I have not blogged in 16 days because I have been truly tired and uninspired. Quite frankly, I have been busy climbing out of a deep hole of perfection that I dug and then dove right in to. It's been an exhausting, yet beautiful process.

I worked incredibly hard to attain the confidence that I have now. I earned every moment of my self-esteem. While it fluctuates from time to time, it has grown in a powerful manner and wins more than it loses. I am proud of me but must continually monitor myself because while I am a great gatekeeper, I am human and life inevitably makes it's way in.

This is normal. This is life. This shouldn't be denied or disguised but from the moment I started my blog, I felt an overwhelming sense of portraying this perfect existence that is completely unrealistic. Not so much in my words, but in my photos. I started scrutinizing every pixel of the pictures. My weave had to have the perfect wave, never revealing the transitioning curls underneath the cap. My makeup had to be on point, with any unsavory blemishes shopped out. Every piece of clothing was painstakingly pressed because that is how it is in real life right? I was chasing a faux goal and it was making me rot from the inside out.

Enter social media.

The Internet's shallow ways sucked me in. I became a sucka for the gram and started comparing my photoshopped images to other photoshopped images. I was fighting fake battles that created real stress. Bit by bit, that confidence that I fought so hard to attain was crumbling and I blindly blogged right through it.

I started praying about it and God really began to show me in little-big ways how silly I had been and presented opportunities to face the fear that I had created.

One, was taking my weave out. Now listen, I am all about changing your hair. Hair really is another way to express your style. If that means adding to it, or taking away from it, please commence. However my weave was not a form off expression, it was a safety blanket. Instead of a compliment, I used it as a form of completion and that had to stop. I was enormously uncomfortable and had literal anxiety attacks but it was something that had to be done. Taking my weave out and rocking my natural curls has stretched me in countless ways and continues to do. While you will see me change my styles up, I can say that I will not depend on one, nor hair in it's entirety, to define me.

I then stopped aggressively photoshopping my photos. I still play with light and clean up the background but for the most part they are raw. The last 5 style posts reflect this ongoing change.

Dating completely transformed. I realized this perfect blog life had spilled over in to my relationships. How can anyone bond with you, when the real you is concealed in unrealistic expectation? While there were many contributing factors, I pinpointed that even my longest relationship wasn't completely authentic. I was so busy trying to be perfect that it was impossible for him to fall in love with me. No more. 

And then there was Felicia.

Listen. My Felicia appearance this Halloween was a statement of complete growth. I had no makeup on, my hair was braided up in to 4 very shrunken braids and I was picking Friday wedgies out of my crack all day. That's as raw as you can get. To be honest, it all started because I didn't want to do my hair but it ended up being far more significant for me.

Felicia was my second Halloween costume. My first was a chic interpretation of Prince. I walked in to the Purple Rain party with my makeup, curls and curves poppin. She did that! You couldn't tell me a thing. I felt completely comfortable and powerful.

While I was crafting the jacket for the Prince costume with a friend, I was simultaneously air drying my braid out for the curly doo that would polish off the look. We snapped the scene for another friend and when she brought the phone over to include me in her story, she said BYE FELICIA! It was funny but I was lightweight mortified. How could you compare me to this disheveled character? My friend suggested that I actually rock the costume at work on Monday and my immediate thought was you must be out your mind.

But then, like all of the other little ways, God conveyed that this fear of being Felicia in public was also silly and that I had to conquer it. So, I swiftly went to Goodwill and found the costume in 10 minutes for under $7. I washed it, cut the collar, braided my hair up and BOOM...Felicia was in the house.

The reactions were hilarious. A broad spectrum of who the heck is she supposed to be to that is the best Halloween costume I have ever seen. Walking around the office naked was a great feat but that social media realm was a whole other story. With this one Felicia post I would exterminate the perfect existence that I had crafted for years.

So with anxiety in my chest, I did my best Felicia impression, captured the photos and posted them. For all intents and purposes, I was frolicking nude in a field of followers.

And guess what. It got WAY more response than the Prince costume. People recognize real and they respect it. That was the realist Alicia they ever known. Applause.

It all comes down to this: The Alicia on the left is the same Alicia on the right. You must rock with both to be truly authentic. Both portraits are beautiful together and beautiful apart. Neither of them are perfect and it's impossible for them to be. Every unique aspect is an imperfectly picked accumulation of the real you that should never be suppressed out of necessity. 

Those are commanding, true words that I am on a mission to live by. I won't be this strong every day, but with every fear I overcome I get closer to living in my purpose and being the person that God created me to be. The person that God built to be loved in her entirety. The woman that won't let perfectionism block her from her blessings.

You will certainly see pretty photos adorned with variations of hair and makeup on this blog but the most beautiful thing is, there will be absolutely nothing perfect about them.

Say hi to Felicia and all of her gorgeous imperfections. She's here for it. She's here for it all.

