Ashley Biden's Transformation Is Seriously Turning Heads

Ashley Biden is more than just one of former Vice President Joe Biden's children. But unfortunately, that doesn't stop people from connecting her to her dad. "Any achievement that I accomplished, many people attributed to the fact that I was his daughter," she told Politico. While her father has his own set of American issues that he wants to tackle, his daughter is leading a path of her own. She is a social worker, activist, and entrepreneur with a passion for creating permanent change, especially when it comes to poverty and the impact it has on society.

However, don't get her wrong. The family that raised her is one that she will stand by until the end of time. "I was taught by both of my parents to work hard, to be passionate about whatever I did, and I felt that I did that and kind of got to where I am today because of hard work and passion and determination," she said. So how has she changed over the years? This is the stunning transformation of Ashley Biden.

Ashley Biden had a humble beginning

Even with the powerful family Ashley Biden has always had surrounding her, she still believes she led a pretty normal childhood. She would clip coupons alongside her mother before grocery shopping (a great way to avoid spending too much money on food), act in school plays, and occasionally accompany her father, Senator Joe Biden, to work. However, this never seemed like a big deal to her. "When I was little, you know ... you see your dad and the work that he does, but you don't really ... cognitively really get the significance," she told DETV. She added, "Dad was dad to me." 

She decided to study culture and anthropology at Tulane University. After graduating with her Bachelor's degree, she didn't want to depend on her parents as she was trying to decide what to do now with her life. She returned to her hometown of Wilmington, Del. to take time to figure out the next step to take regarding her career. "I actually worked as a waitress in a small pizza shop in Wilmington, Del. for I think it was a few months, while I was figuring out where I wanted to go," she told Politico. She eventually decided that her next step would be pursuing social work.

Ashley Biden was intrigued by social work at a young age

"I had always known I wanted to be a social worker," Ashley Biden told Politico. While watching her father chase important issues as a U.S. senator, Biden began to see at a young age the injustice around her.

When she was in elementary school, Biden started a campaign of her own. She found out a makeup company was testing on animals and realized that something was wrong. "I organized my school to start writing letters to [the company]," Biden told Glamour. Her next focus was dolphins. When her father would come home from work, she often expressed how concerned she was that these animals were getting trapped in tuna nets. "My dad connected me with Congressman Barbara Boxer, who I nicknamed the 'dolphin lady,' and she got me onto the floor to help lobby Republican [congressmen] for The Dolphin Protection Consumer Information Act," she added.

Looking back, it all makes sense. One of Biden's past colleagues at the Delaware Center for Justice told Delaware Today that Biden "sees social justice as the cause she's been called to champion, and no one is going to change her mind."

Ashley Biden grew up around inspiring women

Sure, Ashley Biden is known by most as the daughter of the 47th vice president of the United States, but her father wasn't the only one in her family who had a significant influence on her. "Also, my mom and my aunts. I also had two amazing brothers, so they've all helped me to be brave and courageous," she told Politico. Joe Biden has expressed on multiple accounts how much he believes his daughter is similar to his wife. "She's like her mother. She has a backbone like a ramrod," he added.

Her mother, Jill Biden, holds many college degrees, so it's really no wonder that her daughter felt it was important to be educated as well. "The passion started at a very young age," Ashley Biden told Glamour. "My dad is a lifelong servant; my mom was a public-school teacher — it's in my DNA."

In addition to that, Ashley Biden grew up watching other women in her family hold powerful positions. Her aunt Valerie was the one who managed her father's first political campaign. "She's my best friend in my life," her father said of his campaign manager.

Ashley Biden puts family first

Ashley Biden's parents made an effort to instill in their children that family was the most important thing. Even with his busy work schedule, Joe Biden made it a priority to be there for all of them, and his daughter told DETV that he always was. "Dad was home every night to read books, say my prayers, and tuck me in bed," Ashley Biden shared.

Even then, Ashley Biden could always rest assured knowing that her father wasn't far. "He had a rule his entire career that if one of his family members called when he was in an important meeting, wherever he was, that they had to get him out of that meeting," she added.

