Ashley Graham responds to critics of Vogue photo: 'I chose to pose like that'

/ Source: TODAY

Ashley Graham isn't one to back down from a discussion on body image — especially when she's being targeted.

The model appears on the cover of the latest Vogue issue, alongside stars including Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, but many fans took issue with Graham's hand placement in the cover photo. While her fellow models' arms were wrapped around each other's waists, Graham's hand rested on her thigh.

The Vogue cover that sparked a controversy Inez and Vinoodh / Vogue

Many people wondered if that was intentional, to make Graham appear thinner.

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"I still don't get why they made you cover your leg!" one fan wrote on Instagram, after Graham shared a photo of the cover. "And you are the only one posing like that."

Graham was quick to respond, and assured fans the pose was all her idea.

"I chose to pose like that," she wrote. "No one told me to do anything."

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Others wondered if the cover had been altered, with many fans pointing out how long Hadid's arm appears. "All I can see is you covering your thigh and Gigi's arm being photoshopped so it can cover your belly... also, why are you the only one in black?" one fan commented on Graham's Instagram post.

Criticism aside, It's been a busy week for Graham, who also appears in the latest Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue. She stars in a body-positive ad campaign for the brand Swimsuits for All that was recently revealed. The ad will be in the upcoming issue, which hits newsstands Feb. 15.

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Graham has long been an activist for body positivity and self-love. Last year she became the first plus-size model to appear on the cover of a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue.