She is among the world's most sought-after models.
But Ashley Graham revealed her enviable curves were in fact the source of her troubled school days, after cruel bullies criticised her on a daily basis.
Speaking to Harper's Bazaar, the stunning star, 29, admitted she 'hated' school, and was forced to 'internalise' her emotions.
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'Girls would call me 'cottage-cheese thighs' and 'thunder thighs': Ashley Graham revealed her enviable curves were in fact the source of her troubled school days, after cruel bullies criticised her on a daily basis
Posing up a storm in a range of stunning ensembles, Ashley opened up about the heart-breaking experience of classmates taunting her.
'Girls would call me 'cottage-cheese thighs' and 'thunder thighs'. They'd be like 'Wide load coming through. Beep, beep!' I hated school,' the beauty remembered.
And despite having already started her career in the spotlight, jealous pupils would discredit her achievements.
'As a model, people are telling you you're beautiful, and at school, people are telling you you're ugly. They would say, 'You're not really a model, you're a fat model.' It was humiliating. I think I just put my head down and internalised it,' she admitted.
Leggy lady: Speaking to Harper's Bazaar, the stunning star, 29, admitted she 'hated' school, and was forced to 'internalise' her emotions
But it wasn't just teenagers that made her journey adulthood difficult.
Speaking about her father, the body activist said: '[My dad was] a dark presence. My dad was very critical and harsh. He was physically there but absent emotionally.'
'He thought I was stupid because I had a really low reading level and I wasn't good at maths. His nickname for me was 'Duh'. That puts a lot of pressure on a kid.'
And talking about mastering self acceptance, Ashley admitted she sometimes had to be hard on herself.
Remembering a moment she underwent a series of health tests alongside a size 2 model on Good Morning America, Ashley revealed: 'I harpers actually tested healthier than her. It proved that health comes in all shapes and sizes.
'People would tell me I was ugly.I think I just put my head down and internalised it,' Ashley admitted as she posed up a storm for the shoot
'I still wake up some mornings and feel fat, of course I do, but I've come to a place where I'm like, the cellulite's not leaving, and I'm not going to beat myself up about it, I'll embrace it. Some women say, 'I can't get out of bed, I'm never going to find a man, or get that job that I want, because of the way I look'.
However the brunette beauty still has moments where she doubts herself, and credits husband of seven years, music director Justin Ervin for being her rock.
'He was consistent,' she smiled.
'To finally have a man talk to me about who I am was eye-opening and refreshing and intriguing. I had never known before how to have full-on communication with a man because I never had it with my father or with boyfriends growing up, and I didn't have it with my agents, because they were always picking apart my body.'
'I once asked, 'Am I the curviest girl you've ever dated?' and he was like, 'Yeah, but I hadn't thought about it.' And that was that.'
Speaking candidly about embracing her famous curves, Ashley, who has appeared on the cover of fashion magazines including Vogue, Glamour, and Elle, said: 'I love my body. When I look in the mirror, I see a woman who is strong and ambitious, satisfied with who she is.'
'I'm simply not able to adhere to strict rules around deprivation. I get upset, 'hangry', when I'm not eating. I would never go on a major diet and work-out spree just to be thin.'
And Ashley isn't satisfied with just paving the way for curvier models through her own success.
Championing diversity within the fashion industry, she hopes designers will start catering for women of all sizes.
Read the full interview in the Harpers Bazaar’s July 2017 issue
Opening up about her own frustrations, she said: 'It's ugly that there aren't enough clothes in stores for women that go up to a size 22 or 24. As a curvy girl you get the feeling you're a second-class citizen. I want women to accept themselves. I have so many friends, skinny, really heavy and in between, who all have the same insecurities.'
But despite her huge success, the Sports Illustrated model, who boasts 4.2million followers on Instagram, remains modest.
'I've been told I'm a pioneer and a trailblazer, that I changed the game, but to me, I'm just a model who happens to know how to talk to women about loving the skin they're in.'
'I'm trying to convey that confidence and feeling sexy is about being comfortable with who you are', Ashley concluded.
Read the full interview in the Harpers Bazaar’s July 2017 issue - on sale June 1, also available as a digital edition.