The phrase learning to be fearless isn’t just Alexandra Thomas’s Instagram handle; for the beauty vlogger and curvy model, it’s a lifelong mantra. With more than 176,000 people plugged into her day-to-day life, she’s undoubtedly familiar with the ups and downs of living a life that’s constantly under a microscope.
One of the more challenging aspects of a very public career is the looming presence of both praise and completely unwarranted negative comments. And though Thomas is a pro at responding respectfully, she admits that there are moments when it threatens her confidence. It’s that admission and her advocacy for a more body-positive industry that made her the perfect panelist for Dove’s first-ever Girl Collective event.
Last weekend, she along with more than 300 women and girls gathered to discuss challenging beauty stereotypes, changing representation in the media and what it really takes to love yourself from the inside out. (Fun fact: Shonda Rhimes helped spearhead this new sisterhood.) After dishing self-care gems alongside Rhimes, Sza and Jazz Jennings, Thomas gave us the 411 on exactly how she prioritizes her sanity over scrolling.
Self-care to me is keeping a good tab on yourself and checking in with you. I think life gets so crazy and hectic. And sometimes, we get caught up in moving and moving, and we’re not thinking about… us. And we can also get caught up in the media and that undeniable image of beauty out there. And that’s not the way it’s supposed to be. Sometimes you even have to schedule it.
Make sure you’re taking care of you; especially as women. I think we’re natural caretakers. We think of everyone but ourselves. So take time for you and do things that make you happy. Do things that make you feel fulfilled. Check in with your feelings more. I think when you’re feeling a certain way, it’s OK to recognize those feelings and process. I think that’s something I never did as a young girl. I would push things down. But what makes you happy? What makes you feel at peace? For some people, it might be yoga. For some people, it might be singing. It can be anything. What are those things that re-energize you?
It’s a big part of my job, so I think, Put that phone away and do something. I really love pampering myself.
I think taking time away from my phone is a self-care moment. It’s a big part of my job, so I think, Put that phone away and do something. I really love pampering myself. I’m a face mask girl through and through. I love sheet masks—Korean skin care is the best and The Creme Shop is really good. I just got a foot massager and I love that, too [Laughs]. I got it on Amazon, and it wasn’t that much. It’s just a peaceful little moment. Overall, I just want to feel relaxed.
Honestly, there’s this big misconception about makeup. I feel like people just think you put on makeup to cover up your face. But I genuinely enjoy putting it on every day. I find it very therapeutic. I love the routine of it. I almost feel like it helps me to mentally prepare for my day.
I love the tarte Shape Tape Concealer because it just makes my under-eyes feel bright, and it lasts forever. I love Ardell Wispies Lashes. People usually go in too fast with falsies—slow down! The biggest tip I have is to use a very thin strip of glue. Blow on it a little, fan it around and let it get a little tacky, so when you drop it down, it just sticks and you can easily put your edges down. I don’t feel like myself if I don’t have lashes on. And I just love a nice gloss. I’ve been using this one from Soap & Glory—they’re so underrated. Everything smells so good.
I definitely have moments where I get into my feelings about comments, and it can consume you. It’s funny how one can send you into this really negative spiral in your head.
Mantras Beat Scrolling
I definitely have moments where I get into my feelings about comments, and it can consume you. It’s funny how one can send you into this really negative spiral in your head, and that’s when I know I really need to put the phone down. If you just keep scrolling, that’s not healthy. Instead, I like to go out with positive people in my life who remind me that those things ultimately don’t have to affect me.
I also have a few mantras. They can be simple as, “You’re enough” and “You’re worthy.” How you percieve yourself is most important. That’s something we talked about on the [Girl Collective] panel—and you’ll get to a point eventually where you’ve learned that enough and don’t have to worry so much about what other people think. So, keep instilling those things and saying them over and over. I literally will talk out loud to myself all the time. I also have Post-It notes in my apartment and write cute little things to myself. In this world, you have to keep reminding yourself.
I love that high-waisted is in right now and mom jeans are back, too. Those make me feel real cute. I also love wedges because I can’t wear normal heels. And I love earrings lately, too. Right now, women like Tess Holliday are empowering, make me feel good and remind me that you can be so fierce and accomplish all your dreams, no matter what your size is.
It’s really helpful to not let small things get to you and destroy your soul.
Positive Sounds and Reads
I listen to so many podcasts. You know who I love? Josh Peck has a podcast, and he puts me in such a good mood. He’s so wonderful and bubbly. You Are a Badass is really important. Everyone should read that. And right now I’m reading Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and It’s All Small Stuff
. It’s really helpful to not let small things get to you and destroy your soul.
In our series “Operation Recharge,” we task celebrities and influencers with sharing what self-care means to them, as well as the activities, products and treatments they indulge in for downtime done right.