Ashley Kahsaklahwee Paves a Path for Native American Models - page 3

By Jeff Ferrantino on January 31, 2007

Ashley Kahsaklahwee, pictures, picture, photos, photo, pics, pic, images, image, freeones, artistic, nude, naked, Native American, sexy, hot, young, modelControversy is nothing new to Kahsaklahwee. She has been under the microscope on several occasions in the past while attempting to portray Native American women in a completely different light. She hopes to shed an image that she refers to as "a novelty item on a truck stop T-shirt."

"Native women didn't pose with missing clothes," Kahsaklahwee explains. "I caught a little bit of heat for that initially."

One such photo that created quite the stir had Kahsaklahwee in the nude, wearing only a headdress. "I knew that I would piss off a lot of people with that, but at the same time, I kind of wanted to push the envelope," Kahsaklahwee says of the photo, which caught the attention of a large publishing firm in Canada and led to an art book in the works.

Kahsaklahwee adds, "There are very few Native American models. It's really important for me to get that out there, and to break down some of those stereotypes and break down some of those boundaries that are set up. You see other races, but you don't really see Native models."

Kahsaklahwee says that she hears from younger girls all the time, expressing their appreciation to her for paving a new path for them. She tells the story of a Native woman who recently approached her at a signing in L.A and bought a number of her artistic nudes.

"She told me, 'I just want to tell you how much I appreciate you doing this, because it's saying that we're not just covered in buckskin.' You can be a Native American woman and be a sensual, sexual being as well. To me that's important because it's so hush-hush, but you don't see that with any other culture.

"People still have that idea that Natives live in teepees. That does still go on to a certain extent — the culture's still very much intact to this day and hopefully forever. It's one of those things that we have to preserve."

As for the future, Kahsaklahwee says that she has an interest in creating a make-up line catering to Native and ethnic women.

"It's something that I've dabbled in for years," she says, "creating a make-up line that would suit those skin tones and types, because when I go to shoot, a lot of times they can't match my skin. I have a deep love for fashion. Fashion, art, photography, all of those things are very important to me, so I try to combine them."

Wherever her journey leads her, one thing is for certain, Kahsaklahwee definitely won't be following a set path.

"The way I see it, whatever happens is meant to be," she says. "I just kind of go with it and I don't have this huge plan. I'm not the type that sits down with a day planner and puts together a five-year plan. That's just not me."

For more information on Ashley Kahsaklahwee, visit her official Web site — www.ashleyskin.com