Trailblazing model and activist Ashley Graham is the subject of the New York Times’s first holographic video, made to accompany an “unfiltered” interview that explores issues around body image. The process used more than 100 cameras to capture Graham from all angles, creating a “hologram” of her demonstrating various poses and her runway walk, that can then be projected into various spaces.
“Ashley has been a champion for body diversity and positivity for years,” says New York Times Styles editor Joanna Nikas. “This technology allows people to see a model in motion without the filters, the Photoshopping and the angles the fashion industry is used to.”
The appeal to Graham is obvious, given how strongly she has advocated for the power of depicting women as they are, and the dangers of promoting unrealistic standards of beauty. “[If] you fix it, you are taking away the authenticity, you’re taking away the essence of who the girl or the man is that you’re photographing,” she says of the quest for “perfection.”
In an interview with Nikas that accompanies the video online, Graham opens up about the adrenaline rush of the runway, the important distinction between being first in a category versus being seen as a “token”, the fundamental problem with digitally altering images, and a sexual assault she endured in the workplace while still a teenager.
Recently, she unexpectedly encountered the perpetrator on a shoot, shortly after she’d bravely shared her story on television, and admits she was shaken — and her account of the persistence of trauma is just so honest. “I texted my husband and I told him this guy is on set and he said, ‘Say something.’ I am what people say is a supermodel. I am what people say is an activist, someone who’s going to call out people. I thought to myself, ‘No, I can’t.’ Later, I thought, ‘Why didn’t I say anything? Why didn’t I go up to him? Why didn’t I just, like, you know, put my big girl panties on and say, You did this to me, and that was disrespectful.’ But that is a very hard decision to make. I don’t know what I would do if I saw him again.”
Speaking up is what Graham is all about, though. Being a model in 2018 is “about having a voice,” she says. “It’s about what are you doing to change your world and leave a legacy and a mark for the next generation.”
Before Fashion Week, the model and activist @ashleygraham spoke with us about the power of depicting female bodies as they really are — without doctoring their form https://t.co/OwLCJ6XbZ0 pic.twitter.com/p9ubGH7XLC
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 5, 2018
Read the full story at The New York Times.