Star sign: Pisces // Birthstone: Aquamarine // Ruling Planet: Neptune
I've never met anyone like Asher before; trend defying style 
and confidence that could kill. She's onto something, 
and the world knows it too 

Asher greets me outside her house in her jim-jams, with a package in hand, fresh from the mailbox that surprisingly isn't for her - considering in any other instance, it would be. Asher has over 41,000 people following her on Instagram and they each see something in this girl that they can't help but adore. Labels send clothing for her to promote, style, and wear; and followers send gifts to a girl they have never met but feel like they know. I've followed Asher since sometime early last year and have watched her following grow along with her wardrobe. Like every other follower on IG, I feel like I know her (to a certain degree) and while I scroll down her photo feed I'm adamant that there's more to Asher than a pretty face and a massive following, so I decided to meet up with her to find out. 
Asher and her Freddie/Queen wall shrine
After we finished shooting we settle in the kitchen for a chat, Asher with a glass of milk and I with a mug of water because I failed to spot the glasses.

Tell me a little bit about yourself!
I'm currently at uni, stressing about it and praying for it to be finished! I'm pretty boring in regards with what I do... I go to class, come home and watch my favourite TV shows, I just finished watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S, I watched all 10 series in like a week! (laughs) Other than that I work in a gelati shop and in my free time I try and do as much creative stuff as I can, like modelling and working with different labels and stuff like that.

2014 has become such a big year for you, from following you on Instagram it's weird how I've seen it all kind of come into fruition
Yeah a lot of people are seeing it all happen, my followers -as weird as this sounds- really know who I am, they've been following me since I made Instagram and so they've seen me go from 5,000 followers to 40,000 followers, they've seen me getting contacted by labels and modelling more. It's really nice that they notice it and comment about it or message me telling me how proud they are of how far I've come. I get so much pleasure out of hearing it all, it's such a nice feeling.

Asher wall shrine 2
So it must be strange that 40k people are watching your life go by in photos 
Definitely weird, and it's quite  hard to lead a 'normal life', like I have to constantly remind myself that even though I've got 40k followers watching me and saying that I'm perfect and beautiful and whatnot, I'm really not. I have to remember that I'm a normal girl who goes to work and fails exams, I sometimes have issues with my family or with my boyfriend, I fight, I cry, I'm a normal teenage girl! (laughs) I think some people forget that because they don't really know me and just see me as this icon.

"I'm confident and I stay clear of being cocky because I know that I can be insecure, and I think everybody can feel like that. I feel like everybody has their bad days, and I definitely do. I'm not always this out there, radiant, confident person"

I remember seeing particular negative posts about your body when I first started following you that concerned your mental and emotional health, did you have troubles with your appearance?
I definitely did a long time ago and I've mentioned it a few times, when I had tumblr a few months ago I had personal issues going on, but tumblr made it so much worse. It was very triggering for me, I knew it was and yet I continued scrolling through a million 'bad' images that were enforcing this feeling that I absolutely hate myself, I couldn't stand to look at myself. I was aware of it and I knew that it wasn't healthy but at the same time it was almost appealing for me and I wanted to strive for that. It's so hard to change that way of thinking especially when you've got 20,000 followers on tumblr saying "you've gained weight," "you were so much prettier when you were bonier and skinnier" ra ra ra... so it's really hard to do things for myself when I've got all of these people shouting at me from the background. Eventually I overcame that, by seeing counsellors and doctors and whatnot and I thought it was best for me to delete my tumblr, and I did. Then I moved to Instagram, people don't really get it and say that you get the same kind of hate on there too, and yes I agree with that, but for some reason I don't feel the same on Instagram. I feel that I can express myself a lot more visually without having anonymous people yelling at me and I can easily block people... I've just kind of faked confidence for such a long time until I felt it and it worked for me. Don't tell yourself you're perfect, but recognise what you're good at and what you can practice to be good at, and it starts rolling, you'll start to feel confident, which is how I feel 80% of the time!

 "I think that's the best thing you can do if you despise yourself, just tell yourself that 
you're amazing and have all these awesome qualities, 
and they will eventually shine through"
Social media has played such a massive part in those years of your life where you've gone from loathing yourself to learning to love and appreciate yourself, so really it's worked for you and against you?
It's such a contrast because it was so negative for me, I was so depressed and suffered from so many problems; I had severe anxiety and an eating disorder, all sorts of problematic issues that weren't caused by social media, but were strengthened by it and made much worse. But then I kind of swapped it around and I started to use it to strengthen my confidence. I started getting healthier in every way. 

You coped with the transition quite well, and it's probably still forming and changing for you now...
Yeah, as I said I still have bad days but overall I'm a lot healthier and I feel like with everything happening it's still strengthening.

I've heard you talk a lot about people such as Frida Kahlo and Freddie Mercury, they've obviously influenced you a lot!
I love how Frida has inspired me. Her attitude, her strength, her honesty. I also love the mystery surrounding her. I've always had a love for Freddie because, how can you not! (laughs) He's so talented, I love his mannerisms, I love his teeth, his humour, I love that he hates interviews! I've studied him for so long and kind of copied his personality in a way, that I may seem a little cocky on 'stage' and in front of thousands of people I can be a confident performer; but when I go home from my 'concert' I can be shy and quiet. But I don't think people should interpret that as being fake. I have two different sides and the power to use them when I need them. With 40k followers on Instagram I kind of need to be this really confident person so that people can't put me down, and if they try to, I will just be like: "fuck you!" If I was this quiet and shy insecure person on social media, if people saw any hint of that insecurity they would take advantage of it and I would just go back to where I was, unhealthy.

