Growing up in Mansfield, Connecticut, Alexa Curtis‘ life was average to say the least. She didn’t come from money, there were no August retreats to summer homes by the beach or fancy cars in her parent’s driveway. As she explains on her blog, A Life in the Fashion Lane, Alexa lived a normal life, in which she attended a public school, didn’t always fit in and like many teens was bullied which led to insecurities and confidence issues. It was then, at just 12 years old, that she decided to follow her passion and start a blog (that is still up and running to this day!). This was before blogging was even considered a thing, let alone a career, so Alexa wasn’t doing it to make money and didn’t originally envision it as a “road to success.” At the time, she didn’t even care if anyone read her blog. She was doing it for herself, because she wasn’t going to let her insecurities or self-confidence issues, or the kids a school bullying her deter her from following her dream.
So that’s exactly what Alexa did. She began blogging from her tiny bedroom, in her parent’s modest house, in Mansfield, Connecticut. She would write about what she was wearing lately, where she bought it, the latest trends, her celebrity inspirations and anything else in the fashion world that inspired her. She’d take pictures outside her house in what she considered to be a fashion forward outfit and would broadcast it to whoever would look.
Alexa had a half-sister who decided to move to New York and become a model. Whenever her sister would come home to visit, she’d come with issues of Cosmopolitan or Seventeen and show their mother her pictures in the magazines and Alexa would watch as her mother beamed with joy at the sight of HER daughter, in a magazine. Alexa had found her new calling. At the time, blogging seemed like a hobby, but modeling? Modeling was the road to success. Due to her love of fashion, Alexa had long drooled over models, their red bottom heels, and $2000 dresses, so making the switch from modeling to blogging was a no-brainer, or so she thought.
Although she never truly made it as a model, those two years in the modeling industry changed her life forever. In August of 2015, Alexa wrote about her experience as a model and her story went viral. She spoke at length about the constant pressure that is put on young girls to lose weight, count calories, and burn more calories during workouts than they eat for the day. Alexa was only 14. Can you imagine being told to count your calories at the age of 14? Do you realize the types of bad habits that can be developed at young ages when talent agents tell their clients to “Not be anorexic, but look anorexic”? But these are the realities of the modeling world that young girls are never warned about, and this is where Alexa found her true calling.
Now, only 7 years later, at 19 years old, Alexa is considered a “Teen Influencer & Bullying Expert” as well as an advocate for young girls everywhere and she’s even started her own non-profit, M.I.N.T or Media Impact and Navigation for Teens. The goal behind M.I.N.T. is to open up discussions online and in schools about social media and it’s impact on the bodies and mental health of teens everywhere. While some may see this as a way to get teens off social media, Alexa doesn’t see it like that at all. Instead, she believes people like the Kardashian’s are being viewed as positive influences, when in reality, they got their bodies by using unrealistic methods and therefore shouldn’t be wrongfully glorified. M.I.N.T. has a blog online and a panel of like-minded professionals that will travel to schools to talk to teens about things like; body image, sexting, cutting, LGBTQ, and much more.
Even though running a non-profit can be extremely time-consuming, Alexa still finds the time to blog frequently, whether it be about her preparation to go on live television or to talk about why you should never let the amount of likes on a picture determine your self-worth. Alexa’s blog is a true testament to her success, hard work, and dedication. When she first started, she expected nothing out of it and didn’t even care if people read or saw it. At one point in her life she even abandoned it because she thought modeling would be here real path to success. Now, 6 years later, Alexa has found true success and her blog is directly contributing to it. Let this be a lesson to anyone out there that is afraid to follow their passion.
At the ripe age of 14, when Alexa decided she wanted to be a model, nobody was there to tell her about the harsh realities that are going on behind the scenes. She soon found out that it wasn’t all vacations for photo shoots and free expensive clothing. She’s also become aware of the fact that, not everything you see on social media is real, including the way model’s bodies look. So now, she strives to be the person she wishes was there for her when she was 14. Prior to her story about modeling and the launch of M.I.N.T. there were no public forums to discuss things like social media without being ashamed, thanks to Alexa, now there are.
TO DONATE TO M.I.N.T. – https://www.gofundme.com/medianav
TO BECOME A GUEST SPEAKER AT THE NEXT M.I.N.T. EVENT – https://www.medianav.org/contact/