Major: Public Administration and Policy
Minor: Communications and Leadership
Hometown: Gilbert, Ariz.
Model. What is the first thing that comes to mind? Beauty, body, bronzed? What about brains? Don’t judge a book by its’ cover is a simple metaphor that has been pounded into our minds since the early days of building blocks and training wheels. Despite it being one of those annoying phrases spouted out to us in disappointing tones from our elders, it actually has quite a bit of substance. Upon meeting with Tucson 12 member Ashley Cheatham, it was obvious that she was beautiful, bronze, and in shape. What wasn’t obvious is that she loves sports, has very high career aspirations, and is much more than a bombshell collegiate in a bikini. Cheatham gave HerCampus an inside look into the newest breed of campus celebrity: Tucson12.
HC: How did you get involved with Tucson12?
Cheatham: I was actually approached via Facebook message. I thought it was a scam at first but then I started hearing more people talk about it. I’ve never done anything like this before and was not at all prepared to pose in front of people in my bathing suit.
HC: What pushed you to tryout?
Cheatham: I really wasn’t going to, I had even planned on visiting home (Gilbert, Ariz.) the weekend of the initial tryout. My mom has always told me to take every opportunity that comes my way, however, I was super nervous about this one and planned on passing it up. She really encouraged me to do it, telling me I’d regret not trying out, and finally I decided I might as well give it a shot.
HC: Did you make it to the initial tryout?
Cheatham: No, since I was going home that weekend, I actually shot my tryout shoot at the Tempe 12 studio. I knew I’d be the only girl there (opposed to the large tryout shoot in Tucson) and there was no way I was going alone so I dragged one of my good friends with me. Surprisingly the shoot was really fun and the photographer made me feel totally comfortable.
HC: When did you get the news you were part of the very first Tucson12?
Cheatham: It was probably about a week later, I was sitting in the library when I got a call from David, the owner. He told me that I actually hadn’t made the cut, that they had gone with someone over me but were willing to offer me an internship. I explained that I was already really busy and didn’t think I’d have time for an internship. David then broke the news that he was kidding and I had made Tucson12. I really didn’t think I would be picked so he totally pulled a fast one on me.
HC: What do you think the biggest misconceptions are about Tucson12?
Cheatham: Going into it, I personally didn’t expect the girls to be that nice, they are all such sweethearts and we’ve really grown into our own little sorority family. People also don’t understand that Tucson12 was founded by the same people as Tempe12. We are by no means ripping off their brand; it’s technically the same brand. We also do a lot more than just model. Tucson is such a community-oriented town and Tucson12 is involved with a lot of the restaurants and venues that are locally owned. We’re having a great time but we also try to incorporate philanthropic things along the way.
HC: What is one thing we wouldn’t know about you from looking at your photos?
Cheatham: I LOVE to snowboard! I love the mountains and really enjoy snowboarding in Colorado. I’m also a die-hard football fan. My favorite team is of course UofA but I also grew up watching Oklahoma.
HC: What is your favorite thing about going to UA?
Cheatham: Honestly, everything is my favorite. I love the atmosphere, the games, the people, the sun, everything. I’ve never been upset with my decision to go here.
HC: Do you see modeling in your future?
Cheatham: It’s really not a career aspiration for me but right now it’s a lot of fun. Friends have approached me to do shoots for their upcoming clothing lines, swimsuits, etc. I love to do stuff like that but I don’t plan on taking it to the next level. If something happens then it happens but we’ll see.
HC: If you don’t end up being the next VS model, what would be your dream job?
Cheatham: I’m really interested in going into sports marketing for companies like Hurley or Billabong or potentially being a sports agent for the NFL.
HC: What would you say to Tucson12 hopefuls?
Cheatham: I definitely recommend trying out! Any opportunity you get you should take it and give it a shot. There’s much more than meets the eye, people think these girls just take pictures but it’s so much more than that.
As a fellow Wildcat it is so nice to know that the 12 girls representing Tucson’s beauty are also representing brains as well. Ashley Cheatham doesn’t just look good in her sporty gear; she has the potential to one day represent the people making that sporty gear relevant. This girl is one to watch, don’t let her pretty face fool you.
To see more of Ashley Cheatham visit www.tucson12.com