Updated: Nov 15
By Larisa May and Khayla Shipman
She graced the cover of major publications like Sports Illustrated, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, and Bazaar. Such powerful gigs rose to her prominent “supermodel” status in the ’80s. Kim Alexis, a trendsetter and inspiration to women everywhere is of course, so much more than a pretty face. We had the opportunity to sit and chat with her about her career in front of the camera and what she’s up to now.
How do you define beauty?
“That’s my motto, to inspire healthy living around the world and to teach women that true beauty and health come from within. So it’s that inner work on yourself, to better yourself, whether that’s your attitude, your mindset, your goals, and ambitions, or how you present that is part of how you stay beautiful. A woman who’s confident and who walks into a room well-loved, taken care of, and exuding confidence is my true definition of beauty.”
What’s your wake-up ritual/morning routine?
“I don’t do an awful lot, but I wash my face with a little microfiber towel with all my clean beauty soaps and serums, but it doesn’t take more than maybe 30 seconds. I wash my face and sometimes put on vitamin C, or moisturizer, or sunscreen. I’m trying to stay as clean as possible.”
What originally made you take interest in clean beauty?
“I thought I wanted to be a pharmacist before I was discovered, and so I’ve always had that drive of cause and effect and what things do to or for your body, and 45 years ago it was pretty much just pharmacy. We didn’t have such things as clean beauty, so as I got into the modeling business and put aside my other pursuit of going into pharmacy, all of a sudden you’re around a lot of people who are trying to preserve your face, your beauty, and your youth. I just started learning that, staying pure in the way God made things, was a lot better than some of the toxins out there. I just chose to go natural, and I love clean beauty.”
Must have clothing item?
“Comfortable shoes! I have to have a wonderful, basic pair of black pants. I have a ton of flat shoes, because I’m 5 ’10, so I like comfortable shoes. And I think I have a couple of blazers and favorite blouses you love. You have to have clothes that you enjoy. There are things that I’ve cleared out of my closet and given away to Dress For Success so other people could enjoy them. It’s important for me to just keep things in my closet that I can just grab and wear.”
How does your faith impact your outlook on the beauty and modeling industries?
“I grew up as a Christian and was an elder of my church at 17, and went off into the modeling business, and quickly learned that a lot of people didn’t think the same way I did and didn’t grow up the way I did. I had to learn to rely on God and my own gut instinct, and really just learn that I was important enough to say ‘no’ in certain situations and that I had to trust Him that He had His timing and His way of doing things.”
Which of the industries you’ve worked in has been your favorite? (broadcast, modeling, etc.)
“It’s not more about beauty for me, and fashion, I was a tomboy growing up, so for me I do love speaking, so I loved broadcasting. I hosted kids’ shows and travel shows. I enjoy taking people on adventures, it was anything to do where I could use my voice.”
What’s the biggest takeaway from your career in modeling and beauty?
“My career is ever-evolving. I was pretty much done with modeling at 25, so how do you reinvent yourself? That’s when I got into broadcasting, and after broadcasting, I got into the speaking circuit, then I raised kids, and now I’m reinventing myself. I think I’m proudest of being able to keep moving forward and just advance to help and inspire others. I’m not here to make people feel bad about themselves if they don’t look the way I look, or have the career that I had, but I’m here to share what I learned and how it might help.”
What was it like being the GMA fashion editor?
“I started in a local market in Jacksonville, FL., and I had two health clubs I owned, and was looking for a way to promote them without spending a lot of money. So I became a fitness correspondent on the local TV station. I did that for about nine months and learned a bit about how broadcast was done. Then I was back in New York and looking to sign with an agency to further my career, and it ended up being with William Morris. So they sent me to a meeting with this woman from Good Morning America. We talked for about an hour and she said, ‘So, do you want the job?’, and I said ‘sure!’ I had always been raised by my parents that I could do anything I put my mind to, so I wasn’t afraid to try new things. So I dove in the next morning, and I was just amazed at how that light could come on and it would be live TV. It was a tough thing because I didn’t want to make a mistake, but the more I didn’t want to, the stiffer I was. And so I had to learn to relax and just let things flow.”
What was your favorite magazine you’ve been featured in?
“I don’t really have a favorite, but I do know there were milestones, and one of them was my first Vogue cover which took me over a year of working to get that. When I got my first one of those I felt like I finally made it, but each cover was different.”
What are your thoughts on the body-positive movement being seen in fashion right now?
Do you have any tips for young professionals looking to enter the modeling industry?
“I have tons of advice, and so much spilling out of me that that will be what I’m looking into doing. I’m in the initial stages of developing a model consulting site so that I can speak to young girls and let them know. I think what a lot of them don’t realize is what their boundaries and parameters are, and that they can say no. These young girls feel they have to say yes to people who don’t have their best interests at heart and can be put into these bad situations because they were trained to obey older adults. One of the biggest takeaways is to never be desperate, in any business. Always have something else that you can do, so you can walk away from the business that’s not treating you right.”
What are you most excited about at this time in your life?
“I believe it’s being able to give back to others and being able to use my voice to inspire other women.”