We caught up with actress, model, and Playmate, Ashley Doris. We chatted to her about her modelling journey, her Playboy experience and ’embracing your weirdness’. Ashley is Playmate of the Month for March 2013 and was the first ever Playmate from Connecticut.
In case you didn’t know, a Playmate is a model that has been featured in the centrefold of the monthly Playboy magazine. Once you have been given the prestigious title of Playmate, this is something you hold for the rest of your life.
Ashely Doris Q+A
Every week we will be catching up with a new Playmate, so make sure you check back for the latest interview.
Can you tell us about your start in the modelling world?
I grew up in Connecticut. As a young girl I enjoyed ballet, Luna’s cheese pizza, and frequenting Harry Potter fanfic forums. I would write and read to my heart’s content, using one of those old timey computers where you had to wait for the dial up to connect.
I began my modelling journey when I applied to several agencies in Boston. I would take the bus into the city, and walk to as many agencies as I could, so that I didn’t have to spend money taking cabs. When I showed up to one agency, I had diligently straightened my hair in the morning, but by noon, my naturally curly hair was frizzed to an alarming degree, and I could feel sweat running down my forehead.
When I met with the agent (who represented all the “it” models in town) he said that I should stay in school, and maybe keep my hair curly since it looked like it wanted to curl anyway. I left that office feeling defeated, but a couple months later I got another meeting with the same agent (my hair was bouncing with curls) and they signed me on the spot! It just goes to show, if you know what you have to offer, and you know what the market needs, you’ll be able to win in the end.
How did the opportunity with Playboy come about?
I’ve only done one bikini contest in my life. Suffice it to say Harry Potter fanfic girl wasn’t submitting to enter in bikini contests left and right. I was contacted via email to participate in a big time contest in Las Vegas where Chris Brown and Pauly D were performing. Needless to say, I showed up, and I think I won third runner up, which is amazing because the other 28 women in the contest were stunning, and much more familiar with bikini contests than I was.
In the lobby of the Hard Rock hotel where all the girls from the contest were housed, open sign ups for Playboy were being held. I didn’t have any interest in it, but my roommate for the bikini contest said that she was going to do it, and after all, “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!” So I ended up doing it! When I was auditioning, I didn’t feel anything like my normal self, I felt confident and sexy. Two weeks later, I was in my bedroom in Connecticut and I got an email saying that Playboy was interested in shooting with me.
What does your role as a Playmate entail?
A Playmates job entails smiling, taking photos, wearing the bunny costume, and in general being a pleasant and fun representation of the brand. This is where I really have to thank Heff, he chose me out of so many other girls to be Miss March, 2013. The truth is, being a Playmate these days is about honouring Hefs legacy, and preserving the brand that he worked so tirelessly to build.
What has been the highlight of the job?
The highlight of the job are all of the connections that we make with the other Playmates. I was really shy growing up, and being around so many outgoing, friendly girls made me a better person. Maybe it’s because a lot of the Playmates are from sunny California, but they all had this smiling, open way of communicating that I found rather disturbing at first (I come from the snow and sleet of the East Coast so I would always wonder why these girls were so darn happy all the time). They caused my icy New England heart to thaw, and I could not be more grateful for these beautiful girls to be in my life.
What is 1 surprising thing about being a Playmate that people might not know?
We really are just normal girls. The “girl next door’ concept is why a lot of the girls from my year got chosen. I was working as a florist and taking classes part time when I decided to make the move to California. We all basically picked up our lives and ended up in Beverly Hills at the Playboy mansion, looking around us in wonderment at our random good luck.
What do you want to use your influential platform for?
I use my platform as an online portfolio for acting and modelling. Social media is important so that people can keep up with you, but recently I’ve realised that balance in life is so important. I still post to my social media platforms, but I post selectively, I don’t put pressure on myself to post every single day anymore.
What’s your empowering ‘boss babe’ mantra?
Stay in class (whatever class means to you), do the work, fail so many times that winning is inevitable.
What figures do you look up to in life and why?
I look up to all my favorite authors. I’ve been reading historical romance since I was 13 years old and every time I pick up a novel or experience the story through an audio book, it transports me to that exact moment in history. I feel so grateful to the women who write these novels every day.
What advice would you give to your teenage self?
When people call you “weird,” or you feel different in high school, that is in fact your greatest strength. Everything that has ever happened in my life is because I was willing to be “weird,” study, learn, and fail again and again. You’ll never get anywhere by trying to be the most normal, socially acceptable, reserved version of yourself. You have to go with that thing inside of you that at times feels like you have delusions of grandeur. I would have never auditioned for Playboy if I thought I was normal, average, nothing special… sometimes you have to leap so far outside of the box that the room spins.
What does being a Playmate mean to you?
Being a Playmate changed my life. I would have NEVER… I mean EVER, move to California if I didn’t have this opportunity. Making that move across the country is scary, but when I got to LA, I moved into an apartment right down the street from the Playboy corporate offices. It felt like I had a community of people who understood me, and I was so grateful for all of the experiences that I had along the way. We hosted events at the Playboy mansion, I was on the Playmate dance team, we would have “Fun in the Sun” on Sundays, and it just felt like a safe haven amidst the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. Heff gave us all an amazing gift, and I’ll never stop being grateful.
Playboy x Missguided
The latest drop of Playboy x Missguided is now available online. The iconic collaboration is back, but this time it’s upgraded and reloaded. Our essential collection is designed for rebellious females who dress by their own rules, and aren’t afraid to break the rest.
For more style steals, influencer outfit inspiration, interviews and celeb news, keep an eye on the Babezine. We’re your no.1 for all things Missguided. Check back for new posts every day.