Ashley Graham Fronts Glamour’s July Sex Issue

by Kristen Heinzinger

Let’s talk about sex, baby! It’s the topic Glamour is obsessed with in its July issue, and Ashley Graham turns up the heat as the cover star. The model, who is known for promoting body-positivity, weighs in on the topic and even answers readers’ sex questions. Plus, she opens up on how she feels about her own body and gets real about sexual harassment on set. Below is a taste of what’s in store. Read the full interview when the issue hits newsstands on June 13, and turn to glamour.com for the “Summer of Sex” series, which runs through August.

In other Glamour news, the mag announced today that it’s bringing its annual Women of the Year Awards back to the East Coast, from L.A. to Brooklyn. Honorees are still TBA, but we can share that the evening is set to take over Kings Theatre on November 13. Mark your calendars!

On nude photo shoots…
“You know, my thing is: If it’s vulgar, and it’s, like, me grabbing my breasts and showing nipple, I’m not going to do it. When I said, ‘I don’t do nip and bush,’ I didn’t feel like I had to be specific as to what kind. So you might even see more nipple coming up. But trust me: You will never see my vagina! [Laughs.]”

On body positivity…
“Some days I feel like I have superpowers, but some days I feel like I’m the fattest girl in the world. And I talk about my back fat and my cellulite because it’s important to have women in the media addressing the things that society has called flaws.”

On experiencing sexual harassment on set…
“There was an incident on set of a campaign job when I was 17 years old—I haven’t told this story—and there was a photo assistant who was into me. He was like, ‘Hey, come here,’ and he led me into a closet. And I was like, ‘What?’ I thought he was going to show me something. And he pulled me in, and he pulled his penis out. And he was like, ‘Grab it.’ And I was like, ‘No! That’s disgusting.’ I freaked out. And thank God I was closer to the door, and I just bolted out.”

On not telling anyone about the incident…
“And sure enough, I’ve seen him at jobs since. I even knew a girl he dated. I didn’t tell her because there was a voice in me that said, ‘Maybe he’s changed.’ It was my young mentality. But I told myself, ever since that incident, that I wasn’t going to allow someone at work to manipulate what I wanted to do on set. So any image that you see out there is one that I wanted to take.”

On being a Christian and working as a model…
“It’s a gut intuition. I ask myself, ‘Is this right for me, my brand, my career, and my relationship?’ Doing the music video with Joe Jonas—and making out with him—was something that I talked to [my husband] Justin about before I went in. And he understood I was playing a role. There are reasons to set boundaries for yourself, but there are also reasons to keep doors open. With that video I wanted to let the world know that love comes in all sizes…. Being a girl who waited until she was married to have sex with her husband but who is also a Sports Illustrated model is confusing for people. But I set standards for myself. And I want my message to women to be ‘Do what is right for you.’”

On being a sex symbol…
“When I met with Eva Chen from Instagram, she told me that 75 percent of my followers are women. So if anyone wants to call me a sex symbol, it’s women. We are redefining sexy.”

 Photography: Nathaniel Goldberg

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