America’s Next Top Model Cycle 14 brought us beautiful models, off the wall challenges and one beauty that stood out to us in particular. Alexandra Elise was the only “plus size” model during this controversial cycle, which brought fans to opposite ends when crowd favorite Raina was not given the ultimate title.
Alexandra was quiet, pensive, outgoing and had one of the most memorable challenges in ANTM history as she fell down the stairs and was pushed off the runway by a swinging pendulum. While most of us would have ran out and never been seen again, Alexandra picked herself up and is now a signed model with Wilhelmina Models in NYC.
As PLUS Model Magazine ends a very successful year, we are happy to bring a sweet and talented model we are sure to see doing great things in the near future.
Maddy: Most of us know you from Cycle 14 of America’s Next Top Model. Have you always wanted to be a model?
Alexandra: I’m pretty sure growing up I always wanted to be a veterinarian, horse trainer or animal rights activist. It changed daily; astronaut is probably in there somewhere too. I was a very awkward pre-teen so I didn’t see modeling as a logical career until I picked up a Victoria’s Secret catalog at thirteen and decided I wanted to be in it.
Maddy: Once you decided you wanted to be in a Victoria’s Secret catalog, did you pursue modeling?
Alexandra: No, I didn’t pursue modeling when I was younger. It just wasn’t a realistic thing for me growing up in such a small town. My life literally revolved around my horseback riding and basketball. I am all about timing and letting things work themselves out, and modeling was just one of those things. I kind of just said what’s meant to be, is meant to be, but it would be pretty amazing if it did.
Maddy: What was it like living in a house full of girls, all competing for one prize? Was having camera’s on you all the time, hard to get used to?
Alexandra: Living with the girls was difficult and a ton of fun at the same time. I had been in a sorority and lived with three other girls all through my years at Texas Tech so it wasn’t the quantity that was an issue it was that we were all such polar opposites from each other. No two of us were alike.
My first experience with the cameras was in the casting episode where we all had to portray our favorite model. We were stripping down to get into matching jeans and T’s and I was standing there without a bra and some skimpy knickers on and a camera popped up beside my face. I was just like ‘Alright, so this is how it’s gonna be, huh?’ After that I was used to them.
Maddy: At times, the challenges are incredibly unrealistic, you had one of the most memorable challenges when you fell down the stairs and was then knocked down by a swinging pendulum. You still managed to get yourself up and continue in the competition, to what do you attribute your inner strength and what can you tell us about that experience?
Alexandra: My inner strength comes from my Dad; he never gave me the option to quit while I was growing up. That discipline can be attributed to years of playing team sports too. As far as that crazy challenge goes, stuff happens, and that particular challenge wasn’t set up for a success story in the first place.
Maddy: What girls in the house did you get along with the most, are you still close to any of the girls?
Alexandra: I got along best with Tatiana and Anslee. Jessica was hilarious so she was easy to get along with too. I talk to Tatiana the most probably and Anslee and I catch up as much as we can. It’s funny, Angelea and I weren’t friends on the show but we hang out together quite a bit in New York.
Maddy: Hindsight is 20/20, is there anything you wish you had done differently?
Alexandra: I can’t say that I would change anything because I did what I thought was best to stay in the competition…I wish I would have been more Christ-like though, plain and simple.
Maddy: What did you learn about yourself through the experience on ANTM?
Alexendra: That I cant be everything that everyone wants.
Maddy: You are signed with Wilhelmina Models, what type of preparation have you been through to get you to this place in your modeling career?
Alexandra: Honestly I learned more in the first couple months with Wilhelmina than ever before. The women I work with are amazing and driven. Nothing can prepare you for this world except making your own mistakes and learning from them.
Maddy: What are you looking forward to the most, as your modeling career begins to blossom?
Alexandra: Travel! Something I have always enjoyed is getting to experience other cultures. I believe in the power of immersion; I won’t be the one lounging by the pool! (well maybe once).
Of course I look forward to the magazine covers and campaigns but I’m just thrilled with the unknown right now and how things are working themselves out. Hopefully film is on the horizon.
Maddy: When did you make peace with your body? How did you continue to embrace a positive body image?
Alexandra: You know its funny, I can’t remember ever having a time in my life where I had a low self-image. It’s probably because I had such a wonderful supportive family. I mean everyone goes through puberty, and no one likes them selves at that point, but never in my life have I had a desire to change. A huge part of that came when I was in the 7th grade, and I would listen to girls complain about themselves with body issues. I would look at them and think that what they were complaining about didn’t even exist. So I thought to myself “do I look like that big of an idiot too when I complain?” From then on I didn’t talk negative about myself. I took note of how annoying it was to guys when girls put themselves down or “fished for compliments.” I have been the same size since my junior year of high school so I’m pretty excited that this is “me” forever. The bottom line is this; there is nothing more beautiful than when a person walks into a room and demands attention first with their confidence. If you had to ask what I would change, I’m a huge procrastinator. 😉
Maddy: What advice do you have to women looking to get into reality television?
Alexandra: Don’t buy into the drama! No matter your argument you’re going to look like an ignorant tart. Trust me you would rather make headlines by getting smacked by a pendulum than by pulling someone’s hair out!
We hope you have enjoyed our interview with Alexandra Elise. As you can see, she’s a regular chic, living her dream, and poised for success. Don’t forget to check out her editorial in this month’s issue of PLUS Model Magazine.