Supermodel Ashley Graham recently opened up about workplace harassment.
The Vogue covergirl shared a story with Glamour magazine about sexual harassment at work and how it’s affected her.
Penned by her friend and fellow plus-size model Lauren Chan, Graham spoke for the first time about the encounter.
She explains: “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,” recalls Graham, who has since seen the man in question at other modeling jobs.
“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’.”
Graham then went onto reveal how that incident has shaped her attitude towards work.
“Ever since that incident, that I wasn’t going to allow someone at work to manipulate what I wanted to do,”
“Any image that you see out there is one that I wanted to take.”
“There are reasons to set boundaries for yourself,” Graham tells the magazine, “but there are also reasons to keep doors open.”
“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,” she says.
“But I set standards for myself. I want my message to women to be, ‘Do what is right for you.”