In a no-holds barred essay for website Lenny, the outspoken body activist has accused fans of body shaming her for working out.
The Plus is Equal advocate and US size 14 model was hit by a barrage of angry comments suggesting she had succumbed to industry pressures and propagated notions of beauty by slimming down.
The barbs began after Ashley posted this Instagram shot, below, which made her appear smaller than she really is.
The shot was of Ashley on set of America’s Next Top Model, a show where she is a judge, wearing a white crop top and skirt and jacket by Balmain.
“According to the comments, some people were upset because I appeared to be slimmer. (Knowing my angles is one thing, but I must be a magician to make people think I went from a size 14 to a size 6 in a week!)
“The reality is I haven’t lost a pound this year. In fact, I’m actually heavier than I was three years ago, but I accept my body as it is today,” she writes.
“I didn’t give it a second thought when I posted it, but soon the image went viral. Not because of how good I looked wearing a high-end designer that doesn’t usually market to women my size, but because of people’s misguided views on women’s bodies and who owns the rights to them.”
Ashley was the first plus-size model, a model who is larger than a size 10, to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated‘s popular swimsuit issue this year.
“To some I’m too curvy. To others I’m too tall, too busty, too loud, and, now, too small – too much, but at the same time not enough. When I post a photo from a ‘good angle’, I receive criticism for looking smaller and selling out.
“When I post photos showing my cellulite, stretch marks, and rolls, I’m accused of promoting obesity. The cycle of body-shaming needs to end. I’m over it.”