Ashley Graham Talks about how Her Husband Justin Changed her Racist Grand-mum Perception

Ashley Graham Talks about how Her Husband Justin Changed her Racist Grand-mum Perception

The 29-year-old has been all over the News this year especially for the fact that the Plus Size model has been on almost every top Magazine cover this year so far.

Her Memoir was released on last week Tuesday and inside it she talked about her first time experiencing what racism looked like from her Grandmum after introducing her now Husband to the family.

According to UStoday, Ashley Graham’s memoir, out Tuesday, reveals that the plus-size model isn’t afraid to be a lightning rod for criticism and scorn, even from those close to her.

In A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty, and Power Really Look Like, she writes about her Nebraska family’s initial negative (and racist) reaction to her future husband, Justin Ervin.

“Now, I should probably mention that Justin is black, and that I didn’t grow up around many black people. The sum total of what I learned about African-American culture in school was Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and the Underground Railroad.


 This was more than my mom knew; she didn’t even see a black person in real life until she was 18 years old,” she says in the book. (Glamour has the excerpt of that account.)


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Graham naively didn’t tell Ervin about her family’s lack of exposure and didn’t tell her family about his background. And when he finally met her grandparents, well, things didn’t go as smoothly as she might have hoped. “My grandmother was cordial but cold. She greeted him and immediately walked away,” she says in the book. 


“When it came time for them to leave, my grandparents didn’t even acknowledge him. Instead my grandmother looked me in the eye, with Justin standing behind me, and said, ‘Tell that guy I said goodbye.’ “

Ashley Graham Talks about how Her Husband Justin Changed her Racist Grand-mum Perception

The model was taken aback. “I had never seen my loving, hard-working, and wonderful grandma be so hurtful and so racist. I was in shock.”

Ervin told her that her grandmother likely only associated black men with the stereotypical portrayals on television and added, “She had probably never looked a black man in the face, let alone had a conversation with him, and now one was in her daughter’s home, dating her granddaughter.”

But Ervin was able to get Grandma to warm up to him. All it really took was a phone call on her grandmother’s 60th wedding anniversary. 




According to Graham, “he’s not a texter or an emailer; he’s a pick-up-the-phone-and-call-you ­person, and anniversaries are a big deal to him.


 Afterward, Grandma called my mom and said, ‘You’ll never guess who called me.’ And from then on out, she loved him. Loved him.”

Graham and Ervin married in 2010.

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