Model Behavior with Alexa Jay | Crooked Media
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February 09, 2023
Dare We Say
Model Behavior with Alexa Jay

In This Episode

TW: eating disorders
Savage x Fenty, you better listen to this one! After a Grammys debrief (was Beyonce snubbed, or did Harry deserve it?), Josie, Alycia, and Yasmine welcome model and icon Alexa Jay to the studio. They talk everything from the painstaking, crucial journey to self love to what it’s like being curvy in the fashion industry.

Show Notes

2023 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Complete Winners & Nominees List
Doja Cat Says She’s 70 Days Vape-Free: ‘Are You Proud of Me?’
Alexa Jay on TikTok and Instagram
Alexa and Ella’s viral TikTok






Yasmine Hamady: What happened last night? I feel like we have a lot to talk about, and that is the Grammys. 


Josie Totah: Oh, I was like– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: You’re like what did happen? 


Josie Totah: I’m like what did happen [?]–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: We’re talking about the televised Grammys. 


Josie Totah: Let’s start with the positive. I think we can all agree it’s so iconic that Kim Petras won. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yes. 


Josie Totah: The first trans woman to win best pop duo performance with Sam Smith. And how kind of Sam Smith to let her accept– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: That award on her own and like, give her– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: The light. 


Josie Totah: The limelight. 


Yasmine Hamady: 100%. And I think that was like her speech was just something that, like, I remember calling Alycia and you and I was like in tears about it because it was just so beautiful. And how she paid tribute to Sophie, who is this trans icon legend. She paved the way for electronic music specifically and like so many genres, and we, she sadly passed away a couple of years ago and it was just so gorgeous. And that performance of Unholy. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah, they ate. I like I was so moved by so many moments, like specifically Kim. Like I was emotional, you know, when you–


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –called me. Um. Lizzo, Viola becoming an EGOT winner.


Josie Totah: Yeah! 


Yasmine Hamady: Yes! 


Josie Totah: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: Thank you Viola. [clapping]


Alycia Pascual-Peña: So many moments. And also, like, the way I don’t think I could even properly articulate the way that I lost all of my utter shit when they did the hip hop tribute. [gasp] Because, like, unless you’re a hip hop fan, you don’t understand how many people they brought out on the stage like– 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh my god. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Queen Latifah for U-N-I-T-Y. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yup. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Like, she’s the reason that, like, women are the like the way they are in hip hop today. She’s one of the many. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Salt-n-Pepa came out, Wu-Tang Clan came out. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yup. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Ruff Ryders came out. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yup. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Like literally–


Yasmine Hamady: Busta rhymes– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Like– 


Yasmine Hamady: –[?] he came out and he’s like [imitating very fast speaking].


Alycia Pascual-Peña: No it was such a stunning tribute. I also think it was really special that they um decided to also bring out, like newcomers like Lil Uzi. 


Yasmine Hamady: The um they are so cute. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: Lil Uzi is so cute. And like when they were walking up there like this, [indistinct] And then Glorilla? 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oh, my gosh, Glorilla. 


Josie Totah: Ah yes.


Yasmine Hamady: She’s going to be an up and coming like– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oh no she ate. 


Josie Totah: Ah yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Like– 


Josie Totah: –she’s incredible. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Also, ugh the Migos moment, the tribute. 


Yasmine Hamady: That was beautiful. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Um. For the passing was really beautiful. And also um they brought out a gospel group which is one of my favorites called Maverick City. I just loved so many moments. I loved the fans that they had on stage. Um. 


Yasmine Hamady: That was cute. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. Like there– 


Yasmine Hamady: That was really cute. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Most of the Grammys for me was such a win. It was so beautiful. But–


Yasmine Hamady: I knew there was there was a butt coming. Talk your shit.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: We know there was a snub. And if you don’t agree, I think you need to seek medical help. You know, there was a snub.


Yasmine Hamady: So– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Album of the year? 


Yasmine Hamady: So here–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: How are you nominated four or five times, never got it once? 


Yasmine Hamady: I agree with that. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Once! 


Yasmine Hamady: I agree with you. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Once. 


Yasmine Hamady: No, no, no. Alycia I agree with you. I think Beyonce should have won every other album time. But hear, hear me out. Harry’s House was no skips. I’m so sorry. I I actually think it was the best album of the year. And I think Beyonce is the greatest artist of our generation. Uh like there’s–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah, she broke the record last night for the most– 


Yasmine Hamady: A hundred– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –Grammy nominated artist– 


Yasmine Hamady: Correct. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –of all time. 


