I wrote this letter to Aerie.
To Whom It May Concern:
I am a real girl and I want to be the next #AerieREAL Girl.
Hello! My name is Jasmine Alleva and I am sending this letter because the opportunity may never present itself in any other form. I was always taught, “if you don’t ask, the answer is no.” So, here I am – asking – and praying that the answer will be “yes!”
I am a working model, represented by Ford Models and Vivien’s Model Management. My job has opened up many opportunities and I am beyond grateful for the experience. However, it has caused much heartbreak and stress far beyond that of which a woman of my age (or any age) should have. Modeling requires a mold and the margin for error while fitting that mold is so incredibly small. A centimeter too big or too little could cost you a job and force you onto eating flavorless tuna for weeks.
Since July, I have been sitting at home in Anchorage, Alaska, working part-time for my dad’s small business and spending countless hours at the gym. I was told to stay home in between markets after gaining one half inch on my stomach. I do realize there is a standard that has to be met, but I find the half-inch to be negligible. During my time at home, I have realized how my perceptions of health and beauty have changed over the years. It has been a reflective and introspective time and in hindsight, I am thankful for the pause in my career.
I have been buying Aerie bras and underwear since before they were even sold in the state of Alaska. In fact, some of my very first bras were ordered from Aeriethrough the American Eagle website. When Aerie opened a branch at Anchorage’s 5th Avenue Mall, I was one of its first customers. At 14, I bought my first thong and had my first bra fitting at that very store. Over the years, I have remained loyal to Aerie and seldom, if ever, purchase underwear elsewhere. I have seen the décor change, the models change, but the overall quality and memo remain the same – and that is to make every woman feel beautiful – inside and out.
I absolutely love the #AerieREAL Campaign. As a real model with real cellulite and real insecurities, I want to get on board. I want to be the next Aerie Real Girl. I believe I personify everything that an Aerie Real Girl is. I want to inspire the next generation of girls. I want women to be proud of their bodies. I am a model from Alaska who followed her dreams and I am not scared to ask for this opportunity. Like I said before, it may never present itself otherwise. I want to show others to never be afraid and to reach for their dreams and to be true to who they are.
This is my new dream. I see this as a chance to inspire other young women and I couldn’t ask for anything more. I hope to get a response. Thank you so much for your time and all that you have done to inspire young women and promote self-love. The world needed this.
I received a response from a wonderful person named Colleen. It would be passed on to the right person, she said, and they would be in contact if they found an opportunity. That was the last I heard of that.
I made a video for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Competition. I’m not sure anyone from Sports Illustrated even watched it.
I also auditioned for Maxim’s Finest, where a misreading of the rules tossed me out pretty quickly.
Still championing for my platform and at least I’ve tried.
Hope is in short supply, but progress is progress.