Leaning on…

I’m excited and honored to speak at Lean On: Alabama’s inaugural conference this Saturday! When I interviewed the founders a few months ago, I was impressed with their vision and their determination. What we need now more than ever are efforts that connect people, and this one works diligently and creatively to empower, challenge and share the collective knowledge Alabama’s women have earned no matter our age, economic status, education or profession. Passing this on makes us stronger individually and as a whole.

I expect to be moved and motivated this weekend, and if your schedule permits, I hope you will join us!

Register by clicking HERE, and learn more about Lean On: Alabama by clicking HERE.

 

 

 

 

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Alexis is in the February Birmingham Magazine!

Black women model natural hair styles Well, this was a fun surprise. I was asked to offer tips on natural hair care for an article in this month’s Birmingham Magazine. It was nice being being on the other side of the interview for a change! Pick up a copy and check it out. 

Shout out to Javacia Harris Bowser for the interview and Halcyon Studios for the photographs.

Every Michelle Has a Melania.


I SO did not want to address this again. But I have to.

When I was in high school, I saved my allowance to buy a banging new outfit for the Bayou Classic. It was a pair of black jeans (as tight as my mother would allow), a matching black denim cropped vest and a black and white striped top, all by Bongo Jeans and all from The Body Shop, which was THE shop for teenage girls when I was growing up. I was so excited to go to Pensacola’s Cordova Mall and buy this outfit, then wear it in New Orleans and to school.

Imagine how I felt when soon after I’d worn it, a classmate went out and bought a nearly identical outfit, down to the shirt and belt with a big buckle–in hunter green. If there were hundreds of kids in my school it might not have mattered, but there were just about a hundred kids in each class. So if we showed up wearing them on the same day and had the same class(es), it was awkward.

I still wore my outfit but it didn’t feel quite as…special. I never let my classmate know her blatant imitation did not feel like flattery.

I’m a grown up now. And I don’t think anyone is out here trying to copy my looks from head to toe anymore–if they are, good luck with that. What has become impossible to ignore though is people who are, shall we say, heavily inspired by what I’ve written, posted and shared. These are people who stop just short of clicking “Control +C” and “Control +V.” Inspiration is great; many people inspire me. But what you won’t see is me coming out with a Pink Lemonade album, or singing “When Swans Cry” and acting like I thought of it myself.  I won’t ever try to be The Jenesaisquoi, J.Crew is My Favorite Store, Atlantic Pacific or Demetria Lucas D’Oyley, because I’d be a poor imitation. I love them. But it’s much more fun just being me. And if I were going to be inspired by them I’d at least give them props in print (like I just did). Or via video.


I don’t copy because it’s taken me a long time to be totally comfortable being Alexis, and writing in my own voice. That’s why I have to put up this post today. I’ve put too much time and effort into what I do not to defend it. So for those who are leaning heavily on or who are so deeply inspired by my posts,  graduate work or journalism (and I know you’re reading this), that you use it to attempt your own low budget versions, know that I see you.  We all do. E for Effort, darlings! I’m just thankful my family of supporters know the difference between cheap imitations and the real deal.

Make sure you don’t ever get so sloppy and desperate that you directly plagiarize my work, though, because then we’ll have a problem. Let me be explicit: my work is original content that is protected by copyright law*, and I take my intellectual property as seriously as I take getting dressed every day.

Keep it chic,

Alexis

*i.e. That’s what the fine print at the very bottom of this page means.

Images via Giphy  (<—Here’s another way to attribute work you didn’t do or dream up by yourself. You’re welcome.)

On Prince (1958-2016)

“A strong spirit transcends rules,” Prince said.

 His music was for the nonconformists, the dreamers, the mad poets, the unapologetically funky. The first music I bought with my own money was a Prince cassette tape that I had to keep hidden because my Mama literally did not play that.

Prince’s fight to control his catalog and own his image and presence as TAFKP set the stage for what we know now as intellectual property. He made it ok to be different, to be strange, to be artistic and creative and answer only to the muses in one’s head. I used to not get why people lost it over Elvis and The Beatles. But I’ll admit I felt some type of way when Johnnie Taylor and Luther Vandross died. I got it when Michael and Whitney died. But now I REALLY get it. I wanted to be Appollonia Kotero. I wanted to be Vanity. I would’ve been ok with trading lives with Lisa and Wendy (who played in his band and got to wear awesome pink furs and go on stage when he won an Oscar for Best Original Score in 1984). But I REALLY wanted to be Sheila E. When I was a little girl, I would dance and lip sync to “The Glamorous Life” in my babysitter Laura’s kitchen. I wanted to live that life when I grew up.

When I became an adult I realized that in writing the song, Prince was reflecting “cynicism for the decadence and materialism of the song’s protagonist, referred to in the third person, who “wants to lead a glamorous life, although she is aware that without love, it ain’t much.” (Wikipedia) And in some ways, maybe you get a sense of that on this blog. I could listen to his music–or Whitney’s or Michael’s–and be five, ten, or fifteen years old again.  Yesterday the music died for me.

Maybe I’m not just crying for Prince. Maybe I’m crying for my aunt and my grandmother too, and the many ways in which the familiar, the beautiful, the precious, the irreplaceable and well-loved elements of my life are being erased and eroded. Prince’s music was always part of the soundtrack.