However, it wasn't just the end of the day that her father dedicated to their family. Throughout high school, Ashley Biden was a lacrosse and field hockey player. "One time, I had a big game, and dad actually took a helicopter and landed in the football field to see my game." She laughed as she told Politico how embarrassed she was at the time, but it was the state championship, after all. This "family first" mentality is one that she continues to live by today.

Ashley Biden spent time working with children

With family being cited as such an important aspect of Ashley Biden's life, it's really no wonder that she began her career by working to help children. "I got a real sense that some people had a lot, and some had nothing at all," Biden told Elle. "Even as a child, I had a hard time reconciling the inherent unfairness of it all." 

Once Biden finished up with college, she moved to Philadelphia and began her career in a children's mental health clinic, as she shared with Politico. Four years later, Biden went back to school for her master's degree and then found herself back in her hometown of Wilmington, Del., where she worked directly with youth in foster care as a case manager for West End Neighborhood. From there, she worked her way up to make an impact at the state level. She worked directly in the kids' department of juvenile detention centers. "Youth intervention — and any intervention, really — is about breaking a cycle," Biden told Delaware Today. "If a kid goes to the equivalent of prison and doesn't get services during and after his residency there, what has he gained?"

Ashley Biden's dad entered the White House

It was 2009 when Ashley Biden's father made it to the White House as the vice president to President Barack Obama. Though it was an absolute honor for him to have the title of Vice President, Joe Biden's family was forced to take on a new set of titles as well. Sometimes, these roles were understandably challenging. "I think the hardest thing for me was actually watching the media criticize my father, someone who I adore, and, you know, I feel like a lot of times they got it wrong," Ashley Biden told Politico

The pressures of her father's new job also put added pressures on her living in his shadow. During that time, Biden was in her 20s and felt she was at a point in her life where she was still just trying to figure things out. "I used to feel like I had to prove something," she added, but these days she feels quite differently about her life. "I own who I am," she said.

Ashley Biden dealt with the pressures of the media

As if the pressure of being the daughter of the Vice President wasn't enough, Ashley Biden also felt added pressure from the media. Barack Obama's daughters, Sasha and Malia Obama, dealt with photographers while entering and leaving their White House home. And though Ashley Biden took on her role from afar, that didn't necessarily make dealing with being in the public eye any easier. 

News outlets immediately began to attack and scrutinize all members of the Biden family by trying to uncover secrets deep from within their past. A so-called friend of Biden's tried to sell a video to the media for $2 million of her allegedly doing drugs (via Vanity Fair). The video in question was never released publicly, but it still caused controversy in the political landscape.

Needless to say, living in the White House's spotlight isn't an easy feat. "There's an awful lot of your life that gets taken away," Joe Biden told Politico. "Living in the White House is the greatest honor in the world, but also probably one of the worst things you can do." And that's not to mention all the bizarre truths about the famous residence...

Ashley Biden fell in love

Shortly after Ashley Biden's father took office, her brother Beau was hospitalized following a stroke. As his family rushed to the hospital to see him, a doctor who he had become friends with noticed his sister. It was then that Biden's brother tried to talk her into going out with the doc. She wasn't so sure at first, but, reluctantly, she decided that one date wouldn't hurt. In 2011, after dating Dr. Howard Krein for almost a year, Biden got engaged to him (via HuffPost). 

Her father told Politico that he didn't even hesitate when Krein asked him for his daughter's hand in marriage — an old-fashioned move in today's world. "From the moment he met Ashley, he treated her as an equal. He respected her opinion ... It was clear, and he made her laugh," he said. "That's why I love her husband." 

Biden and Krein married a year later in her hometown of Wilmington, Del. Apparently, brothers know best!

Ashley Biden coped with her brother's passing

As if life hadn't become chaotic enough with her father working in the White House, Ashley Biden's brother Beau became diagnosed with brain cancer following his stroke and passed away in 2015. In true Biden fashion, he was surrounded by his family (via CNN)

"It was very important to Ashley to carry on Beau's legacy — the reforms in criminal justice, his work with children," her mother, Jill Biden, told Delaware Today. That's exactly what she did. She decided to stay busy and focus on being a change to the injustices that society and children were continuing to face. "Everyone struggles with something. Some simply struggle more," she said. "I've had a lot of advantages, but that didn't prevent my life from spinning out of control or the devastation of losing my brother. But what I had was support and safety of being vulnerable." For that, she is extremely grateful to her family. 