Yasmine Hamady: And she won– 


Josie Totah: 32. 


Yasmine Hamady: –best, yup and she won best electronic album. But I do think Harry won. And it was I think it was well deserved. 


Josie Totah: Well everyone thought it was either going to be between Bad Bunny or Beyonce. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Absolutely. 


Josie Totah: So I think everyone’s jaws were dropped. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: When they saw that. Not mine, though, because I’ve never had respect for them. [laugh] I feel like they always have done some weird shit with the Grammys. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: I feel like they I feel like they’ve never really played by the rules. It’s kind of like a popularity contest, to be honest. And I don’t know, I just I think I was talking to some I don’t even know who I was saying this to but I was saying something to someone once on a day, and and I said so uh huh um. Um [laughter] no. And I said I said, the Grammys are so weird because it’s like. You are surrounded by people on the carpet who are wearing like crop tops and bras and it’s fine. Do you know what I mean? So, like, anything kind of goes. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: There’s definitely like a lot more like freedom there. You could tell in the room The Dream went on stage and said, you y’alll know niggas be late and be on CPT time. Beyoncé thanks y’all. Like it got bleeped out because her breaking the record was received by The Dream. Which um do you guys know who The Dream is like he’s an artist, but is also like a phenomenal producer. 


Josie Totah: Wait. What do you mean he was received by him? 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oh, he received Beyonce’s award because she wasn’t there to receive her first award of the night. 


Josie Totah: Where was she? 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Late. That’s why he went on stage and said, y’all know niggas be on CPT time. 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh, and that’s why Trevor Noah was like, we’re so grateful Beyoncé came. And Trevor Noah also ate that whole hosting gig. And also why did James Corden present–


Josie Totah: I– 


Yasmine Hamady: –best electronic. 


Josie Totah: He’s so gross. I– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: The first lady was there. 


Josie Totah: Jill. 


Yasmine Hamady: Ariana, what are you doing here? Why like I love her. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I do love that they added a new category, shout out Grammys for doing that. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah, that was huge. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Like social impact song like so much love to like the Iranian community. That was really special. 


Yasmine Hamady: A hundred percent. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Also the way I did not expect to get emotional because Bad Bunny sang a specific song that in the lyrics he goes um [speaks a phrase in Spanish], which means like everybody wants to be Latin now, but they like, don’t have the seasoning. They don’t have like what it takes. 


Yasmine Hamady: Oooh. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Like, it was just such a Latin pride thing. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: It was so beautiful. And I don’t think most people know this, but the like really large fat heads. Like during his performance that came out, they were all like Latino figures, they were all Puerto Rican figures that he was– 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh my gosh. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –paying homage to. 


Josie Totah: I love that. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Um. And in his speech, he specifically was like, we hopefully like us as Latinos, we could just keep going up, you know? 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh that’s beautiful. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: And yeah and–


Yasmine Hamady: And I love in his speech he was like, as long as you have love and passion, literally anything is yours. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: No matter what you do in life, as long as you do it with love and passion. And I feel like that’s something that we can all take with us. Uh. Love and passion. Great two things that you take with you when you’re going to bed, when you’re shitting and when you’re making love to yourself. [clearing throat] All right. So today we have a very special guest, someone that I have really wanted on the pod. And the girls and I are really excited to have her. She’s a phenomenal model. She is an icon. She’s like the definition of manifestation. She is someone on TikTok that you have most probably seen. She has modeled for like Calvin Klein, Savage X Fenty for any other like poppy brand, anything that you’ve seen, she’s probably been in. Um.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Calvin Klein, Free people– 


Yasmine Hamady: Free People. Everything that you can think of. And her name is Alexa Jay. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Woo! 


Yasmine Hamady: Yay! 


Josie Totah: Hi! 


Yasmine Hamady: Welcome to the pod. 


Alexa Jay: Thank you. This is as close as I’m getting to a Grammy. Like that intro is everything I’ve ever wanted– 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh stop! 


Alexa Jay: –and more. Thank you so much. 


Yasmine Hamady: No we mean it. Hello. How are you? 


Alexa Jay: Good. I’ve wanted to be here forever. I feel like this was something I was manifesting as well. [banter] 


Yasmine Hamady: And the reason why I brought up the manifesting is because I remember in the beginning of your whole career, like you worked a nine to six, right? 


Alexa Jay: Oh yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: And you were doing content [?]– 


Josie Totah: It’s not even nine to five, it’s nine to six. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Nine to six. 


Yasmine Hamady: It’s nine to six now. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah [?]


