Q&A with Ashley Coleman, Miss Ohio USA contestant

By Columbus Alive
From the June 13, 2013 edition
  • Photo by Meghan Ralston

Ashley Coleman was recently named Miss Capital City USA and will represent Columbus in the Miss Ohio USA pageant this November. If she takes home the Ohio crown, Coleman will compete for the title of Miss USA in 2014.

Coleman has competed in pageants — including the Miss Ohio USA — before, but feels most confident this time around. She’s learned from her previous experience and shown a dedication to preparing for the upcoming But Colemanconfidence comes more from growing into herself — a down-to-earth woman who’s also a student, professional and avid sports fan.

This will be my second time competing for this title. The last time was in 2010 for the 2011 crown. I did not place top 15, so it was a bummer. But I was still in undergrad and had school stuff going on. And I didn’t really know how to prepare. This time I’ve done a lot of studying, a lot of training and a lot of prep. I’ve done a lot of research on gowns and training for the interview process.

I had to find myself first. I was just learning about myself at that point. I definitely had to find out who I was and what I was interested in so I could be more genuine. I wanted to build my resume as a role model so I had more to offer to Ohio as a representative.

I also worked out hardcore and got a better diet, started eating really clean. I got on a routine where I train seven days a week, twice a day. I just started studying gowns; what’s acceptable, what my best look is, what works for my skin tone and hair color.

I think I’ll represent Ohio as someone who is diverse. I’m into so many different things. I do public relations and marketing. I’m huge into the fitness industry. I’m studying for my MBA. I’m a sports fanatic. There’s not one way I would define myself. I don’t have one specific niche. I like to get involved in everything. I’m also somebody who’s relatable [which] is really important.

I’m, of course a Buckeye fan. I’m an Ohio State girl. But I went to Louisville for undergrad. I would’ve had a hard time if they’d both made it in the Final Four and had to play each other. I actually won the [Final Four] bracket at work — out of all these guys. For football I’m a Jets fan. I’m more of an NFL fan. I love my Jets. My dad hates that because he’s a Browns fan.

I am a huge fan of [designer] Tony Bowls. I used to be hardcore into Sherr Hill. Then I … tried on a Tony Bowls and fell in love. I have a certain dress in mind, and of course it’s the hardest one to find.

I fake like I’m a singer. I have a lot of car concerts. I go to karaoke nights a lot at Adobe Gilas.

I’m nervous about interviews because I get so comfortable that I just start chit-chatting. I don’t shut up. My coach always tells me, “You don’t know how to keep i short and sweet.” The last time I competed they asked me about sports. Oh no, don’t ask me about sports because I’ll go on and on. I just started talking … about sports and got way off topic.

I am very active with my high school, Eastmoor Academy. I’m helping young ladies build a resume or fill out college applications. We’re trying to help the girls transition from high school to college and adulthood. I also do work for Make a Wish Foundation.