I assumed the same thing as everyone else: that once you land a huge modelling contract, work will come flooding in from all over the world. The phone would be ringing non-stop and I would be choosing between jobs.
But I found out that doing a couple of Guess campaigns doesn't mean I am going to work every single day. Although I can call myself a working model -- and Guess did change my life -- not as much fell into my lap as I expected.
When I spent some time in Germany I realized the models around me had done Victoria's Secret, Vogue, and Gucci campaigns, and that I was not special. Once you enter the world of models and are signed with the top agencies around the world, you quickly realize there are a lot of beautiful, talented, and successful models out there.
You become just another model even though the rest of the world views you as this incredibly successful model -- which makes rejection that much harder.
However, rejection is a big part of this business. And a lot of it is based on your looks and body. Wait... ALL of it is based on your looks and body, which can sometimes be extremely hard. But even the top models get rejected on a daily basis.
So I would like to share the story of my meeting with Victoria's Secret.
Story continues below slideshow:
I think every breathing person knows that those models are the top of the top, and, in most people's opinions, are the prettiest. Victoria's Secret wanted to meet with me -- I almost fainted at the thought! It was a girl's dream come true.
My husband and I had a planned vacation to the Cayman Islands, and directly after the trip we went to New York for me to have my meeting. Imagine going on vacation the week before that meeting -- no Coronas for me and lots working out -- not the most relaxing and enjoyable vacation!
We landed in New York and checked into our hotel, and of course I barely slept that night. I knew going into my meeting I had a lot of great things going for me, but I also knew that my boobs where a little larger than what Victoria's Secret normally casts. I did a lot of push-ups that week before; somebody told me it shrinks them, but I think they were lying!
So I barely slept, and I woke up in the morning with the world's largest pimple -- probably the biggest one I have ever had, no joke.
Thankfully my skin has been amazing the last few years (thank you, Accutane!) but the occasional one still pops up. So, great: I have a mountain on my face, bags under my eyes from not sleeping, and I realize I should probably wear Victoria's Secret stuff to my meeting (they make you strip down to your bra and undies) and I didn't pack any.
My husband Geoff ran 10 blocks to get me Victoria's Secret stuff while I attempted to cover the mountainous pimple. When he came back I was practically in tears. Popping a pimple when it's not ready makes it worse (I know this is gross, but it's a life lesson I learned the hard way!).
I was devastated; who is going to hire a model that has something so large growing out of her chin?
I walked up to the building (wishing I had a paper bag for my head!) and Geoff took a picture of me -- we've been great at documenting my last year and trying to keep up with social media (which is a full time job, let me tell you). He kissed me and wished me good luck and I headed in and up the elevator.
I was early, as I am with everything. I got to the floor and saw another model who walked in the company's show a couple of years ago. We chatted a bit and were called in together. I was told to strip down and stand against this white wall where multiple photos were taken of me while two ladies went through my portfolio.
Then a man came running in (literally, he was out of breath) and asked if Ashley Diana had arrived. I announced, "That's me." He gave me a full up and down look and we chatted a bit about my career.
He was super nice. I faced him with my right side to try my best to avoid him seeing the pimple (which was impossible). I spent about 15 minutes there and left feeling in awe of the opportunity that I had just been afforded.
My gut told me not to get my hopes up, as most Victoria's Secret models have B cups and mine, I just found out, are closer to a DD (and won't go down no matter how much I work out!). Kate Upton just did an interview this week about wishing she could temporarily take them off some days, and I would definitely love to as well!
Later that week, on pins and needles, I received a card from the president of the company saying how lovely my look was but that my book needed to be a bit more developed first and that I should keep them posted on my career as it evolves.
So it was a nice way of saying no, or to hope to be more famous (seems to be what counts a lot these days), but there's still a chance with them... maybe?
I haven't given up yet, and have been a busy bee trying to develop "my book." For those of you who don't know, in modeling, a book is a portfolio scrapbook of your campaigns, covers, and shoots with as many looks as you can put together. It' s like my resume.
Victoria's Secret was a big rejection, but really, for every job I land there are at least 10 that I don't.
For example, when I was heavily in the news last year, I auditioned for a one-line role on a TV show that specifically asked for an actress who looked like a Guess model -- and for some reason, I didn't land that one! And I thought I would be a shoo-in for it!
The industry -- both acting and modelling -- is a funny one, with many highs and lows. Mostly you just hear the good stuff because that's what people like hearing about, so the dream stays very glamorous.
I had a lot of incredible moments in 2013 and am having a ton in 2014, but there is still a lot of rejection that takes place.
Nothing comes easy; everything in this industry demands a lot of work and dedication.
Till next time, chin up buttercup,