Alycia Pascual-Peña: She’s putting in that work.


Yasmine Hamady: No, she is right? 


Alexa Jay: I was doing a five a.m. to three. It was not cute. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oh, wow. 


Alexa Jay: It was my own– 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh my god.


Alexa Jay: –personal hell. 


Josie Totah: Where was that? 


Alexa Jay: I was a wine and spirits rep for Gallo Winery. 


Josie Totah: Oh, my God. 


Alexa Jay: So I was in the trenches. 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh my god.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Okay. Period. 


Alexa Jay: But it gave me grit. I can handle anybody and anything. 


Yasmine Hamady: A chip on your shoulder. 


Alexa Jay: Oh absolutely. 


Josie Totah: I love that. 


Alexa Jay: And I did learn a lot in business sense so, um but yeah, during that time it was COVID, so but we were still working. We were very much still working. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oh! 


Yasmine Hamady: Everyone wanted to drink they’re like, honestly. 


Alexa Jay: Oh yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: The world’s shutting down. 


Alexa Jay: They’re like, we’ve never been like busier actually. 


Yasmine Hamady: Please. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Really wow!


Alexa Jay: Like stock– Oh, yeah, Alcohol sales did like the best they’ve seen ever during COVID. It was insane because– 


Yasmine Hamady: That’s interesting. 


Alexa Jay: –everybody was just at home– 


Josie Totah: Becoming alcohols. 


Alexa Jay: –doing whatever. Literally exactly. 


Yasmine Hamady: Becoming alcohols. 


Alexa Jay: Mm hmm yeah. 


Josie Totah: Wait, so where are you from? 


Alexa Jay: I’m from Palos Verdes, California, which is like the suburbs of Los Angeles. 


Josie Totah: Right. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: A really small farm town. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. It’s more of a beach town I would say. [indistinct]


Josie Totah: No, I’m joking. It’s like the most– 


Alexa Jay: But– 


Josie Totah: –bougiest place in the world. I’m obsessed with PV. Are you kidding?


Alexa Jay: Oh okay I was like she doesn’t know [indistinct] [laughter]


Josie Totah: No, no, no, no. It’s gorge. 


Yasmine Hamady: So I remember watching you on TikTok, and you were saying how you were in this all white sorority being one of the only Black women or even people of color in general at this sorority, let alone the school. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: How was that for you? 


Alexa Jay: For me, it wasn’t that much of a change from high school. 


Yasmine Hamady: Okay. 


Alexa Jay: Like my high school was the same exact. I think I can count the amount of Black people at my high school on my hand. 


Yasmine Hamady: Wow. 


Alexa Jay: Like I was I I. This is, like, bad to say, but I think if my high school was like everyone that went there and then there was like the group that was like social and outside and like everyone knew and was hanging out with. So of that group that was social, which was like a majority of the people. I was the only Black girl for sure, 100% in my friend group and everything. And it was definitely like, I feel like in the past, like four years of my life, I’ve really like started working through what that did to me– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah! 


Alexa Jay: –mentally. Um. And then so going to college for me, I remember when I was applying to schools, I would just Google like racism stories at blank university. 


Yasmine Hamady: Wow. 


Alexa Jay: Like I would spiral. I would go down–


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: –YouTube videos, articles, uh stories of girls that were in sororities like, and that’s how I made my decision of my college. Like, I was just like whoever had the least amount of racist scandals, like that’s where I was going to go. 


Josie Totah: Right. 


Alexa Jay: And then, you know, for me, what was hard is like growing up everybody would always tell me who I was. Like, I would I didn’t say who I was for myself. So people would tell me, you’re not Black enough, but you’re not white, but you’re not skinny, but you’re not fat, but you’re not this  but you’re not that. You know, I was just never me. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: So going to college, I had no sense of self. So I was like, I’m just going to do what I’ve always done, which is blend in with the white girls. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yup. 


Alexa Jay: And so for me, it was like I would rather be judged by a white woman than a Black woman. Like, I will it’ll coat, it’ll hurt my heart if there’s a Black girl telling me I’m not Black enough. But if a white girl’s talking about I don’t give a fuck like– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: I don’t care. So I just stuck to what was easy and I don’t even think my college had the divine nine. If they did, they probably, like, met in the classroom like once a week at my school. Like– 


Yasmine Hamady: Wow. 


Alexa Jay: That was not advertised. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: Like the uh minority sororities and fraternities. They did not– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Like aka’s and stuff? 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: My college was the same way. We didn’t have it at all. 


Alexa Jay: Where were you at?