Saving Alicia Jay

Alloy tall style white dress Alicia Jay 2.jpg

On January 3rd I wrote:

In the past month I have had an urge to share more. I feel like God wants me to expand this blog to talking more about our tall lives than just style. What may seem like a small shift of a couple of paragraphs, is going to do great things inside my life and I pray in those that read them. A resolution that I have is to stretch and become more vulnerable and I refuse to let my fear overcome what I know God wants me to do.

Well, my fear got me yall. It’s January 26th and I have been avoiding this blog like the plague. I have no idea why because what I am about to share is one of the things I am most proud of in my life.

Yes, it may have cost me some so-called friends, it may have caused me immense frustration and it may have been the reason for many of my breakups but it is something that I have known from a young age was meant for one person and one person only.


My virginity.

I am a 6’6”, black and white, super single, 34 year old virgin.

No, I am not going to preach to you about how virginity is the only way to go. It’s a personal choice that I made for me and I am just here to tell my story. If you draw anything from it, great! If not, no problemo.

My story of virginity is definitely not the typical media version that you see. Its real, filled with emotion, hormones, close calls and pure love and devotion for someone I haven’t even met yet. This story is what virginity is really like in 2015. And guess what, I am going to write a book all about it.

Now, I have no idea when this book will be finished but I do know that I would like to share the journey with you. It’s something I need to get out on paper and share because look, I am not going to be single forever! God will send me my husband and I need to tell the story of being a virgin while I still am one.

Don’t worry, I will still be posting personal style shots, talking tall fashion and dishing about our tall, fabulous lives but my journey to publishing my first book on real virginity will be intertwined in the thread. Saving myself for marriage is one of the things that makes me stand tall every day and I can’t wait to share my story with each and every one of you.

Ok…let me post this before I lose my nerve. It’s hard to get personal but God told me to and you sure can’t say no to Him!

Too Real to Model

Do I look too tall in these photos?Since the moment I started to dream, I have aspired to be a model.  Even in my years of low self-worth, I had an undying aspiration to be on every cover and catwalk.  My Mom enrolled me in every class she could and even scraped up every dime we had to send me to a model competition.  While we all know that a lot of these 'model activities' are schemes to get money, the experiences I had were invaluable and in some ways helped sand my confidence into what it is today.

I had my first photo shoot at 6 years old and was signed by ABC Kids (a then small agency in Portland, Oregon). As I began growing, even though I was still a child, I literally outgrew most of the jobs at the agency so we went looking for another route.  At 15 an agency asked me if I would go overseas however my Mom was not comfortable with me going on my own and as a single Mom there was no way she could travel with me.  Thus, that opportunity was out.  At this point, I was growing like a weed and had reached 6'3".  No matter where we went, they began to tell me that I was too tall.

Too tall to model?

Yep.  Everyone said that they liked my look and presence but that I was too tall to wear anything off the rack and thus were of no use to them.

My dream has never changed but my focus did as I started playing basketball and worked hard to gain a scholarship to The University of the Pacific.  After playing for five seasons (I redshirted), I decided to walk away from the sport and pursue my life long dream of becoming a model.

Yes.  They told me I was too tall at 6'3" and I was now 6'6" but tell me I can't and I will show you I can.

I flew to New York and hit the pavement.  For a month and a half I went to every single agency in that city and EVERY SINGLE one of them said they loved me but didn't love my height.  Rejection. Rejection. Rejection.

Meanwhile, My Mom heard about an agency in Portland called Sports Unlimited.  It's specialty was providing models with sports experience for athletic and lifestyle retailers.  It was and is a great agency but the fact remained that I was only retained because of my basketball background and not just my abilities as a model.

I moved to California and began my career in the NBA but I never let my dream die.  I go after every opportunity and through my blog I have been blessed to model for retailers like Height Goddess and Candid Art.  I will continue to attack my dream until I succeed.  That you can be sure of.

Recently while traveling I picked up the fall fashion issue of Harper's Bazaar.  There was an absolutely beautiful spread with amazing women entitled Carine Roitfeld's Singular Beauties: An Homage to the Diversity of Women.  6'8" model Erika Ervin (also known as Amazon Eve) was featured and might I say looked absolutely stunning.    

6'8" model Erika Ervin (also known as Amazon Eve) appeared in Harper's Bazaar Magazine in Carine Roitfeld's Singular Beauties: An Homage to the Diversity of Women. Photographed by Karl Lagerfeld.While I am extremely happy that Erika was featured, I couldn't help but to be mad at the fact that it takes an homage in order for a woman above 6'3", as well as the various different types of women featured in the spread, to get every woman represented in a fashion magazine. 

It has to stop.

Every single, solitary woman should be able to thumb through a fashion magazine and see a version of herself in the pages.  A feature every now and then doesn't cut it.  The fact that the industry has standards of what is too short, too fat, too tall and too real is something that needs to be changed immediately. 

I dare every magazine to use real models on a regular basis.  Throwing real in every now and then is nice but making a continual movement to show the world that every shape, color and age is beautiful would be epic.

But you can just continue to make every woman in society think she should be one certain way.  It's easier and takes far less courage.