did a nude photo shoot and sat down for an interview for . She talked about how she grew up in a very Christian home where “words have power” to heal and how it helped her accept her body the way it was.
When asked if she had a mantra to say to herself when things got tough, Ashley said she had several mantras that always made her feel better. “I grew up in a very Christian home, so words have power. I wake up sometimes and I feel like the fattest person alive, but I’m not going to let that affect the rest of my day. Say to yourself, ‘I like this day. I am bold, I am beautiful, and I am brilliant,’ ” she shared, before adding, “For me, that hits the interior, the exterior and it makes me feel smart.”
Ashley admitted that she once felt very insecure about her body during her early modeling days, but her mother “saved” her. “Being told, ‘You’re fat,’ ‘You’re ugly’ or ‘You’re just not good enough,’ and trying to live in these model standards, that was my normal,” she said. “I think I hit bottom around 18. I was disgusted with myself and told my mom I was coming home. And she told me, ‘No, you’re not, because you told me that this was what you wanted and I know you’re supposed to do this. It doesn’t matter what you think about your body, because your body is supposed to change somebody’s life.’ “
The 29-year-old plus-size model also talked about her role models, listing her mother and model-turned-entrepreneur as the people she looks up to. “A woman who has integrity and dignity and has been kind and generous to people around her,” she said of her mother, before continuing, “Business-wise, it’s Kathy Ireland. When she was younger and in Sports Illustrated she was like, ‘I’m going to sell some socks and make a business.’ Now she has a billion-dollar company. Kathy Ireland, if you’re out there, I’m still trying to be your best friend. You’re on my vision board.”