Being a lingerie model and a Christian does not seem to go hand in hand, but Ashley Graham makes it work. In fact, the Sports Illustrated model said it is her Christian faith that helps her stay grounded in the fast-paced industry of modelling.
Graham said that she grew up in a Christian background, but admits that when she was starting her modelling career, she backtracked on her faith. But in the end, she realized she couldn't live without it.
"When I moved to New York, I got away from God. Then I realized that living here, you need something to keep you grounded or you'll go crazy," she said in an interview with Elle UK.
So she resolved to stay true to her identity as a Christian - even when it comes to work. "When I'm shooting lingerie or Sports Illustrated, I'm aware that my pastor follows me on Instagram. You should be the same person from the moment you wake up to when you go to bed," she stressed.
Graham has often talked about her faith in the past and wrote an op-ed piece for Glamour about how she met her husband at church.
that she didn't go to church to meet a guy, because she was there to forge a deeper relationship with Christ. But it is there where she first met her husband, Justin Ervin.
Graham raved about her husband, who insisted they abstain from sex before marriage. As a result, their romance was "innocent and sweet," and they were able to get to know each other better without having to struggle with temptations.
"He cooked for me. We went rollerblading and biking; we did karaoke, went to the movies, took an improv class together. Because we weren't sleeping together — for Justin, abstinence was a firm commitment to his faith — we never tempted ourselves by going over to each other's apartments late at night. But we'd go to late movies or take walks through the city together. We had a spot on 14th Street and Seventh Avenue where we loved to sit and chat," she shared.