Ashley Graham and her husband of nine years Justin Ervin welcomed their first child together, a baby boy, back in January of this year. The new mom has been flaunting her postpartum physique on her social media pages and spoke candidly about her body image with Elle magazine for their first-ever digital issue.  

“When I look at my new stretch marks and the changes that my body went through, it reminds me that, as women, we’re all superheroes,” the 32-year-old supermodel explained.“I’m always reminded that our bodies were built to do this. It’s such a beautiful thing to be able to give birth, but I didn’t realize it until afterward. Before I was even pregnant, that was always my hope for women in general, that they could learn to continue to love their bodies through the changes and the ups and downs,” Graham continued.

“And then, when I got pregnant, I had to reimagine my relationship with my body with this creature inside me taking over. I was gaining weight so rapidly. Then, to get stretch marks on my stomach, that to me was like, ‘Oh my gosh. I can’t believe this happened,’” she told actress and pal Kristen Bell, who conducted the interview. 

“At first it felt devastating, and then when I met Isaac, I said, ‘No, this is exactly what every woman has talked about for ages. This is not just a battle wound. This is something that has changed my life forever, and I’m going to celebrate my new body.'” Isaac appears in some shots of the spread, which were taken by Graham’s husband Justin Ervin on their family farm in Nebraska. 

The model also chatted about not Facetuning her photos to look picture-perfect in every snap and choosing not to follow influencers who do so. “I let the fashion industry take over my body for too many years,” she explained. “The moment I stepped free and said, ‘Enough is enough — I’m going to do what I want,’ is when I started seeing changes, not only in my personal life but in my professional life. But it really takes hard work.”