Speaking at a panel at SXSW in Austin, the new Sports Illustrated cover girl spoke out against the term "plus-sized."
"I think the word 'plus-sized' is totally outdated," she said, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
Smallz & Raskind / Getty Images for Samsung
"It shouldn't be about labels," Graham said. "I don't want to be called a label, I want to be called a model."
Graham acknowledged that the plus-size fashion industry helped her rise to fame – she first made the SI Swimsuit Issue in 2015 in an ad for swimsuitsforall, a plus-size swimwear brand.
And she added that many of her friends feel empowered by the label, but it isn't for her. Graham wants all women to feel comfortable in their bodies, regardless of size.
"As a body activist, I want to tell women to not be totally subjected to the beauty standards around you," she said.
RELATED VIDEO: See Ashley Graham, Ronda Rousey and Hailey Clauson's unprecedented 'Sports Illustrated' Swimsuit cover
Tiegs later apologized, and Graham addressed her comments again at SXSW.
"Of course I was hurt by hearing it," she said. "But I just brushed it off. That's exactly what you have to do with everything in your life."
James Macari / Sports Illustrated
"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all," Graham said. "Your mama taught you that."