Sports Illustrated: Swimsuit model Ashley Alexiss is proud to put her curvy body on display in swimsuits and lingerie for her 1.8 million Instagram followers, who frequently praise her for her self-confidence and sexy figure. On Monday, the 28-year-old took to the popular social media site to delight her fans with photos of herself flaunting a skimpy black bikini from the magazine’s 2019 model search competition.
Ashley, whose full name is Ashley Alexiss Smith, was one of 17 women who represented SI: Swimsuit in their #SISwimSearch fashion show in Miami at W South Beach this past week. Gracing the runway in a black, lace bikini, the model looked completely at ease with herself and happy as she posed for the cameras.
The swimsuit featured halter top strings that tied behind the model’s neck while including lacy details down her chest and around the cups of the top. The bottoms featured the same lace material that connected the front part of the suit to the back across her hips. The backside was a half-thong, leaving plenty of Ashley’s ample booty on display for her fans.
The model completed the runway look with her long, straight brown hair pulled up into a high ponytail that spilled down her back and a full-body bronze. She also made up her face with black mascara and glossy pink lips for the event.
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I’m 5’3 but my attitude is 6 ft ???????????? – Every good, bad, ugly, moment in my career has brought me to this moment. Always told “no.” “You’re too short for runway.” “You cant be short & fat & expect to be a model.” “Fat girls shouldn’t wear bikinis.” This attitude was a big #SUCKIT to all that awful nonsense. I’m doing this for ME. I know I was meant for this. I can feel it deep into my bones. And for every single no I’ve ever heard… I only needed one yes. And @mj_day, I promise you will not regret picking me to be part of the sweetest 17 group of women. I’m forever grateful & just in awe of the trail you’re blazing. So honored. So blessed. So ready for all that is to come and the journey we are about to take @si_swimsuit ???????????????? #SISwimSearch – Swimsuit: @shopalexiss ????????
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Still on cloud 9 but I really want to get real with all of you for a minute ❤️ This weekend was so liberating for so many reasons. I’ve done this for a long time and brands always photoshop me whether it’s making my butt smaller or my legs smoother, and all that other stuff. I don’t mind because it’s part of the industry and I know who I am regardless… But the @si_swimsuit show was where I got to show my true, authentic self. I’m used to being able to make my body look perfect with angles and posing for photos and all that jazz, but for once, I had that weight off my shoulders and just got the opportunity to truly live in the moment of being myself. I mean, I’ve literally never done runway in my life I just knew I had to soak in this moment and strut my ass off ???? I can’t tell you how freeing this moment was though. I was so full of just feeling grateful and blessed and sass that I just let loose. Yes, there’s Facetune and photoshop that exists in photos and even in some of my own, because I’m human and we all have days where maybe we feel better about ourselves than other days but being fearless to be yourself in front of countless people on a huge platform is a feeling I’ll never forget. It’s just a reminder to never believe what you see on social media & to just love YOU and do what makes YOU happy because mental health is just as (if not more) important than physical health. Remember, #BEAUTYISNOTASIZE ???????????????????????? Here’s to every HUMAN who has ever doubted if they should chase their dreams ???? GO DO IT! #SISwimSearch
In the captions of the two photos that the model posted to her Instagram page, she wrote an inspiring message to her followers, encouraging them to pursue their dreams while sharing her experiences with being a plus-size model.
Ashley tells her fans that walking the runway for the SI: Swimsuit event was incredibly liberating for her as she’s used to fashion brands photoshopping her body to make her appear thinner or to minimize her supposed flaws. However, she felt incredibly grateful to the swimsuit magazine for not using Photoshop to change anything about her body and for allowing her to show off her authentic self.
“But the @si_swimsuit show was where I got to show my true, authentic self. I’m used to being able to make my body look perfect with angles and posing for photos and all that jazz, but for once, I had that weight off my shoulders and just got the opportunity to truly live in the moment of being myself.”
The model received plenty of encouraging messages from Instagram users who looked up to her and were proud of her for not allowing societal standards of beauty affect who she is and the confidence she has in herself.
“LOVE YOU!!!! Thank you for sharing with us. You are divine beauty and embody so much authenticity,” one Instagram user commented.