At only 17 years old, Alli Simpson is the youngest nationally syndicated radio host ever to reach over 20 million listeners a week — and while that major accomplishment has much to do with Alli's impossible-to-resist personality and a whole lotta hard work, the rising star also credits her success to another familiar face in the entertainment industry: her big brother, Cody Simpson.
Alli is definitely following in the footsteps of her well-rounded sibling (her "biggest inspiration"), who himself is a singer, songwriter, musician, dancer, model and actor. So it's no wonder Alli leans heavily on her bro for advice.
And fortunately, advice is kind of his forte, as Alli tells it.
"He's always sort of given me the best advice I've been given in what I'm doing," she shared with SheKnows. "The main thing that Cody always tells me is to just be myself and only do it if I love to do it."
That's not the only pearl he's passed onto her, though. "Hard work is another one. He texts me every day to make sure I'm constantly working to better myself, and he'll always text me before a shoot or before a studio session and just remind me that if I'm staying truthful to me and what I love to do, then it's all going to be great."
Judging by the looks of Alli's burgeoning career, she's taking every word Cody tells her to heart.
Following a successful first year hosting "The Alli Simpson Show" on Radio Disney, Alli has been picked up for a second season — and, thanks to the impressive popularity of her show, has received a time extension to become a three-hour block.
Already on the hit show, she has showed off her trademark charm during interviews with some of the entertainment world's biggest stars, including Justin Bieber, Gwen Stefani, Nick Jonas, Selena Gomez and Gigi Hadid.
The latter of whom recently gave Alli a glowing endorsement:
Alli is able to connect with everyone she meets thanks to her genuine warmth and charisma: That is very clear not only while being interviewed by her, but also when listening to her on-air. She’s an incredible and relatable voice for the young generation to be listening to and she will no doubt grow with her audience. I wouldn’t be surprised if Alli becomes a household-name radio/TV host.
Now, Alli is poised to take on a new and important role as Radio Disney's "Youth Engagement Officer."
In this capacity, Alli will serve as the station's liaison regarding the challenges, issues, topics and trends affecting today's youth — in the process ensuring their voices are heard and serving as a sounding board for her peers.
For Alli, it's a natural fit.
"I've always been passionate about helping girls my age, because I know growing up as a teenage girl we all sort of struggle with the same things, whether it's with friends or body image or boys or family," she said.
Even though Alli certainly has a lot going for her, she admits she's no stranger to the struggles that plague most young women her age — it's tough stuff being a teenage girl (we've all been there, right?).
"It is hard, and one of my biggest things is definitely body image... being insecure with my body and having to try to keep fit and eat healthy and exercise," she said. "I know with teenage girls we all sort of compare ourselves to other girls that we see online or supermodels or things like that, and my biggest thing is struggling with that."
Like so many girls her age, Alli endured frequent bullying when she was in school. Not just from the "mean girls," she confesses, but even among her circle of friends, revealing, "I don't take it personally now, but I used to take it more personally."
So what shifted?
"I think over time I've just realized that the majority of the time girls bully each other is out of jealousy," she explained, "and that's just something you have to remind yourself of, and know that if you're doing the right thing and you know what they're saying isn't true, you have to find your peace with that."
She also underscores the importance of talking with friends and family — maintaining an open, honest line of dialogue about what's going on in your life. Or, as she puts simply, "Just keep the good people around you."
What Alli wants other young girls to realize is that, yes, she still deals with the same stuff. But she does have a strategy for dealing with the scrutiny, whether from within or from others.
"To this day, I'm still fighting with it. I still have to look after myself and I'll always have ups and downs with it. But I find that if you're open and talk about it with your family and friends, then it's something that you can move past and love you for who you are. All you can be is the best you that you can be."
Move over, Cody! Your little sis gives some pretty solid advice, too.
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