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I was at this super small private school in upstate New York called Marist College. 


Alexa Jay: Okay gotcha. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: So yeah, I feel that. So you got there and then you were introduced to, like, these white sororities. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. So my best friend from high school went with me. She’s Japanese, like, still one of my best friends to this day. So we were like, okay, we’re just going to if you’re going to do it, I’m going to do it. Let’s go through sorority recruitment. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yup. 


Alexa Jay: Let’s see what happens. And I had a fabulous time. Like, I can talk, I can make people I feel like my superpower is like making other people feel good. So for me, sorority recruitment was easy because I would just go there and I would talk and do whatever. Um. And I like got all the houses back that I wanted. I picked the house that I wanted, and to this day, that’s the house that I was meant to be in. And I all the girls I live with today, they were all in my sorority, like– 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh beautiful. 


Alexa Jay: –they’re my best friends–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Wow 


Yasmine Hamady: –amazing. 


Alexa Jay: –for life. For ever like yeah. 


Josie Totah: Oh my gosh, so it’s a success story. 


Alexa Jay: It is a success story, but like, shit was happening while we were there. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah 


Josie Totah: Of course you still had– 


Alexa Jay: Ugh, I remember. So we were like, okay, this is so corny. Like, the only way we’re going to make our sorority not corny is if we’re in charge. So we all ran for office. So I was vice president. 


Yasmine Hamady: Okay. 


Alexa Jay: A friend was president, my friend was standards whatever. My friend that was standard social media and one other all got kicked out before the semester ended. [laugh] [banter] Because we were the bad girls, too. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah yeah yeah. As you should be.


Alexa Jay: You know, like we were the party girls. Exactly. So I was vice president. I remember. We were like, We got one date dash. I don’t know what you guys call them, like date parties where you [sounds of affirmation from hosts] bring a date or whatever. Um. That was on a Sunday. It was like a really fun, like, Sunday day party one, not at nighttime. And we were like, Oh, we’re going to I think it was me and my friend planned it we’re like, we’re going to do it Gucci Mane themed. So Icy Sunday like– 


Josie Totah: Oh my gosh. 


Alexa Jay: –the sickest thing ever. My friend was a graphic designer. She made the coolest shirt ever with like Gucci Mane and his like ice cream tattoo and like all this stuff. It was so cool.


Yasmine Hamady: You already know, it was 2018? 


Alexa Jay: This was yeah. I think it was. 


Yasmine Hamady: 2018. Yup Yup Yup Yup yup yup.


Alexa Jay: Oh yeah. Oh, it was over. 


Josie Totah: That’s something we would have tried too. 


Alexa Jay: Every frat knew. Everyone was so excited. Everybody wanted the shirt, so everybody wanted to come on this date dash. We got the call the next day. Gucci Mane is just not a representation of kappa delta and we just are not–


Josie Totah: No! 


Alexa Jay: –going to be using that and doing that. I was like, okay, what if I put Beyonce on the shirt? Is it a Black person or is it– 


Josie Totah: Right. 


Alexa Jay: –Gucci Mane or like, what is it? 


Yasmine Hamady: What is it exactly?


Alexa Jay: And they were like we’re just going to stay stay away from pop culture for our da da da. I’m like, I don’t even [?]– 


Josie Totah: And then they picked like Carly Rae Jepsen or some shit. [banter]. 


Yasmine Hamady: [indistinct] Shania Twain they were like.


Alexa Jay: I don’t even think we did it. I think we were like, We don’t even care anymore. [music break]




Josie Totah: It’s interesting that you are like obviously a model like in this industry of like beauty and stuff, but you’re growing up in an all white space and then you go to a college of an all white space. How does that affect your perception of yourself and your own personal beauty? 


Alexa Jay: I would say, you know, I did not know I was beautiful until probably my senior year of college. Like– 


Josie Totah: Wow. 


Alexa Jay: I had literally no idea. Um. I remember my dad sat me down before I went to college and he was like, [laughing] Wait it’s just funny thinking about it now because it was like lowkey a diss, but it was nice also. But he was like, you know, I know like boys don’t really fuck with you right now, but like when you go to college, he’s like, [fists pounding on table] everything’s going to change. He’s like– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Leave it to me. 


