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EXCLUSIVE: Heather Locklear’s Lookalike Daughter Ava Sambora Talks Bikini Modeling Career, Says She's 'Inspired' By Ariel Winter

by Deidre Behar 10:45 AM PDT, July 29, 2016
Playing EXCLUSIVE: Heather Locklear’s Lookalike Daughter Ava Sambora Talks Bikini Modeling Career, Says She's 'Inspired' By Ariel Winter

Get familiar with Ava Sambora!

The 18-year-old daughter of Heather Locklear and Richie Sambora is quickly making a name for herself as a model, and after seeing her sexy bikini shots, it’s easy to understand why she’s already had so much success.

“I want everything to be very tasteful,” Ava told ET earlier this month. “People like to spin photos different ways, like, ‘Oh, it's over-sexualized, oh, it's inappropriate,’ but honestly, I think if you're not thinking of it in a sexual way, then it doesn't have to be.”

The resemblance between Ava and her famous mom is undeniable, from their silky blonde locks to their enviable physiques. “Honestly, I hear [comparisons] probably once a day!” she gushed, adding that she’s most thankful she inherited “piercing blue eyes” from her mom and “long legs” from her dad.

WATCH: Heather Locklear's 18-Year-Old Daughter Ava Sambora Heats Up the Beach in a Bikini

Being a model certainly seems glamorous but Ava recognizes that there are aspects to the job that can be particularly challenging, like managing negativity on social media.

“When I first started getting comments on my Instagram that were not always the nicest, I was really, really affected by it. I was like, 'Oh my goodness, I'm not in shape?'” she recalled. “I was super upset and I honestly then took a step back… I don't do any superstardom things so why should I have a superstardom body? Why can't I have the same body as every other girl in the world?”

Ava counts Gigi Hadid and Ariel Winter amongst her biggest celebrity inspirations. She praised the latter for frequently speaking out about body positivity, saying, “I think it takes a lot of guts for someone to be so open about all of that… Ariel is doing a really great job of it and I'd hope more people follow in her footsteps.”

As for Ava, she’s been doing a great job of laughing off tabloid rumors in her own life, like a recent report that claimed the aspiring actress was feuding with her mom over her recent success.

“That's clearly the most far-fetched thing I've ever heard!” she said, laughing. “My mom is the last person to be like, 'I'm jealous of you, I don't want you to be successful.' All she wants in my life is for me to do great things.”

The blonde beauty explained that she’s been close with both of her parents her entire life. Despite Locklear and Sambora splitting in 2006, Ava insists they’re still “very good friends,” adding that they still vacation and spend holidays together. Growing up in the spotlight has also thickened her skin when it comes to speculation about her famous family.

“I'm very protective of my parents. I remember I would be in like, a supermarket… I would see something on a magazine and I'd be like, really really upset by it. I was like 10, I didn't understand. It would really shake me to the core and I was like, 'Why are they talking about my parents that way?'”

WATCH: Heather Locklear's Daughter Makes TV Debut

Today, Ava is all grown up and embarking on a Hollywood career of her very own. Not only is she the face of swimwear line Baes and Bikinis, but she’s appeared in movies like This Is 40 and television shows like Good Luck Charlie. All this while juggling a full load as a student at Loyola Marymount University, where she’ll be entering her sophomore year this fall.

“I like to do what I think is cool, not necessarily what other people think is cool, so I'm not into partying,” she explained. “I'm not about it, that's how it is. Don't try to persuade me, it won't work!”

You go, girl!

For more about Ava’s famous upbringing, watch the video below.

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