A Mission woman is in competition to be on the cover of Maxim Magazine, and currently placed third in her group of over 30 other women. If she places first, she’ll head to the finals and have a chance to take home a $25,000 prize.
Ashley Sharpe, 32, was born and raised in Mission and says she’s proud to be Métis. She wants to inspire other women to be more comfortable in their own skin.
“I saw it and was like, ‘Why not?’ I always had this pipe dream of being a model when I was younger. This might be fun,” Sharpe said. “I think it would be cool to have a Métis woman on the cover.”
Currently enrolled to take upgrading courses at the University of Fraser Valley in September, if Sharpe wins, she says she’ll put the money towards becoming a mental health counselor. It’s a decade-long dream she’s working towards.
She says she’s battled mental health illness and is a person with disabilities – suffering from Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder which compromises the connective tissue in one’s ligaments and tendons.
Sharpe says she would have gone to school earlier in life, but a series of car accidents caused her serious injuries because of her disability.
“My physical and mental health suffered greatly … I was really struggling,” she said. “I’m feeling well enough to take on this next chapter in my life.
“Smashing mental-illness stigma is part of my mission.”
Now working as a mental health worker at at Mission’s Centennial Place, Sharpe wants to send a positive message to others.
“There’s so much inspiration that people can draw from these things, and recognize, ‘Oh this person is also human and has problems and is making it this far in this competition,’” she said. “With everything going on in the world, I think people could use that right now.”
People can vote for Sharpe once every 24 hours for free, or they can pay for a “Warrior Vote.” The money goes towards the Wounded Warriors Foundation, an organization which builds or remodels homes to be handicap accessible for wounded veterans.
There is a new round of voting every week, with the vote for this week’s top 5 in her group closing at 8 p.m. on June 25. Next week is the top 2 vote, followed by the finals.