There is no graceful way to put it: When I saw this, my response was, “What the f*ck is THIS bullshit?” If you come here expecting elegance and eloquence, I have just violated your faith. But if anything about this photo represents What Love Looks Like Now or new spring fashions, then I am OUT on that subject. I also assume that wearing plastic stapled to a giant leather leash is a massive impediment to whatever Ashley Graham might be starting, including but not limited to: cooling her pores, scratching itchy throat skin, breathing, or speaking.

I also rolled my eyes heavily at this throwaway bit in the piece:

“I think that for my generation, podcasts are the new TV,” she says, picking at her avocado toast. “They are the new daytime TV. I’m carving out my own thing.”

Please tell me how it’s relevant that she was picking at her avocado toast. Neither is it relevant whether she wolfed down a cheeseburger. Including that detail sends wonky subliminal messaging, especially when the person in question is a model who makes her living based on her body type, whatever type that is. Even so, can we please stop the scrutiny — even offhand and sneaky, which is what this feels like — of what people are eating during an interview THAT IS AT A RESTAURANT unless it is directly relevant? If they were in the subway and she pulled out some avocado toast, okay. If she were a noted vegan and stopped to buy a hot dog, fine. Otherwise, I wish people would knock it off.

That said: I enjoy Ashley Graham. She was good on ANTM, and when the story describes her charisma, I nod along in agreement. She has a lot to say, and she does it well, even if I personally am a person who grows a little weary of the aggressive “I AM SO UNFILTERED” approach to things that the article is attaching to her (if that is your jam, then bless you; for ME, I just don’t need anyone to tell me “unbidden” how often they defecate after a colonic). The story covers all the stuff you’ve heard before, like how often she and her husband have sex, but also some stuff about their religion that I didn’t know. It probably won’t change whatever perception of her you came in with, but won’t enrage you either.

Now, let’s dive into the art in the slideshow, shall we?

[Photos: Elle]