me. And second, I’m afraid you’re going to be as far as my mum.’ Never in my life had I felt more ugly, insecure and unworthy.
That was the beginning of how I would relate and interact with my own body. I started seeking affirmation from boys because of one man’s words.”
By age 17, Ashley felt like she had dated too many people, adding: “I did it all wrong. I dated a lot of the wrong guys and was having sex for a lot of the wrong reasons. I was just looking for love and affirmations.”
And the 28-year-old model then landed in an abusive relationship, but was too insecure to simply walk away.
“He was abusive in more than one way. He threw a couch on me. He came home drunk. I was sitting on it and he flipped it upside down. I remember my elbow being jammed but thinking, ‘He didn’t hit me, he was just really angry, you know?’
You hear stories of women who say the exact same thing – I wasn’t showing up with bruises, he wasn’t beating me every day. I should have left, but I was an insecure woman in a terrible relationship who did not know herself,” she confessed.
Once she finally left the relationship thanks to friends and family, Ashley – who is now married to Justin Ervin – felt ashamed to admit they still kept in touch on occasion.
She continued: “They would tell me, ‘You’re a 10. You need to put more value in who you are as a woman.’ But it was hard. For six months to a year, I hid that I was still talking to him.
I was embarrassed that I couldn’t step away. I don’t think that heartache made me a better person but it helped me figure out my worth.”