Beauty and the Muse

Model Spotlight X Ashley Hart

Posted on: May 20, 2015


(Photo: Timothy Paule)

LV: What were your fashion inspirations growing up?

AH: I found fashion inspirations everywhere. I adopted a kind of tomboy-ish look as well as preppy. I always seemed to notice when people wore unique outfits and often used that as creative inspiration.

LV: Describe your style identity as an adolescent?

AH: I was very big on loose fitting t-shirts and skinny colored jeans and sneakers. I grew up in Detroit as well as Texas, so my dress had to vary due to the differences in temperature. As I got older, I had more time to shop and customize my wardrobe so that my style would differ daily.

cd1(Photo: Jennifer Alder)

LV: When did you decide that you wanted to be involved in modeling?

AH: I’ve always wanted to try modeling but I was in high-school sports and academics so it took up a lot of my time. It also didn’t help that I was very shy. Once I obtained my bachelor’s degree, I had a lot more time and started auditioning for shows. I fell in love with it immediately!

LV: What magazines, campaigns, organizations, and/or media have you been featured in?

AH: I have been featured in Ambassador Magazine, Women’s Elevation Magazine, Hour Magazine, and Xpressions magazine to name a few.

LV: What types of setbacks or obstacles have you faced as a woman in the fashion industry?

AH: An obstacle I routinely face is size discrimination. The industry wants you to be really small. I attended a casting for the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week to walk for Project Runway, but after I walked someone measured my hips and said they were “too big”. I looked around and noticed that a lot of the girls were a size 0 or at the biggest a 2. I am small but not that small. I fit a dress size 2 and my hips are a 35 but the lady who measured me said I was a 38 hip. Each obstacle or struggle has made me stronger, eager, and even more appreciative of the work I do book and the people I work with.


(Photo: Bre’Ann photography)

LV: What are some of the projects you are working on currently?

AH: I have a casting this weekend with BET. A few weeks from now. I have a casting in Georgia for a runway show. I also have two fashion shows and a photoshoot coming up at the end of May. Next week, I have an audition with an agency that I am excited about as well.

LV: Define beauty and confidence…

AM: Beauty is a way of being. It’s an attitude. I think beauty has more to do with the way you carry yourself, your personality, and how you conduct yourself. Physically you may be beautiful, but for others that may not be the case. Confidence is believing in your abilities, knowing your strengths, embracing your weaknesses and flaws, but loving them all equally.

2014-7-12-Ashley02(Photo: Von Kou Photography)

LV: What advice would you give other women who are in your position or want to get to your position?

AH: My advice would be to stay true to yourself. Also find those in your corner that really care about you and help elevate you.

LV: Leave us with an awesome quote.

AH: “Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”
–Helen Keller

Follow Ashley on Facebook: Ashley Monique or on Instagram: Ashleymonique88


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Over pizza, a friend and I talked openly about hijab and sexism we’d experienced around it. 
Many people assumed that because I wear hijab it means I’m married. Hence, the idea of a woman wears hijab for a man and not herself or for God. 
She shared a story about going to a club with her hijab and being told that she shouldn’t be there by random Muslim men because she was hijabi. She bluntly replied, “Neither you or I should be in the club as Muslims.” Her story triggered me because I too had been through the same scenario. In addition to that I remember when my ex used to constantly tell me that I didn’t love God enough or I wasn’t Muslim because I doubted wearing hijab. But the chick he ended up going out with, during our marriage, was a non-hijabi 🤔 
My friend said something that resonated with me. “If it’s so easy to wear hijab, then why don’t men do it? They won’t. Because it makes them visible.” Being visibly Muslim, for some of us, isn’t easy. To wear or continue to wear hijab isn’t always easy. So, why are we so harsh on non-hijabis? 
When I went to California this summer, I decided that I was going to wear a bathing suit and ditch my hijab. For so long, I always wondered what it’d be like. Although, I felt guilty for showing my body as a Muslim I also felt empowered because I had the choice. And that I was very much so still Muslim whether I was covered or not. 
As a Muslim woman, I applaud you for wearing hijab, but I also understand if you aren’t there yet. Not all Muslims come in one size fits all. 
What are some common misconceptions about Muslim women that you’ve heard? What’s your take on hijabi vs non-hijabi? And anyone can chime in on this discussion ☕️
Photo: @funlens 
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