Alexa Jay: –you’ve just been around white boys your whole life. He was like, when you go, he’s like, you’re finally going to like blossom. It’s going to be amazing. I was like, you don’t know what I do but– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah yeah yeah. [banter]


Alexa Jay: You’re right, you’re no but he was literally right. I wasn’t doing anything. I was doing nothing. So, like, I was like a sweet, innocent angel when I went to college. I did not get in trouble in high school. I barely drank. I never smoked weed. I, like, made out with, like, two guys, Like, I wasn’t doing anything because I was so anxious and so not sure of myself. And anything that like I just wasn’t a risque person in any way of my life. I wasn’t taking any risk at all. So when I went to college, I was like, this is my time. Like, I get to be crazy. I get to do–


Josie Totah: Right. 


Alexa Jay: –whatever I want to do. I was still safe because anxiety, but I um feel like when I went there, I wasn’t dressing how I wanted to dress. I never felt like myself. Like I always say that to people it’s like I’ve never been myself. And so I feel like my last few years, like it was Covid. I went through a lot with, like, my body. So I dated a guy. I had my first boyfriend, my first year of college, and he was horrific. Like–


Yasmine Hamady: I’m so sorry. 


Alexa Jay: It went from me, like I had no experiences with boys, so I didn’t know what a relationship was really supposed to be like. And so it was just extremely abusive, extremely toxic. Like really just when I tell people the stories, I don’t know if you’ve seen the TikTok trend, when it’s like when I tell people what really happened and then people’s like faces are just like insane. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yup yeah. 


Alexa Jay: Like if I filmed your guys’s reaction to me telling you what that relationship was actually like, like people pass out like it’s crazy. 


Josie Totah: Oh my god. 


Alexa Jay: So that just sent me in like a really bad place mentally. And then um I feel like that kind of led into me being extremely self-conscious about myself and my body. And so I went through like a really big weight loss my junior year. I think I lost like 60 pounds over the summer. 


Josie Totah: Wow. 


Alexa Jay: Not in a safe way at all. If anybody knows what the HCG diet is, stay far away, run away. It’s horrible. Everyone I know that like– 


Josie Totah: I’ve never heard of that before. 


Alexa Jay: It was horrible. You eat 500 calories a day and you drop like two pounds a day.


Josie Totah: Oh? 


Yasmine Hamady: That is that is–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oh my gosh. 


Alexa Jay: Like you can’t sustain that. Obviously. [banter]


Yasmine Hamady: No, that that’s that’s horrible– 


Josie Totah: My gosh. 


Yasmine Hamady: –for the body. 


Yasmine Hamady: And for the mind, I’m so sorry that you had to go through that. 


Alexa Jay: No it was so bad. So bad. And I just had no idea, like, you know, like, I’m just thinking, oh, my god, I’m losing two pounds a day. This is perfect. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: And it was the hardest mental thing I’ve ever been through. Because, like, the mental strain you have to put yourself through to be like, I’m so fucking hungry and I’m not going to eat. But like, after that, it was like that was like the gateway. Like, I was like, okay, I handled that. I could do this with my body. I can do anything. I can push any limit. So I went from okay, like, I guess I just don’t need to eat today. Like 500 calories–


Josie Totah: It became a competition with yourself. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. Like if I want to drop three pounds by this week, like, I don’t need to dri– to eat that or I don’t need to do that. So it just became this, like, game of like, I can accomplish anything then it was like, okay, I can just do coffee today. And it like I finally realized like I was my meals were coffee and I would get to the end of the day and I would be laying in my bed trying to sleep and my heart would be pounding. 


Yasmine Hamady: Pounding. Oh my god. 


Alexa Jay: Pounding. And I finally said to my friend, I’m like, I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with me. Like, my heart is pounding all the time and my friend’s like, it’s because you drink so much fucking coffee. And I was like, oh my god, coffee affects me. Like I never was someone– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: –that was like, I drink my coffee and I feel energized. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: I just like coffee. And so then I finally realized like oh, this is really like affecting my body. 


Josie Totah: It’s harming you.


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. And I’m sure it also didn’t help that surrounding like with the people around you, everyone was like a size double zero. 


Alexa Jay: Literally. 


Yasmine Hamady: Everyone like and also everyone’s body’s very different. They’ll have one meal and they’ll still be a like they won’t gain any weight. And there’s–


Alexa Jay: I think, yeah, we’re like the last generation of diet culture too. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah I agree. 


Alexa Jay: Like my parents were on a diet every, I did the HCG diet with my parents like–


Josie Totah: Wow. 


Alexa Jay: Literally. 


Yasmine Hamady: I was on Jenny Craig with my mom growing up yeah.


Alexa Jay: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Because, well, the other thing is, like, my parents are the greatest people in the world, but like, they obviously struggle with their bodies as well. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Absolutely. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yes. 