“Until the end of time/I’ll be there 4 U/U own my heart and mind/I truly adore U/If God one day struck me blind/Your beauty I’d still see/Love’s 2 weak 2 define/Just what U mean 2 me…”-Prince/”Adore”

Image via feelnumb.com

 

Keep it chic in 2016!

If you’re stuck in a style rut, why not strut out in something different next year, whether that’s a new hairstyle or new color palette? Trying new things gets you out of your comfort zone, and that’s always a great thing! And if you prepare your style statements now, you’ll be ready for whatever the year may hold. (As we like to say, if you STAY ready, you don’t have to GET ready!)

  1. Add a touch of FAB to your look: Embrace the opposite, style-wise. For example, my look is generally prim and proper…but now I’m trying pieces with a little more edge to them, or maybe that are different from my “normal” look. For me that means embracing more color and pattern, which you get both of in this JCrew Factory tuxedo blouse from the Outlet Shops of Grand River. And plaid is very on trend for fall and winter. (I love this top with destroyed jeans, or even with leather shorts!)
  2. FUN pieces are not just for kids: Style is personal, and I think people should be free to try different things. You’re never too old to wear what you might’ve worn, you just have to make certain adjustments. I’ve wanted a “Carrie Bradshaw”-style tulle tutu forever, and I finally decided to be brave and just go for it. This one is from Rue 21, also available at the Outlet Shops. Pair it with a simple slim-fit black turtle neck – NOT a leotard – plus heels or ballet flats and it’s not so far out for date night or girls night (but maybe not the office)!
  3. Serve FIERCE face:  Find at least one new makeup technique you’d like to try. Whether that’s contouring, strobing or highlighting – or even enhancing your brows, keep your look current. Products like Estee Lauder’s New Dimension Shape+Fill Serum – which lifts the look of the cheekbones and jawlines and adds radiance – make that easy. (Special thanks to makeup artist extraordinaire Kim Colvin for my camera-ready look! Ready for your close-up? Book your look by clicking HERE.)

Follow Same Chic Different Day on Instagram @samechicdifferentday, and on Twitter @SameChicSouth. Find us on Facebook by clicking HERE.

In which I find my #BestAngle

 

If you have already read this announcement on Facebook or Instagram, I apologize! But I’m so excited to share that I’m in the January issue of Glamour magazine, which is on stands now!

I am so used to writing away behind the camera that it was a shock to be the focus of a camera’s lens. The photographer had to remind me to breathe! It was also a great reminder to always be open to new adventures and to expect wonderful things to happen when you work hard. From the moment I was notified that I’d been chosen, to being picked up by a chauffeur, to the royal treatment I received in NYC – it was the trip of a lifetime, and I’m so grateful to Glamour and Estee Lauder for the opportunity.

Enjoy some of the behind-the-scenes shots from the photo shoot, and stay tuned for more from my first ever trip to the Big Apple! (I took so many photos that it’s taking me a while to weed through them!)

Xo, Alexis

Tune in to Talk of Alabama this Thursday!

Toss some sequins and tune in to ABC 33/40 this THURSDAY  (September 24th): I’ll be sharing some news you can use during the 9:00 A.M. hour! Not in the local viewing area? Try live-streaming it by clicking HERE, or catch the video when it’s posted later by clicking HERE.

Xo,

Alexis

I quit my job to go to graduate school. Here’s how I did it. 

This time last year, I was putting on my crimson Keds and backpack for the first day of graduate school. I promised I’d tell you how I did it.  And I was scared to death.  From hitting the books…to the long commute…to covering the First Lady’s trip to Tuskegee…to SCDD’s shenanigans…to writing like my life depended on it, it was an experience I will cherish the rest of my life. THANK YOU for being part of the journey.

Without further ado, click HERE to read about my journey back to ‘Bama.

Xo,

Alexis

Special thanks to Kirsten Fiscus for the Denny Chimes photo.

The Graduate

When I prayed for the strength, courage and faith to get through this year, I had no idea how much more than that I would receive. I only knew I had to change my life, and I have been forever changed just by taking a risk. Now that this phase of the journey is complete, I’m gathering myself to continue to pursue a career in journalism with every tool in my arsenal and every skill I’ve developed at the University of Alabama, its graduate Community Journalism program and The Anniston Star. Thank you for coming along with me, and continue to stay tuned for what’s next. It promises to be a fabulous adventure.

As Nick Saban would say, “This is not the end. It is only the beginning.”

After I recover from the weekend, I’ll have a more detailed post on the past year. I promise. Got a question about what it REALLY takes to pursue your dream? Wondering about what graduate school is like? Nervous about making a big change to improve yourself and need support? Drop me a line and let’s figure it out. Someone helped me, and I’ll be glad to pay it forward.

Roll Tide,

Alexis

Mood 

I’ve spent the last year detoxing my career, my health, my emotions and even my hair…and I’m so, so close to being who and what I want to be. It’s more than a makeover, although I used to believe a new outfit, banging shoes or a fresh makeup palette could fix what was wrong. I’ve learned I had to clear out negativity, false friends, a limited mindset and stunted growth. I’ve shed so much figurative dead weight that I feel light enough fly.

While you may not see much of a difference in Alexis, I know I’m different.

I also know I’m not going back, and I’m not stopping.

To be continued…

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