We had the good fortune of connecting with Alyssa Alexander and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Risk taking is such an impactful topic in my life, mainly because I fully acknowledge that I wouldn’t be where I am in life without taking risk. A lot of us wouldn’t. It is scary taking risks, but sometimes with great risk comes great reward.
Back in 2014 I took the risk of hopping in front of a friend’s camera (Amanda Cantrell) to be a model for her. Being a plus size/curvy girl and not so confident in myself at the time took a lot of courage to put myself out there! Little did I know I would fall in love with modeling and being in front of the camera, and actually be good at it. The minute I stepped in front of the camera I immediately felt a burst of confidence as if, maybe I actually CAN do this. Maybe years of watching other models achieve their dreams would help me reach mine. It felt so natural and made me feel alive. The images turned out great and once they were posted I found the small modeling/fashion community around me there in Kentucky and realized there was a market for me as a curvy Plus Size model. At the time I was around a size 12 and had to choose whether I was going to starve myself and lose weight to try and be more of a straight size model or embrace my curvy frame and the plus size community where I could be myself! Of course I chose the plus size route! I hit the ground running connecting and networking with anyone I could in the modeling industry following this passion. My main goal back then and still today were to help other women and girls to feel confident about their bodies and curves and feel seen and represented in the media.
A few years after that, I took a risk by applying for a model search for a big curvy denim company, and won that, which gave me experience, exposure, and my first trip out to Los Angeles! It wasn’t very long after that I took the risk of submitting to tons of talent agencies, hoping to get signed! I ended up getting signed, and started working as a professionally signed model! After a few years of flying back and forth from Kentucky to LA and NYC, I then took another risk and quit my full time cushy job and picked up and moved across the country by myself to Los Angeles from Kentucky to pursue my dream!
Another risk I took that completely changed my life forever, was going out on a date with my “soon-to-be” fiancé in the summer of 2020 when Covid was at an all-time high! We matched, and all these thoughts came into my head of it not being safe, or it being scary to put myself out there to this person, but I just knew we had to meet, and the rest is history! We now own a home together, have a few fur babies, and are building a life together.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My career! As a full-time plus size/curve model, actress, influencer, content creator, and coach, I have worked with many well-known brands in both print and commercial campaigns and am signed by many talent agencies across the US. My journey has connected me with so many women and girls who have voiced that my presence in the media and pursuing this journey has helped them feel confident in themselves and their bodies and that is a big part of what motivates me to keep going. Being a small part of the movement towards all bodies and all types of people feeling represented in the media. It is important to me that girls see multiple different bodies in the media to not grow up with the body and self-confidence issues I did when I was growing up.
A few years into this industry, I started to ask myself, the average size of a typical American woman these days is comparable to myself in height, weight, sizing, so why are clients not booking/advertising that size more? This is why recently I have been shifting my focus in my influencing to try and show my followers brands that would be great for a size 12/14 to coincide with the majority of women today! I want women to have resources to find the brands that are working to help them find a great fit and products that will work for them!
I also started coaching aspiring models because my hope is that young models can learn what to expect from the industry before pursuing it and to really understand and analyze their “why” they are pursuing it. I have the view that if you are just pursuing this industry for the “fame” or “clout” as they say, you are doing it for the wrong reasons.
To be successful in this industry you also have to have a certain work ethic and never stop advocating for yourself. We are always growing, always learning, always improving, never stagnant.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I absolutely love the ocean, so anything along the water is my favorite and what I recommend to others! Anywhere you can rent a boat, or a jet ski is the place for me! Specifically, we just bought a house in the Tampa area and we love going downtown, there is a pier, tons of restaurants, shopping, and activities! If you’re looking for something active, there’s tons of places to go kayaking and see manatees and dolphins! We just did a kayak trip a few weeks back and even got to swim in an underwater cave! Such a cool experience!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
To all of the photographers, designers, makeup artists, videographers, agents, casting directors, my friends, and family, followers, and everyone who has helped me get to where I am today and constantly believed in me, Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Specifically to my family and my person, Brandon, for supporting me, inspiring me, and cheering me on along this journey!