“Is your teacher famous like my teacher?”
The question, posed by a particularly precarious elementary school student referred to Tiffany Flamer, an educator who outside of a few low stakes beauty shoots had overnight become the face of a national advertising campaign. Named Ms. Ashley Stewart in the brand’s annual Finding Ashley Stewart pageant Flamer has had her face plastered in store windows, magazines ads, and headline stories all over the internet but she appreciates its presence the most in her classroom.
In an exclusive interview, the unlikely model talked to HelloBeautiful about her plans to expand her modeling career beyond her tenure and inspire others to be confident in the process.
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Prior to landing a major campaign with Ashley Stewart, Flamer had actually tried to model for the brand once before. “Back in 2015 I auditioned for the Ashley Stewart ‘Love Your Curves tour,” she said. She went on to reveal that her lack of success in that competition also prevented her from taking home her crown. “I didn’t make that, and I knew it was gonna be the same people that were judging that so I was like ‘They didn’t pick me before, why would they pick me now?”
The deciding factor in her putting herself out there again was encouragement from her local store manager. An avid shopper with a reputation for having great personal style Flamer had become close with the person who often watch her twirl around the chain’s pink clad dressing rooms. “She said, ‘I think you should do it, just do it. Just give it a chance,” said Flamer.
A few days later, right before the year of her school year the teacher who describes herself as being “active in her community” decided to dedicate part of her break to giving it a shot.
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Standing out by wearing a vintage look from the brand, she made waves in the nationwide model search and soon the kids were requesting field trips to see the campaigns that featured their grinning teacher. It was a far cry from having her makeup done for free in service of a friend’s portfolio. “I did photoshoots but nothing like this,” she explained.
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“My first day on a modeling set was unbelievable,” she reported. “That was my first time doing a professional photoshoot so I didn’t know what to expect I’ve never seen myself so glam.”
One of the things Flamer hopes to encourage with her glamour shots is, “representation of every kind of plus size body.” She described the joy she wants everyday women to get from looking at her images, that feature her body in clothing that isn’t overly manipulated.
“When they’re looking up at those ads they’re like ‘Oh I’m shaped like that. I can wear that, because I look like that,” she said. She added that she wanted them to think, “That will look bomb on me.”
Even with a huge campaign under her belt, a growing social media following and a clip of Loni Love yelping out her name on the internet, she has not been able to lock down a modeling agent, a task that is seemingly simpler for the young women in the shallower end of the plus-size pool.
“I notice that a lot of the agencies who represent plus size models the models are on the smaller end,” she pointed out. “In the media, they consider anything a size 10 and up, but their models are usually on the smaller end. They’re size 10 and size 12 they’re not your 14s and 16s and 18s,” she continued.
“I definitely want to continue modeling, I am looking to sign and I’m hoping that will be a possibility for me, hopefully, they can take me as I am.”
If they don’t, we will.