Today we’re joined by Abby Ramsay. Abby is a phenomenal model and actress. She has been interviewed before but has done some great things since that interview. She’s currently taking part in a modeling competition and is hoping to get a lot of visibility for asexual models. So please go to the link and vote for her. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I am an actress and model living in in LA. I show off my work mostly through Instagram. Just creating these images and stories, whether they be moving or still, really gives me this outlet to express my thoughts, feelings, and ideals that I can’t always put into words. I like to use my art to bring attention to topics like asexuality, body positivity, feminism, and mental illness as those are all things that are close to me.
I also like combining them. Everything I do is done with the mindset of “just because I am asexual does not mean I am not sexy or desirable.” but also “Just because I am viewed as sexy or desirable does not mean I can’t be asexual, and just because I am asexual does not mean I can’t be sexy or desirable.” I actually enjoy that part of acting and modeling. Since I last interviewed with asexual artists I got booked for a feature that should allow me to show that side of me more, and I am currently in the running for the Miss Jetset 2019 competition which (if I win or even get far enough) should allow me to not only show off my art more, but spread awareness more.
What inspires you?
Just the idea that I can use what I love to help people. The industry that I am in has the potential to have your voice be heard by many people all over the world. If I have the opportunity to use my platform to change it for the better then I want to do it. It was also so heartwarming to see others were encouraged by what I have been doing.
I am also slightly motivated by spite. People telling me I can’t do or be something makes me want it more. It’s just a stubborn streak that I have.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I have been acting since I was about 5 years old. Granted at the time the only reason I was in these musicals was because I was a really good singer at a young age, but they fed my love of storytelling. I would create plays at home and act them out for my parents, and it really blossomed into a passion by middle school. I fought long and hard with my parents (especially my mom) to let me try to get an agent, and they eventually gave in. I was a freshman in High School (2012 I believe) when I was signed with a small agency, and they sent me on my first few jobs. I was in love!
The agency also dealt with modeling, so the first photoshoot I ever did was with them. I was really shy in front of the camera at first. I had dealt with a lot of body positivity issues in the past, but the longer I was in front of the camera the more I enjoyed it. I actually felt really comfortable with myself.
Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?
I like to keep things natural. I have never been an over the top character actor (I mean it’s fun, but I have my preferences) so I usually try to take scenes to a more organic place. I do the same
thing with my modeling. I always try to get a few pictures that represent me. There’s this idea that when you are modeling you can never smile and you always have to be sultry, but when I am working and talking to the photographer I like to smile and laugh and just be myself. Those end up being some of the best pictures.
I also do this hand on head leaning back pose a LOT. My friends give me a hard time about it haha. But it’s like my signature pose now I guess.
Most recently I have been playing with new stuff. I keep jumping between the soft fantasy vibes and the sharper modern vibes. I have trouble sticking to one look. My style has become some sort of eclectically coherent mess, but I enjoy it.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
It is not going to be easy, but with hard work, dedication, and a little bit of luck you can make your art your life. There will be some hard times, trust me. but if you can get through that, beautiful things can happen.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I usually just say I am asexual, but for me that means that I don’t find people sexually attractive, and I am just not interested in sex. I’m not sex repulsed and I am aesthetically and romantically attracted to people, but I would much rather kiss and cuddle than have sex. Luckily I have a very understanding boyfriend.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
There have been a couple instances. When you have your work online, you usually get some not so pleasant remarks from people. You get people who want to “fix you” you which is the one that bothers me the most. There has also been a lot of gatekeeping in the LGBT community online that I have really struggled with. I am biromantic, and I rarely talk about it, because to some people that it the only reason I am in the LGBT community. I don’t want to have my asexuality erased like that. It’s a huge part of who I am, and I know I belong whether I choose to reveal that I am bi-ro or not.
But even outside the internet, I have had some encounters that have been less than ideal. I had a teacher at my college basically say that I was too pretty to be asexual and that it would be a waste. I know she didn’t mean it the way it came out, but it’s one of the reasons we need more visibility.
I also had a fellow acting student come to the conclusion that she did not like me because she thought asexuality was stupid. I never quite understood the logic behind that. And it’s also hard, especially in acting, because Hollywood is so sexed up that there is just this assumption that every character interaction is because they want to bone.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
OK, the idea that “you just haven’t found the right person yet” or “you won’t know unless you try” pisses me off. I have gotten both and my general response to that is “you could give me a cheap piece of raw fish or a $200 piece of raw fish, it doesn’t chance that fact that I don’t like raw fish.” and “I have never been shot before, but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t enjoy that either.”
There is also the idea that if you have a mental illness or if you have been in an abusive relationship or raped that your asexuality is just a byproduct. You know, whether it is or isn’t that shouldn’t make their identity any less legitimate.
And finally, the idea that asexual people are just straight people that want to feel special. Trust me, that is not the case. It’s a pain in the ass sometimes, especially when you have religious family who just wants you to have kids or you just want to find a partner who is not pressuring you to have sex all the time and you are constantly worrying if you will ever find love and belonging and fulfillment outside of these norms that society expects you to comply to. Nothing about that feels special.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
You are not broken. I promise you. Your feelings are completely normal. You are a valid part of the LGBTQIA community, and though we may be a smaller group, we are full of love, no matter where we fall on the spectrum. There are more people out there that will accept you and love you, even if you have to go out and find them. They are out there. Just be yourself and be proud in yourself.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
My Instagram is abbysworldsastage.
And if you would like to see an asexual model on the cover of Miss Jetset Magazine you can vote for me at the link below. You get one free vote a day, and if you want to vote more you can make a donation vote to the B+ foundation to help victims of childhood cancer.
Thank you, Abby, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.