In an era where short-shorts and high heels is the norm for female artists on stage, Ashley McBryde will take a polite but firm pass on that. The Arkansas native has never been comfortable in anything but what she normally wears now –– jeans and a T-shirt –– and refuses to compromise her comfort for an unrealistic standard.
"I grew up on a farm and I mean, look at my skin," McBryde told PopCulture.com. "My people are from the shady parts of the cave obviously. But when you grew up on a farm and you're always running through briars, there's ticks and there's chiggers, and at any given time you might have bites on your leg. And so I couldn't wear shorts very often because kids would make fun of me. Like, 'Why do you have so many bites?' Well, because I had to go find a lost cow last night and I got stuck in a briar patch."
Because McBryde was used to wearing jeans everywhere she went, that comfort translated into when she began performing, and she never found a good enough reason to change.
"That's how it started," McBryde continued. "Well, then as I got older, I wasn't living on a farm anymore, but my legs still really, really pale. And every single time I put on a pair of shorts, somebody had something to say about it. It's like, you know what's bulletproof? What I like to wear. I like to wear jeans and I like to wear T-shirts and I like to wear boots. And that is bulletproof."
The 36-year-old might never show a lot of skin on stage, but she isn't about to criticize others who feel comfortable dressing sexy.
"I think it's brave to show as much skin as you're willing to show and to work that hard on your life," McBryde said. "My God, I don't know if I consider it brave to just wear jeans and a T-shirt, except that now somebody gives me sh–– about it, I go, 'I'm sorry. This is bulletproof.'"
McBryde is nominated for three ACM Awards, both as a songwriter and artist for "Girl Goin' Nowhere," and Music Event of the Year, for her part of the Miranda Lambert "Fooled Around and Fell in Love" collaboration. The ACM Awards were scheduled to be held on April 5, but have been postponed until September due to coronavirus. Her sophomore Never Will album will be available on April 3.
Photo Credit: Getty / Jason Kempin