Alexa Jay: So when you’re watching that as a kid, like, it’s only natural they did. It’s not their fault at all, but it’s– 


Yasmine Hamady: No. 


Alexa Jay: –just like you’re seeing that. And so for me, I’m like, Oh, it’s totally normal to like, restrict myself– 


Yasmine Hamady: Of course. 


Alexa Jay: –and do this. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: So, um you know, once I and then no one really knew what was going on around me. You know, I think at that point I wasn’t living in a sorority anymore. I was by myself. So you’re doing your own meals, you’re doing everything like that. Um. And, you know, I also struggle with like binge eating. So when I was in the sorority, it was really hard for me because it’s buffet style. So I was like, I just I can’t be here. But when I’m at home by myself, then I– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: You’re not eating enough. 


Alexa Jay: I’m not eating anything.


Josie Totah: There’s no in between. 


Alexa Jay: It was just too bad for me. And then I was for me, what the main kicker was my drinking is that I was not eating anything. 


Josie Totah: Then you’re drinking. 


Alexa Jay: And I went to the biggest, like black out culture school of all time. And I’ve never been a mean drunk. I’ve never been an angry drunk. But it was like every time I would start drinking, I would blackout. And I would be Satan. Satan. Satan was walking in me. It was horrible. And it was the night before my 21st birthday. I like blacked out at some bar and was just like scream crying to my friend. She had to take me home and I’ve like never been one to like, throw up er on like when I’m drunk or anything. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: And I like, threw up in my bed and I woke up the next day and this is why like my friends are my sisters for life. Like most people would be like, you fucked up last night. Like, get your shit together. Figure it out. It was the morning of my 21st birthday. My friends came in my room and they were like, we love you so much. Something’s not right. Like we booked an emergency appointment for you to go to therapy if you want to go to that. 


Yasmine Hamady: That is, those are good friends. 


Alexa Jay: Good ass friends. Good ass great friends. So they that morning I went to my first therapy appointment. It was– 


Josie Totah: Wow. 


Alexa Jay: –the best thing that’s ever happened to me. And then from there I like started my whole journey and I feel like– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Wow. 


Alexa Jay: –that’s why, like my job today is so important to me because I’ve been through so much– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yup. 


Alexa Jay: –with everything and like I’ve felt what it feels like to hate yourself. And I felt what it feels like to like, genuinely love yourself and what I feel like figuring out where your love for yourself comes from is so important–


Yasmine Hamady: A hundred percent. 


Alexa Jay: –because it was always like very misogynistic ways that I was getting happiness–


Yasmine Hamady: Yup, yup. 


Alexa Jay: Like it was through hooking up with a guy or someone being interested in me or compliments or things like that. Like none of it was from myself. So that’s been my main journey it’s like, this is the biggest weight I’ve ever been, but I’ve never been more confident and in love with myself. Like– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yes! 


Alexa Jay: I just have realized, like there’s such a separation of true self-love and loving what you look like. Like–


Yasmine Hamady: Oh a hundred percent. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah 


Alexa Jay: I just I can look any way now and I will not hate myself again because I refuse– 


Josie Totah: Wow. 


Alexa Jay: –to feel like that ever again. I was suffering like–


Josie Totah: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: –every day suffering. And it’s just it’s not. I can’t live like that anymore. 


Yasmine Hamady: No. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: And you shouldn’t. We’re really– 


Josie Totah: That’s that’s beautiful. 


Yasmine Hamady: First of all, thank you for sharing. [banter]. 


Alexa Jay: Aw thank you. I appreciate it.


Yasmine Hamady: –sharing that with us. Like, I just feel like and I was thinking about this last night. It is so not even refreshing. It is so inspiring and admirable to, like, see a campaign or see like someone see you on TikTok and see you on social media. And like you, you are always speaking your truth and you’re always authentically yourself and even on your worst days. Like there’s some days where I’ve seen you crying in the car on TikTok and you’re so honest about it, like, hey, today’s not a good day. Tomorrow’s going to be a shit day. Tomorrow might be a great day. And I feel like when like my little sister, I send her your stuff because I want someone I want her to look up to someone like you. 


Alexa Jay: That’s so nice. 


Yasmine Hamady: I wish when I was younger, we had women like you who are not like a white woman size zero blond, straight hair. You are one of the most beautiful humans I’ve ever seen. 


Alexa Jay: Aw that’s literally so nice. Thank you.


Yasmine Hamady: Like ethereal. 


Josie Totah: Literally. 


Yasmine Hamady: And I’m just so grateful that we have you in this in this world– 


Alexa Jay: Thank you so much! 


