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Awake w. Ashley Nicole Thompson | Compton, California PDF Print E-mail
Angels - Interviews
Written by Khalid "Bless" Bey | As Seen in NY Times Bestseller Rat Bastards   
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The sun is slowly beginning to set. I slouch comfortably on the couch, relax my hands on my laptop, fingers lightly touching the illuminated keys. Thoughts come and my fingers move and in comes the image of Ashley Nicole Thompson. From what I see, our angel is a lot of fun. Life seems to ooze out of her pores, and by osmosis livens up all she comes in contact with. Her smile is electric, eyes bright with a body that is every bit strong as it is sexy.



Compton, California. Our angel is home in the city she affectionately calls "The Hub." It's the best thing about living in the city she was born in. "Compton is 20 to 30 minutes away from all the surrounding cities such as Hollywood," Ashley declares. Growing up in Compton, a small city with a huge reputation, Ashley split her time between Long Beach with her mother and Los Angeles with her father. "I was a prissy tomboy," she admits of her childhood, "so it was pretty lit. I lived in the hood and it's always something to do, whether riding bikes or building clubhouses with shit we would find around the neighborhood."



"I love Hollywood," Ashley tells me. It's her favorite city to shop, party and of course, eat. "I'm vegan now and all the good vegan spots are that way," she explains. "My fav restaurant is Sage, a vegan bistro in Culver City and I love to party at Playhouse in Hollywood." I am reminded of my own foray into veganism and she inspires me to try harder. As one of our angels, I would love to bless her with a weekend to getaway and unwind. "I would love to go to Bali," says a wishful Ashley, "it just seems so clean and peaceful."



Not many of Ashley's childhood friends survived her transition from prissy tomboy to vegan model. "I have one good friend from high school; Jasmine Williams," she denotes. "We've been hanging out since ninth grade drama class." The friends she has since acquired are very supportive of her modeling. "When I am slacking," she says, "they always let me know." Hearing the phrase "you should model or be on television" repeatedly, coupled with a much admired cousin who happened to be a model, modeling became inevitable.



Ashley sacrificed a lot to get where she is. "I have sacrificed jobs because sometimes you need time off and can't get it and I have to chase my dreams," affirms our angel. None of this compares to the sacrifices made by her biggest inspirations and hero. "I can truly say my mom has inspired and rescued me," she says thoughtfully. "She's been through so much from foster care, abuse, and [as] a single parent she made sure I had everything and more."



To me, Ashley is one of the 'hidden treasures' of the modeling industry. Down-to-earth, super real, with a compassionate side that shows in her veganism, she is a rare mix of grit and glamour. "I am genuinely myself," she reflects. "People love to see the pain behind the beauty and I provide that." Behind the beauty and the pain, a beautiful mind exists. "I'm a closet nerd," says the curvy, chocolate toned model. "I've recently discovered that I'm a badder bitch than I thought I was," she confesses proudly. "I was asleep on myself but I have awakened."



Our lives are made up of various rituals whether we realize them or not. For Ashley, I can see her days full of Vegan cafes, photo shoots, trips through the hood and at night a little beauty rest. She likes to fall asleep to MTV's Ridiculousness. On weekends you can catch in one of those 'CFM' dresses, lol. "If it ain't short I don't want it," she says of the infamous little black dress. If you're lucky enough gentlemen and get to enjoy her company, remember what she likes. "A nice set of pearly whites and a nice body is a turn on," she outlines casually.



Ashley happily reps the "Pisces Gang!" and has another confession. "I'm a closet nerd," she says bringing to mind a lovely fantasy of mine. "I love anthropology and people watching." It's almost as if she read my mind. Fantasy are to be nurtured, everybody has them whether they admit it or not. Ashley has a fantasy of her own. "I want a full back tattoo," she says, "but the way I'm set up I hate needles and pain."



Our time with Ashley is coming to an end and I thoroughly enjoyed our interview. We say goodbye to a girl who's idea of heaven on earth is something as simple as sleeping peacefully under the stars on a beach. Native American, Jamaican and African, she is a classic beauty with a distinguished personality that justifies the most memorable compliment she has ever received; "People with cold hands have warm hearts and you my dear have ice-cold hands."