"I think we all can agree, the world needs a lot more kindness," she added.

Ashley Biden founded the fashion brand Livelihood

Shortly after Beau's death, Ashley Biden decided to focus her grief into a new project. Her passion for social justice led to a passion for fashion. In 2015, she founded Livelihood, an American-made clothing company that focuses on bringing attention to social justice. The logo is an arrow, which Biden told The Lily was inspired by her brother. She said that "we have to sometimes be pulled all the way down to shoot forward." She continued, "He was my bow. ... I had no choice but to shoot forward, keep going, keep aiming at my own dreams." Biden told Delaware Today that developing the collection was "a way to distract [herself] from grief."

Biden decided that the focus of her fashion line would be hoodies. "The hoodie is universal," she told the Today show. "It was once ubiquitous of the labor movement; currently, it's important in the social justice movement. It's universal in the sense that you can see a construction worker on the side of the road who is 60 years old wearing a hoodie, and you see children on the playground wearing hoodies."

Ashley Biden wants to bring attention to economic inequality

It is important to Ashley Biden that the clothing business she developed help those in need. "My dad always taught me that silence is complicity, and that I must stand up for anyone who was being treated unfairly. That has stayed with me through adulthood, and is the guiding principle in my professional life," Biden told Delaware Today. So instead of just creating a good old fashioned hoodie, Biden made sure that proceeds from her collection would go to programs that focus on alleviating poverty by training, educating, and assisting in job placement in her hometown of Wilmington, Del. 

Looking back on her time working with children, Biden began to notice a common theme. "I'd hear about five siblings sharing one burger," she told Elle. "How does a kid do homework when there's no desk or lamp? One of the biggest things I've seen in my work is that a lot of social ills directly result from poverty." Her mission is to change exactly that.

Ashley Biden keeps a low profile

It's really no wonder that, from all the time spent in the public eye while her father in office, Ashley Biden likes to keep a pretty low profile. She keeps her social media accounts private and seems to not discuss much about her personal life at all, keeping the focus on her work in social justice. In 2014, Biden was invited to participate in Politico's Women Rule Keynote along with her father, who was the vice president at the time. When given the platform to speak about her experiences, views on social justice, and her life in the spotlight, she started out by mentioning, "I actually feel comfortable, and, in these types of things, I normally don't." 

It seems as though Biden has always been that way. After all, she feels she has nothing to prove. A colleague from the Delaware Center for Justice told Delaware Today that Ashley "isn't trying to live up to anybody but herself."

Ashley Biden supports her father's presidential campaign

The decision for former vice president Joe Biden to run for president in 2020 was not an easy one for him to make. He told USA Today that he had to decide if he was "comfortable taking the family through a very, very, very difficult campaign." He has publicly shared many times that he considered running in 2016, but he felt he needed to be with his family following his son's passing. "At the time it was too raw," Ashley Biden told Elle

When he finally decided it was time, the entire Biden family was there to support him. "My father is a man of integrity, honesty, and he has incredible passion, so I think he would be an absolutely incredible president," Ashley Biden told Politico. As her passion for changing the economy continues to drive her career, perhaps she will be following in her father's political footsteps!

Ashley Biden wants to make a difference

Considering the influence that the entire Biden family has had on society, Ashley Biden's persistence for economic change is without a doubt just the beginning of her lifelong campaign for change. "She's been trying to change the world since she was 3 years old. I think she's gonna do it," Joe Biden once told E! News. In 2019, she left the Delaware Center for Justice to be able to focus on her growing brand Livelihood. "I don't feel like I have anything to prove as long as I'm ... being the best possible version of myself," she told Politico.

So what's next for Ashley Biden? "My middle name is Blazer, and I wear blazers all the time to work," she told the Today show. "You can dress them up and down. I would love to work on that in the future." Blazers are a key component to a fashionable wardrobe, so she may be on to something!