Yasmine Hamady: –to be talking your shit– 


Alexa Jay: That’s literally so nice. 


Yasmine Hamady: –and telling your story. No, because genuinely, it’s it’s something that you don’t see every day. And I feel like also you’ll see like in a campaign or whatnot, there’s just one– 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: –woman who’s curvy. 


Alexa Jay: Always. 


Yasmine Hamady: And then there’s and then but you’ve called that out and everyone’s so quiet and hush hush about it and you’ve always broken barriers about that. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah, yeah. I just want to say we’re really proud of you. Like–


Alexa Jay: Aw. Thank you so much. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I remember the day that you dropped the video of you and your friend calling out– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yup. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –a club. I remember you getting your braids done and sharing that online. First, I wanted to ask you, before we get into that video, what did taking those first steps in, like self-love? Like what did that journey look like when you first started it? What did it feel like sharing um online and being so transparent, like on TikTok and these other social media apps? I want to ask you about that first. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah, I feel like my first steps of self-love were committing to my mental health, going to therapy, putting in the work. I remember like the first few months of sitting in therapy, [laughing] like my therapist would, like, make plans with me. Like I’d be like, I’m a Virgo, like, I need a fucking plan. Like– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: You want me to get better? 


Yasmine Hamady: Okay control. 


Alexa Jay: What’s the plan? 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah yeah yeah. 


Alexa Jay: Or what are we doing people? And we’d sit there and she’d say like, okay, so on Wednesday you’re going to go grocery shopping and you’re going to go with your friend and you’re going to make a list before and your friends and you are going to make sure you get everything on the list. And in my head I’m like, not fucking doing that. [laughter] Thank you very much. 


Yasmine Hamady: That’s a Virgo. 


Alexa Jay: But like it like, I would just remember like we would come up with solutions, but I didn’t want to change at all because ah the fear of like gaining weight was so much worse than the fear of like anything else. Because– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: You see the difference in treatment. Oh, doors were open for me when I was skinny. 


Josie Totah: Right. 


Alexa Jay: The red carpet was rolled out. Men were literally gawking at me like, you get that instant gratification– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yes. 


Alexa Jay: –of whatever. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yup. 


Alexa Jay: And um but at the same time, I’d never been it was to the point where, like, if I put something on and it didn’t look right. Oh, don’t talk to me tonight. I’m not going out. I’m not [?] right like–


Yasmine Hamady: No, might as well just not go out. 


Alexa Jay: Oh I wouldn’t. Like I would stay inside sobbing– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yep. 


Alexa Jay: –crying. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yep. 


Alexa Jay: And you know, what are you going to do about it? You know? So um I feel like committing myself to changing was the first step um and really like realizing where all of my fears were coming from. And it was all like, related to men. And I hate that so much. Because I hate men. And so I was just realizing like why am I, like, determining my happiness over if a guy is going to find me attractive? 


Yasmine Hamady: Yup. Mm hmm.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: Like that I’m just so over feeling like that. Um. But it’s human nature. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: It’s– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Pandering to the male gaze. 


Yasmine Hamady: It’s– 


Alexa Jay: Exactly. 


Josie Totah: And you’re not alone like– 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: We talk about that all the time. Especially being in a predominately white school or in a college in general. Like– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yes Josie. 


Josie Totah: So many girls, get accustomed to like if I don’t get guys validation or attention tonight, then I haven’t won the night. It’s almost like a game. 


Alexa Jay: Yes. 


Josie Totah: And like you’re constantly losing with yourself. 


Alexa Jay: Totally. 


Josie Totah: So it’s a journey of changing, like the need for male validation into– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yup. 


Alexa Jay: Totally. 


Josie Totah: –like self appreciation. 


Alexa Jay: So well said.


Yasmine Hamady: And yeah, and like, self-worth too. Like your worth as a human, as a woman is based off how many men try to get with you that night. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: I feel like I was also like, tokenized a lot being– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oh. 


Alexa Jay: –the only Black girl. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Absolutely. 


Josie Totah: I’m sure. 


Alexa Jay: I never knew– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: People want to be your friend for like fucking insincere reasons. 


Alexa Jay: Ugh. This is going to make you die. 


Yasmine Hamady: Go on. 


Alexa Jay: But I remember Black his– err it was MLK Day, like my– 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh god. 


Alexa Jay: –sophomore year or something. And this girl, she was like a funny party girl in like a different sorority. She, like, grabbed me for this photo and I didn’t even realize what was going on till after it was posted, but it was me and the three other Black guys that were there. And she posted like Happy MLK Day or like, thank you MLK for this moment. 


