The 28-year-old model – who is known for being the first plus sized female to feature on the cover of Sport’s Illustrated Swimsuit Issue in 2016 – believes her weight has led her to feeling cast out by the fashion industry, although she has noticed a change in the business because of her.
Speaking openly to V magazine about her aesthetic, the brunette beauty said: “For so long I have been an outsider because of my size. “And I think that fashion has always in some way catered to celebrities or to a thinner idealistic model. And I think now it’s changing because of voices like mine.”
Ashley – who first signed with Wilhelmina Models in 2001 and has starred in campaigns for Simply Be, Elomi lingerie and Lane Bryant – believes a person is born to be a model and they cannot be taught how to be a catwalk icon. She explained: “I don’t think that you can teach someone how to be a model.” However, she does think one can learn how to “act on set” and be “personable”. She continued: “I think you can teach them how to appreciate the unique things about themselves; and I think you can teach people how to act on set or how to be personable.”
And the Nebraska-born star has hinted she bares all in the images she uploads to social media to encourage other women to embrace their bodies and to showcase what people have “never seen before”.
She said: “One thing I realized in like posting a half nude photos [on Instagram] is: why am I posting them? Am I posting them because I think I am hot? Or am I posting them because I want women to see what they’ve never seen before because that’s what they look like.”