ASHLEY WILES

Photography by Chris Thorn


ASHLEY WILES

Age: 28 AshleyWilesD

Occupation: Founder of Sole Girls, and head coach

Describe yourself in under 100 words :

I dream big and love to make dreams become a reality, whether my own or helping and inspiring others achieve theirs. I’m an athlete who has dance parties mid-run. I’m an adventure seeker and love to plan.

If you had to describe your RAW shoot in one word what would it be?

Fresh.

What surprised you most about the experience?

I expected that people would be more nervous and the energy in the room would be less vibrant.  I was surprised to enter a room full of shining, sparkling, inspired, interesting, motivated people and I felt comfortable and happy.

Beauty can be defined in so many ways. What is your definition of ‘beautiful’?

The moment when you realize something is so true, so natural and radiates that energy inwards and outwards.

When do you feel most beautiful?

I feel the most beautiful when I finish a workout, and after the first 15 minutes in to a run.

What part of aging scares you the most?

I think the word OLD scares me, and all the negative attachment to the word like disease and unhealthiness. I try my best to stay healthy and active so that way my age can change that perception.

What part of aging is the most exciting?

Every experience I’ve had and all the possibilities of what is to come is so exciting! I have always looked really young, so I think it’s exciting to know that I’m finally “old enough”.

Have you ever felt pressure from men to look a certain way?

Yes, however, I think women judge women way harder than men do, and we are our own worst critic.

What kind of relationship did/does your mother have with herself in regards to beauty, confidence and self-love?  Has this had any effect on you?

My mother is very laid back in terms of makeup, and clothing.  Growing up she made sure we knew she was comfortable being comfortable and healthy, and taught us to make healthy choices.  She was very strict with health, making eating veggies and exercise a priority, she showed my sister and I that she was strong both mentally and physically.

On average how much do you spend each month on cosmetic items such as make-up, hair cuts/colouring, waxing, clothing, nails, tanning, creams etc.

Maybe $100 every 6 months. Nails are only for special occasions and I’m very minimalist with makeup. Clothing I spend a bit more, but usually on athletic gear – $100/month.

Have you ever struggled with confidence, body image or insecurities in your life?  If yes, please share your story.  If you have any advice for people going through the same thing please feel free to share your thoughts here.

Growing up, I was quite athletic, and my legs are just not shaped like I wished they could be, I wanted to wear cute shorts and feel good in them, instead I felt super self-conscious and ended up wearing really baggy boys sweatshirts and sweat pants a lot of the time to take away that insecurity. Eventually I realized that my legs just are the way they are, and my insecurity pushed me in the total opposite direction. I realized my legs are super strong and they allow me to do so many things, like run marathons!

Have you ever had cosmetic surgery or treatments?  Please share your thoughts on this.

Nope ☺ I love to see my body change naturally when I pay attention to my exercise habits and foods I feed myself.

Let’s talk Photoshop.  What are your thoughts on this cultural phenomenon? Yay or nay? Or is there a place for it sometimes?

I think Photoshop creates unachievable expectations for people. We need to be honest with ourselves and know that whatever we look like in the morning is beautiful, and it’s a waste of time to pretend it’s not. Celebrities are people too, and the image we see in advertisements is them after a team of people “fix them” both externally and digitally. Friendships and relationships feel so much better when you can love each other however you look and not even have to have a conversation that starts with “SORRY, I just… got up, was just at the gym, I’m just wearing sweatpants…etc.”

How do we ensure that the next generation of girls grows up with confidence and a strong sense of self when they receive so many messages telling them that they are not enough?

Every person has a personal brand, what they wear, words that they use, what they apologize for, what they do are all creating an image to send to the world.  As adults, we have a responsibility to send out positive, vibrant, awesome, confident messages that read:  I’m beautiful because I’m me, and I have values, I am grateful for what I have, and I am awesome. Girls need mentors, role models who are powerfully themselves, and they need to engage in being part of a community that values these things so we can recreate how girls view some of these messages.

AshleyWiles-RawTalk

Stay Connected with Ashley

Instagram Handle(s): @evaruns or @sole_girls

Twitter Handle(s): @evaruns or @sole_girls

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