IMG model Ashley Graham gave one of the most inspiring talks ever before a sold-out audience of 450 people in Valencia, Spain during an April 2015 TEDxBerkleeValencia event. Watch it here.
Dominating the stage with confidence and enthusiasm for her commitment to being a body-image activist for all women, Graham who is a 27-year-old Nebraska native said:
‘My body, like my confidence, has been picked apart, manipulated, and controlled by others who didn’t necessarily understand it. I had to learn to reclaim my body as my own, and in reclaiming my body as my own, I understood as a woman that I had a greater purpose to redefine feminine beauty.’
Addressing Erin Gloria Ryan directly, Sampaio also writes:
Dear Erin from Jezebel, I don’t hate myself! I was actually taught by my family to respect and love myself and indeed others! I feel sorry that you were not able to see beyond your own self-serving interest to sensationalise a story, by creating a negative spin on a positive message and making a foregone conclusion about a young ‘model’ you have never met before!
My Life Beliefs:
1. Humanity first began in Africa and then migrated across the globe.
2. Goddesses preceeded gods as the powerful forces of the universe, and monotheism’s one god. Monotheism finished off the goddesses for good.
3. Goddesses were frequently associated with procreation and fertility and those evolutionary beliefs are part of our DNA.
4. The earliest goddesses were most-likely dark-skinned and African. If that statement appears racist, there is nothing I can do about it.
5. Jung’s concept of the ‘collective unconscious’ is real. As humans we inherit a body of psychological, physical, social experiences in our unconscious minds. Fertility goddesses are embedded in our collective unconscoius minds, and they are not going anywhere.
6. Life provides us with teaching moments. Rather than verbally pummel Paper Magazine’s and also Refinery 29’s values with comments like this one from Katie, writing on Refinery 29:
I think perhaps what most people find disappointing in all of the posting about Kim Kardashian is because she doesn’t reflect what most of us would consider the values of a truly strong 21st century woman. R29, from what I can tell, values the forward thinking, independent, and stylish woman; someone who has a career, goals, and (gasp) orgasms. Kim is a mockery of all things that a female role model should be, and not because of her naked photos. Nudity isn’t even shocking anymore. What I’m basically saying is that we, as loyal readers, expect that the women and celebrities that R29 post about and celebrate is a reflection of the company’s values. Much like when there was an uproar over Vogue putting her on the cover because many felt that Kim didn’t reflect the ideal Vogue woman, I find myself resenting R29 for showcasing a woman who frankly defies many of the ideals R29 promotes (you know…like being an intelligent person who’s worth isn’t 100% defined by looks)
… could we talk about this topic and explore it from multiple angles? Note that Refinery 29 was taking heat for being the lead website writing and promoting the Paper magazine editorial. I admit to being astounded that Katie believes that Kim Kardashian is nothing but a high class porn star. It’s a bit like Victoria’s Secret’s Sophia Neophitou calling Kate Upton a footballer’s wife with a face anyone can buy.