What type of modeling do you do? How did you get started as a model?
I work on beauty and fashion modeling, creative projects, music videos, runway modeling, and commercials. My mother was a model in her early years and she taught me a lot about the modeling world. Currently, I’m getting back into the flow of things; I am sometimes told I’m “toofat” or “too skinny” for projects, so it’s a process
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice as a little girl, what would you tell her?
Don’t be ashamed to be tough and speak up for yourself. You are beautiful no matter what your size is.
What does life look like for you outside of modeling?
I’m an assistant manager for a finance company, a mommy to a soon to be 14-year-old son, freshly engaged (01/19/2019!), a martial artist, and a foodie.
What does being model mean to you? What do you hope it means to others?
Modeling to me is an art. You get to express yourself in many ways, just like a painting! I hope others see it this way and not just as a way to be “pretty.” There is more to being a model than being “pretty.”
What are your goals and dreams as a model? What accomplishments are you most proud of?
My goal is to show the world that curvy petite women are needed just as much as other models. Our height range is primarily the one buying the clothes. My proudest accomplishment would have to be from January 2019; I was in an editorial fashion show for Sidney Bruce. I was the only curvy model selected for it!
How have you seen the fashion, retail, or modeling industry change in the past decade – specifically with regards to diversity and inclusivity? What work still needs to be done?
I’ve seen a huge turnaround! Some brands now realize that the people buying their clothing aren’t always the same people who appear in their ads or on the runway. However, the work that needs to still be done is realizing that a 5’4 model can have the same impact as a 5’9 model.
What does beauty mean to you?
Confidence, kindness, and always smile!
How has your body image and self-esteem changed over the years?
It was up and down for a while. At one point, I was super fit, and then I was overweight, then back to being fit, and now I’m curvy. I love myself! I’m still trying to get my fitness routine steady, though. I’ve learnt to not knock yourself while you’re changing.
Which fashion brands and designers are leading the pack or doing something different and meaningful? Please give examples.
It’s great to see Calvin Klein utilizing and working on photo shoots with curvy models. Christian Siriano is another designer who I find open to showing model positivity. I’ve even seen Michael Kors place a plus size model in his show! There are so many other great instances I’ve seen.
Do you have a message you want to leave with our readers?
Remember, self-love is key! What you give off will come back to you. When you love yourself, the dreams you love will be drawn to you. Never give in or give up! You come first.
Traci Porter, also known as Asha Love, has worked on and off as a photo model for the last 16 years. She has a huge passion for acting and loves being in front of a camera. Her resume details her fashion, beauty, and creative projects, like working the runway and appearing in music videos. She’s currently an independent model in Florida, but she’s available to travel to other destinations! Alongside her creative endeavors, she’s also a mother and martial artist.
Instagram: @book.therealashalove | Facebook: @therealashalove