Chel­tenham stu­dent wins mod­el­ing com­pe­ti­tion

Times Chronicle - - POLICEREPORTS - By Jar­reau Free­man

Wyn­cote na­tive Ash­ley Lyles may seem like your av­er­age teenager, but she’s any­thing but. While many girls Lyles’ age dream of be­com­ing mod­els, Lyles is work­ing hard to make her mod­el­ing dreams a re­al­ity.

A se­nior at Chel­tenham High School, 16-yHDr-ROG LyOHV wDV nDPHG 0LVV 0RGHOing As­so­ci­a­tion of Amer­ica In­ter­na­tional July 1 at the MAAI com­pe­ti­tion held at the In­de­pen­dence Sea­port Mu­seum on Penn’s Land­ing in Philadel­phia. The com­pe­ti­tion was spon­sored by John Roberts Pow­ers, a per­form­ing arts academy, at which Lyles has been a stu­dent for the last year.

Lyles said she grew up watch­ing “Amer­ica’s Next Top Model” by Tyra Banks, but never thought about mod­el­ing un­til she en­coun­tered a rep­re­sen­ta­tive from a mod­el­ing kiosk at a mall ask­ing girls if they ever thought about mod­el­ing.

Lyles said she told her mom mod­el­ing was some­thing she wanted to look into, and af­ter a few weeks of search­ing, Lyles joined JRP.

“When I met with a JRP di­rec­tor for the firVW WLPH VhH DFWuDOOy VDLG VhH FRuOG VHH me do­ing very well in the fu­ture,” Lyles said dur­ing a re­cent in­ter­view. “Ev­ery­one was so friendly there and it was home at firVW VLJhW.”

It also didn’t hurt that many fa­mous faces such as Mo­town sen­sa­tion Diana Ross, su­per model Nikki Tay­lor and “Amer­i­can Idol” sea­son one run­ner up Justin Guar­ini are all JRP alumni.

Lyles said that JRP taught her ev­ery­thing she needed to know about the mod­el­ing in­dus­try from so­cial graces, to the cor­rect way to wear makeup, to how to dress, act­ing skills, and lessons in run­way and print mod­el­ing.

Wendy, Lyles’mother, said that Lyles was RnH RI 25 SrRPLVLnJ -R3 VWuGHnWV HOHFWHG WR com­pete in the MAAI com­pe­ti­tion.

“In the car, on the way to the com­pe­ti­tion, I said to my mom I know [the com­pe­ti­tion] is all about the ex­pe­ri­ence, but I re­ally want to win,” Lyles said.

And win she did. Lyles said she im­pressed the judges in the three ar­eas of the com­pe­ti­tion: in­tro­duc­tion, com­mer­cial and swimwear.

“I came up with a cre­ative in­tro­duc­tion; I talked about how I could be a role model for young African Amer­i­can girls through mod­el­ing,” she said. “My com­mer­cial, which I re­cited to the judges, was for an ‘Ev­ery­one’s Beau­ti­ful Bar­bie Doll.’ I talked about how ev­ery race and body type de­serves to feel like a Bar­bie doll ev­ery day.”

Lyles said that in the swimwear cat­e­gory all the girls had to wear one piece swim­suit and were judged on the fit of the suit and their walk and grace­ful­ness in the suit.

When she re­al­ized she won the com­pe­ti­tion, Lyles said she couldn’t be­lieve it.

“Me and the other fi­nal­ist were hug­ging back­stage when they called her as the first run­ner up,” she said. “When they called her name, I went from a ver­ti­cal po­si­tion to just flap­ping over. I was shak­ing and cry­ing.”

“… When she was called as part of the top two, of course the tears started com­ing,” said Wendy. “Then when they iden­ti­fied her as the win­ner, we were all so ex­cited.”

As the win­ner, Lyles re­ceived a tro­phy for hav­ing the best com­mer­cial, a par­tial schol­ar­ship to the New York City Film Academy and an all-ex­pense paid trip to New York to par­tic­i­pate in the In­ter­na­tional Mod­el­ing and Tal­ent As­so­ci­a­tion con­ven­tion.

Lyles said the IMTA con­ven­tion will have more than 300 agents from all over the world, in­clud­ing Spain, Mi­lan and Paris. She said that even if she doesn’t win any­thing she is just happy to get the ex­po­sure.

Lyles en­joys be­ing in front of the cam­era, but she said she would like to study broad­cast jour­nal­ism in col­lege and show­case her tal­ents in a dif­fer­ent way.

“I grew up watch­ing the Tyra Banks talk show and my mom grew up watch­ing Oprah. Tyra has helped girls with self-es­teem and Oprah helps the en­tire world,” she said. “They are so in­spir­ing. When I walk by bill­boards there are [rarely] any African Amer­i­cans [fea­tured] and when I flip through mag­a­zines they don’t have makeup tips for girls like me.

“Tyra does not have a show any­more and Oprah is get­ting old, so here I am ready to go. I want to be there to make other peo­ple happy and be some­one for them to look up to, not just African Amer­i­can girls but all mi­nori­ties.”

Chel­tenham High School stu­dent Ash­ley Lyle, 16, was named Miss Mod­el­ing As­soica­tion of Amer­ica In­ter­na­tional July 1.

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