Plus-Size Model Says You Shouldn’t Have to Choose Between Beauty and Brains

Hayley FitzPatrick

Plus-size model and business owner Ashley Alexiss is determined to let the world know that she is more than just a pretty face — and that she’s totally capable of possessing both beauty and brains.

Plus-size model Ashley Alexiss recently posted about unfair stigmas that women in society face relating to intelligence and beauty. (Photo: Instagram)
Plus-size model Ashley Alexiss recently posted about unfair stigmas that women in society face relating to intelligence and beauty. (Photo: Instagram)

The founder of Alexiss Swimwear recently shared a photo on her popular Instagram account, captioned with a lengthy statement on the stigma women face in society relating to looks and intelligence.

“Beauty or brains? Screw that. It’s not a dichotomy. Let’s not act like mascara glues a girl’s eyes so shut that she can’t read a word of Dickens or solve a trig problem,” she captioned the image.

She also commented on the differences men and women face when it comes to their physical appearances. “Let’s talk about how no boy has ever been asked if he would rather get his bachelor’s or get married; no boy has ever been told he’s ‘too handsome’ to run for office. So why cover myself up so you can take me seriously? Beauty or brains? I’ll take them both. Thanks,” she wrote.

Alexiss believes incorrect assumptions are often made about women because of their looks.

“Being on social media especially, people feel entitled to just demean any woman who shows off her confidence,” she says. “There have been many times that I’ve been attacked saying I lacked any education or intelligence because I posted a photo where I look and feel confident in myself. Meanwhile, I’m sitting on a bachelor’s and master’s degree that I’ve managed to obtain all while running my own business, working full-time as a plus-size model, and traveling the world.”

“People automatically assume if you’re showing off in any sense, you’re seeking attention, you’re uneducated, or just full of yourself. It’s silly. Let people be who they want to be and respect it. You don’t have to like it — just respect it,” she added.

In her profession, she’s found that many people will make incorrect assumptions about her intelligence based on the images she chooses to post.

“I’m a lingerie model, and I love it because I’m able to love myself big or small and try and send that message to others,” she says. “But when you read some of the comments or feedback on features or photos — many people will comment ‘I bet she’s easy,’ ‘I wonder if she can even spell.’ It’s barbaric, honestly. Just because we want to love ourselves in a way we deem acceptable — whether that be showing some skin, feeling beautiful, or whatever — doesn’t mean we cannot possess beauty and intelligence.”

New year… who dis? ???? – @coquette_direct @coquette_lingerie

A post shared by Ashley Alexiss (@ashalexiss) on Dec 29, 2016 at 10:21am PST

Through her social media platform, Alexiss wants to change people’s perceptions and show that one shouldn’t judge a person by his or her own viewpoint.

“My main focus is to just try and get through people’s heads to stop judging everyone,” she says. “You only know what people want you to know. You don’t know someone’s story, and it’s unnecessary to try and throw negativity their way. I pride myself on my intelligence as well as my education because it’s something nobody can take away from me, and it’s not something I should need to prove day in and day out just because I’m an attractive individual.”

She is determined to eradicate unfair stereotypes pertaining to women in society.

“My message is to stop slapping stereotypes not just on women but on people. Respect one another and allow yourself to live without having to explain yourself every step of the way. Beauty and brains are possible, and if someone doesn’t want to see that, well, then that’s their loss,” she says.

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