Meet Ashley Rodrigues, a Brazilian-American beauty making her mark in the plus-size modeling industry. Today she talks to us about self-confidence, some of her top beauty secrets, and must-see places in NYC!
1. Where are you from and how did you get into modeling?
I was born and raised in New York City, East Harlem to be exact but both of my parents are from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. My journey into modeling is actually pretty funny. My friend Olivia had been modeling for a while and she mentioned to me that I should submit my pictures to agencies. I never did it because I always thought I wouldn’t get called or that I just wasn’t the modeling type of girl they would be looking for. About a year later, I mentioned the idea to my boyfriend and he told me I should definitely go for it. Again, I became discouraged but he literally kept bugging me every single day about it and kept asking if I submitted pictures. So one day I was just over him asking me the same question and I had my mom take some pictures of me and I submitted them. Two weeks later I heard from the agency I am currently with. I could not believe it, I thought it was a joke. Like really me? Then a month later I was signed. Crazy how things work!
2. You speak a lot about self confidence on your social media and overcoming certain doubts or fears. What is some advice you would give to young girls and women looking to find that confidence and how dd you find yours?
For some people self confidence/love is easy but for others its a journey. For me it was a journey and still is. I still have my days where I dont feel so great about myself but what helps me get by is remembering my self worth and my purpose. It took me a while to get to the mindset that I am at now when it comes to confidence. I used to hide a lot, wouldn’t wear certain things or go certain places because I just didn’t feel good about myself, but the minute I changed my mindset, everything else followed. My advice to young girls is to remember that you are a badass and you were put on this Earth for a reason. Find your purpose. Do things that you love, that make you happy and feel good inside. Surround yourself with friends and family that make you feel beautiful and happy, it really helps! Also, never hurts to stand in the mirror and shout out affirmations to yourself, you’ll be surprised how much it actually works.
3. What are some of your beauty secrets?
Hmm…beauty secrets..Water and vitamin e oil. Water is your best friend people! I think people underestimate the power of water when it comes to good skin. It works wonders!
With vitamin e, I put it on every night before going to bed. I either use the actually vitamin e oil that can be found on amazon or at trader joes or I have this cream that I love from GNC that has vitamin e, a, and d in it. Its literally my favorite thing to do because the next morning ill wake up with super glowy skin. Oh, and never ever sleep with make up on! No matter how tired you are, wipe that make up off.
4. A lot of people assume modeling is very glamorous but we know a lot of work goes into it! What are some of your favorite and least favorite parts about the job?
My favorite part about modeling is all the awesome people I get to meet, especially other models who are in the position as me. When I first for into the industry, I was so scared because I thought everyone was going to be so mean or stuck up, but its literally the complete opposite. Everyone is so sweet and I’ve made some great friends so far! My least favorite part is squeezing into shoes that arent my size and then having to stand in them for hours at photoshoots. Not fun at all and a little painful, but its part of the job so.
5. NYC is full of restaurants, parks, museums, stores (and the list goes on!) What re some of your favorite spots in the city and why?
Oh man, this is a hard questions because there so many spots in NYC that I love! Right now my favorite spot has to be Governors Island. Theres just so much to do there and recently I just discovered a cute little restaurant they actually have on the island called Island Oyster. I went the other day with my mom and some friends and it was a great time - the food and drinks were delicious! I love going to the Met with my best friend Mariana, she’s really into art so its always fun to go with her because she’s always teaching me something new! Favorite restaurant, definitely Carmines (love me some pasta). Im always looking for new places in NYC to go eat or just hang out. Next on my list is Soho House New York, which is downtown. It looks so cute on instagram and fun!
Follow along Ashley's instagram here