Alexis Jones discovered her passion for inspiring girls and women after starring in The Vagina Monologues. Following that role she hosted a TV show on the Red Carpet, worked at both Fox Sports and ESPN and was a contestant on Survivor. Her background in entertainment gave her a perfect platform with which to launch I AM THAT GIRL, 501c3, and now to write a book that opens up the conversation about all positive self-image.
Everyone has their own issues with self doubt. How do you deal with that?
When I have those little moments of self doubt, the best part is that is I work with so many girls and women that I know I’m not alone. The two most comforting words in the English language are “me too.” We’re all in it together. But sometimes I just need to eat bon bons.
You were on a pretty successful track in the entertainment industry…what made you turn your full attention to your book?
My grandmother instilled such a sense of social responsibility in me. The entertainment industry can be brutal for so many people…but I felt like I was this golden child. I was so blessed by so many opportunities. All of a sudden I asked myself if I was creating meaningful things alongside my journey. Am I more concerned with consumption, or am I more focused on contribution? It was just this idea of being humbled and being conscious of the opportunities that were coming my way.
What do you think gives most women a negative impression of their self-worth?
I identify these as lies, and these are some of the big lies that girls fall into. “My self worth is equal to my physical beauty.” Not true. “My self worth is equal to the attention that I receive or that I don’t receive from my significant other.” There are so many lies out there. The fundamental lie that I come across that generally covers all the nuanced ones is that “I am not enough.”
The name of the organization is I Am That GIRL, but would you say the message applies to men and members of the LGBT community?
I wouldn’t say that this is a girl’s movement, or even a women’s movement, but this is a human movement. It’s us moving closer to us having the bravery to be vulnerable, and that is universal. How dare we have the audacity to raise the bar for women and not think that we have to raise the bar for men? At the end of the day it requires both sexes understanding and giving one another permission to speak their truth.
How do you think that the female empowerment message affects the LGBT community?
At the end of the day, the message of IATG is self love. I think that affects any person, whatever their struggle is. I think that every ecosystem has so many unique struggles. IATG is about embracing who you are, period. I think that one of the things that people in the LGBT community, and so many people in general, often struggle with is accepting themselves for exactly who they are.
It’s always been important to me that people were inspired to speak their truth. I think there are a lot of people within the LGBT community who, for unfortunate reasons, weren’t given permission to speak their truth. That’s unacceptable to me. I wish that everyone was raised in an unconditionally loving environment and taught to have a self worth that doesn’t dance on the approval of others, much less religion or family members. I think this message is relevant to everyone.