America’s Next Top Model

Okay guys, I’m not planning on becoming America’s Next Top Model – BUT I did get invited to be a model for retro 101 pop-up shop on Indy Style!

retro101 is Indy’s first boutique on wheels! My friend Heather owns the bus, which she calls, Ellie. You can find fashion trends and handmade items from local artists on the bus.

I’ve loved (and supported) her idea from Day 1.

And I’m SO proud of her so following her dream.

Anyway, the show is airing this Thursday, January 17th at 9 am EST (tomorrow).

I was super nervous to say “YES.”

I mean honestly, Bandit probably has more modeling experience than me.

Such a stud…

Nelly inspired.

Best Christmas gift ever.

Anyway, I could share Bandit pictures for the next hour.

Let’s move along….

Justin was obviously excited for me. I was complaining and moaning about being fat on Sunday after I ate that 1,160 calorie black bean burger

And Justin said, “All I know is that my wife is going to be a model next week. Soooo….there is that!”

His effort made me smile.

The next day, when I told my co-worker about the opportunity, he said, “How cool! You’ll do great.”

“Are you sure?” I asked, still unsure about the opportunity.

I drifted away like  J.D. from Scrubs always did….

What if I trip when walking out?

Do I just stand there and smile?

Will they ask me a question?

What if something embarrassing happens? Like a Special K strawberry is stuck in my front teeth or something? 

“Yes,” my co-worker said. “You’re very photogenic and great at these types of things!”

And with the support of Justin and my co-worker, I sent her a message back.

“I’m in!!”

I reminded myself that this the Year of New.

And I should do things that put me outside my comfort zone. Because let’s be real…I’m not the modeling type and I definitely won’t be America’s Next Top Model.

But the opportunity is exciting.

We will have a blast.

So last night, I had my wardrobe fitting. I never thought I’d see the day…when someone wanted me…to model something- anything- for them. So it was a little odd to have someone say, “I was thinking this will look great on you…and we can add this necklace…oh and this hat, it will be perfect!”

Then Heather lifted up the mirror so I could see myself, but she was so excited that she kept peaking out from the mirror to see my reaction.

“I think it looks great,” Heather said. “I really love this hat too! But is that something you would wear?”

“Oh yeah,” I said. “I would definitely wear the hat…and this whole outfit! I love it.”

“Wonderful,” she said. “Because I want you to feel comfortable. That’s most important.”

And she was right- when you feel comfortable, you feel AND look better.

We talked about her approach to buying clothes. Obviously she doesn’t have a fitting room – space is limited on a bus. So she purchases a lot of clothes that you can throw on to get a good feel for fitting and size.

“I want to make sure I have something for woman of all sizes,” she said.

I knew from our previous conversation that the other model …well she could really be a model! She is a fit mother of 3 who is beautiful both inside and out.

“You know,” I told Heather. “I’m a big girl, and I know that. I’m proud of my curves. So please feel free to use me as an example that you purchase clothes for woman of all sizes.”

I’m not here to pretend I’m a size zero.

In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever been a size zero.

But that’s okay.

I am proud of my curves.

I am proud of my figure.

I am proud of my height.

While it’s taken me years and years….and countless tears….I’m finally comfortable in my own skin. 

And honestly, I love that Heather has given me this opportunity to have some fun on a Thursday morning.

Sure, I’ll only be on TV for 3 minutes or less. But for the fact that Heather picked me – out of countless other people- made me feel important….especially when she mentioned WHY she would pick me. Spoiler alert: It had nothing to do with my size or beauty.

“I knew you wouldn’t be the girl who is complaining that she doesn’t feel pretty enough or doesn’t want to wear something,” Heather told me as I was leaving. “You will make this fun.”

I was born this way!

So at the end of the day, I want you to realize something….and Sean the Bachelor even mentioned it the other day….

Your looks will fade one day.

Wrinkles will appear instead.

And your body will become weaker.

You might even gain a few extra lbs.

But guess what you’ll have left?

Your heart.

Your attitude.

And the spirit that fills your soul.

So have fun in life! And if you aren’t comfortable with who you are, stop trying to be someone you aren’t…that’s just exhausting. 

See you tomorrow AM!!!!

Much love,
Ashley 

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