Alicia Fox: What being a WWE Diva is like when the cameras are off
Alicia Fox is very aware of the stereotypes that go along with being a WWE Diva. But she's not only speaking out against the negative perceptions, she's also putting her money where her mouth is.
"It's funny because some people kind of think we're just Barbie dolls dressed up in swimsuits, which is totally far from the point," Fox explained during our interview. "Like a lot of my colleagues... my Diva sisters are all very intelligent women. They're strong athletes and really understand we're role models, and we want to push through and also accomplish goals we've set along our journey as well. We're all growing and we're all learning together."
Fox herself is pursuing a degree in fashion law, a subject she is extremely passionate about.
"Education is really big for my parents so they were like, 'Don't forget your school. Don't forget to study,'" Fox said of her family's reaction when she first started training to become a Diva in 2006. "But they were all super-pumped, super-supportive. And it was the best decision I've made so far."
And that decision hasn't limited her from pursuing other aspects of her life. "The only limits out there are the ones I put on myself," Fox explained.
"As long as I've been in WWE I learn and appreciate and respect many more parts of it. It's just such a growing career and, myself, just growing with the things I've learned as a performer." As for her five-year plan, Fox hopes to continue with the WWE while also finishing her degree.
"I love books and reading and learning," Fox added. "And a lot of girls in the locker room are so smart and there's a lot of people who work with us who have masters degrees and doctorates."
"There's so many great minds and thinkers that have helped motivate me as a performer and as a woman," Fox said of her time as a Diva.
She wants to share that with other girls, and she says her E! reality show Total Divas helps her do just that. "The show empowers me because in there I can use my voice to help girls that maybe grew up in, like, a single-parent home, or girls that have a lot of drive and ambition [and] they just don't really know how to get started. I would really love to shed some light on how to get there.
"The biggest advice I would give [young girls] is, literally, 'Go with your gut.' Point blank."
Fox also understands the pressures that come with being a female, and isn't shy about admitting that she has her own set of insecurities just like everyone else.
"One thing I'm most insecure about is definitely looking at my facial features," Fox said.
She continued, "Back in high school, I was blind in one of my eyes, so it was swollen shut for at least a year and some change. So regaining strength in some of those muscles has been a challenge for me. In pictures, I'm, like, constantly trying to make sure my eyes are open, so in some of my pictures I'm like, 'Oh, man, that looks a little lopsided or crooked.' And that's just, like, a little insecurity." But Fox recognizes she's her harshest critic.
And despite her insecurities, the WWE has helped her to find her confidence. "The biggest lesson I've learned is definitely finding my voice as a woman and having confidence in myself."
Part of that self-discovery has been her passion for working out and fitness. Fox said a colleague of hers really helped her to discover important lessons about fitness, which "isn't so much about image, it's about building the machine to be prepared for battle. And battle, not just in the ring, but as a woman, feeling strong and empowered."
Fox also recently filmed a video to honor Black History Month. Watch it below:
Total Divas airs Sundays at 9/8c on E!.