 "People would message me [on tumblr] anonymously and tell me to lose more weight or that I don't look sick enough lately, that I should look more sick. Like ridiculous things that meant something at the time, which now I'm just like, 'fuck you' to!"

"I'm a Tommy girl"
You found a lot in them you couldn't find in people around you...
I was surrounded by teenage girls and they all have their insecurities and were very vocal about them, I was so tired of hearing it. I know it's everyone's individual journey but I don't want to go down that path, and I needed to break free of it and if I want to go somewhere with my life I need to start loving who I am.

They basically helped you grow your pits out, wear whatever the hell you want and learn to say "fuck you!" to negative people!  
Yeah exactly!
"His [Freddie's] personality has actually helped me so much! I've taken bits and pieces of it and created something for myself to use when I need it, and if I could thank him I would, but I can't"
I can see that the way you look is a product of your experiences, was growing out your armpit hair a statement to other people or yourself? 
It wasn't a big deal, I've got really strong body hair and I've tried removing it every way, waxing ripped off my skin and I was like: why am I doing this to myself when it's just for other people? There's no reason behind it apart from people saying "yeah you should remove that," why should I do that? If I wanna grow it out I'll leave it. I'm not disgusted by body hair, it doesn't bother me. If I want to shave my legs one day I will, if I don't, I won't! I always keep my pit hair because I like that it's become a statement, I like it being there and it reminds me how I overcame a lot of things - I know it sounds odd to relate it to my armpit hair - but really it's a sign of how I don't care what people think. Even though people are disgusted by it, but I'm doing it for myself and that's the most important thing. I refuse to do anything, or not do anything for other people, that's just ridiculous to me. That goes for everything in my life, I refuse to do what people tell me to do.
Just some of Asher's favourite accessories
Clothes can show people a little bit about you from 30 seconds of them looking at you. How does this whole experience influence how you dress? Why do you dress like you do?
It's strange because where I live there is such a strong beach culture and people go to the beach a lot, they throw on togs and a shirt and that's fine, but it's really not me. I've never felt like that, I rebelled against that look and went to the complete opposite! That's wearing ten different layers of clothing and colours, and I won't lie I love people coming up to me and complimenting my outfits. I've had little old ladies come up to me and say: "I'm proud of you for wearing what you want and expressing yourself," that gives me more confidence, I do it for myself. Wearing high platforms that flash when I walk makes me feel like I'm in my own skin! If I try and wear anything minimal I feel so uncomfortable and on edge, it's not expressing how I'm feeling on the inside.

Your platforms are like your podium for your concert! (both laugh) Exactly! 
Have you always been interested in fashion?
I've always loved clothes, but now that I'm surrounded by so many different styles, clothes, and labels on IG I feel like they are feeding my love a bit more and giving me ideas. When labels contact me saying that they want to send me clothing like, it's just really overwhelming and I feel really lucky to have these opportunities. I get a sense of achievement out of it, I feel proud that they've seen something in me and that they want their clothes to be on me. That they think will bring in more customers, that's pretty empowering. Even though they're probably just seeing that I have a heap of followers to advertise to, they don't realise how its helping me, I think that's kinda nice!

What's next for you then?
I'm with 'Culture Machine' now, and I don't know what that's going to bring me but I'm excited to travel and go places. I've got opportunities to go to Sydney and Bali, I'm going to Melbourne for ten days to meet up with different photographers and creative people, as well as experiencing the different fashion and culture.

I love how this has all evolved for you! Did you ever expect for this year to be so plentiful?
No I really didn't, last year was actually really quite difficult for me, I was still in that transition of being quite sick and it happened really quickly for me, I kind of just woke up one day and was like, I don't want to do this any more, I want to be happy with who I am and what I wear and not feel guilty about not shaving my legs one day, you know? I was so tired about feeling like I was trapped and not expressing myself the way I wanted to. I feel like a butterfly this year! I've done lots of things to the extreme, you know, I dyed my armpits pink, bought 50 pairs of platforms, and bought so many incredible clothes! I'm just going all out, followers are building up and I don't know where it's going!

as you can see, we had fun with Asher's sticker collection
"He inspires me everyday, with his photos, his ideas, he's very vocal about them" - Asher on boyfriend Jordan
"I love this of my followers sent me this vest"

I had a lot of fun shooting and talking to Asher. I think that her followers are attracted to firstly, her beauty, and secondly, her empowering existence that leaks through a phone screen. Asher is unique and I think people are enamoured by that. She simply doesn't care what people think of her after times of struggling to even look at herself in the mirror. She has battled with herself, and with anonymous tumblr users that severely impacted her life. Asher is a success story. She's going onto bigger and better things due to the fact that she woke up one day and decided to be herself, no strings attached. I hope you all got something from this like I did, be yourself and anyone who is willing to argue against that, 
screw em'.

Love Chlo x