Josie Totah: What the fuck? 


Alexa Jay: And I didn’t even see it. And like one of my friends, my good friends who was one of her good friends, came up to me and was like, did you see this shit? Like, is she going to like, what is this? And I was like I’m gonna let you handle that. 


Josie Totah: What does that mean? 


Alexa Jay: Like– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah, that’s not your– 


Alexa Jay: –she just got all the like great you got three Black people around you. Congratulations. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: That’s weird [?]. 


Alexa Jay: Like, it was just weirdo shit. Like, very weird. 


Yasmine Hamady: That’s fucking weird.


Josie Totah: MLK would not have, MLK would slap you, babe. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah it was– 


Josie Totah: No, he wouldn’t. Because he’s MLK.


Alexa Jay: I didn’t even know what was going on. 


Josie Totah: But like MLK  would not like you.


Alexa Jay: MLK would definitely give a look of disapproval, because– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah yeah yeah. [banter]


Alexa Jay: –that is not what he meant at all. Um. But yeah, just like moments like that, I felt like I didn’t know when my compliments were genuine or like so many of them was like people putting on like a Blaccent being like, Yes, girl, like, you look so good. I’m like just–


Yasmine Hamady: They still do that today. On TikTok too. 


Alexa Jay: Oh. People absolutely do and I’m like, just– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Just talk to me normal. 


Josie Totah: Just speak normal. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Because we don’t know each other like that. 


Alexa Jay: We do not know each other like that. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: That that be my thing. I’m like, why are you coming up to me, yes, girl. Period.


Alexa Jay: Yeah, like–


Alexa Jay: Purr. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah [laugh] 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: You are white. 


Alexa Jay: And then I’m like, thank you very much. [laughing]


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Thank you so much. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: You have a wonderful day. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah, exactly. 


Josie Totah: I feel like a lot of people, when they’re starting therapy, they can get, like, lost in it too. 


Alexa Jay: Yup. 


Josie Totah: So what were the keys that you like hung on to or that started to click in your mind that like, allowed you to start taking those necessary steps? 


Alexa Jay: I think one, not to toot my own horn, but I’m I’ve always been grounded. Like even when I had my eating disorder, like I knew I had an eating disorder, I knew what was going on. And I was like handling it even though I wasn’t handling it if that makes sense. And like, I feel like I’ve always just been, I take care of myself, like I’ve always been very self-sufficient. And so throughout all of these things, I was like, I know what’s going on and I know the changes I need to make and the person that I want to be and the woman I want to be. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yes. 


Alexa Jay: And it’s just like, I think like having forgiveness for yourself in those moments is major. 


Yasmine Hamady: You have to be graceful with yourself. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. You can’t be mad at yourself. If I spent all my time beating myself up like I wouldn’t be here. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: No. 


Alexa Jay: You know so I think just realizing that I like, I’m going to be okay no matter what. And it’s therapy is hard because you start realizing things you didn’t even realize before. So I remember I’d go to therapy, I’d come out angry. [laughing] I’d be like– 


Yasmine Hamady: Also if you– 


Alexa Jay: I’m about to call my parents. I’m pissed off. Like–. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: But it is what it is. You got to work through that stuff and it’s going to get worse before it gets better. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: Of course [?]–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –you’re evolving and doing the work. 


Alexa Jay: Mm hmm


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Which is hard. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: You also have to be ready for therapy. People sometimes are not ready to change and you have to just let them do their thing and let it grow. 


Josie Totah: Right. 


Yasmine Hamady: But you have to be ready. And I think Alycia mentioned this earlier about the hashtag, not tonight that I want to talk about quickly. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah yeah yeah.


Alexa Jay: Absolutely. [music break]. 




Alycia Pascual-Peña: So you had this awful moment, right, with with your friend where you went to a club, essentially. And if you if you could give us more context, obviously, from your personal perspective. But you went to a club and they had let the other women in around you and not you guys. And you guys–


Alexa Jay: Yes. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –blatantly were dealing with discrimination and bigotry and then called out this club in a very um open, transparent way. And then this thing became viral. Right? And essentially all you were asking for was accountability and for people to talk about this nightlife culture and the awful things that happened. And I don’t understand why, because it sounds like common sense for us to talk about it and say, this isn’t okay, but you received a lot of backlash for that. 


Alexa Jay: Absolutely. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Like, how was that journey? How are you still dealing with it now? Like, also, are you okay? 


Alexa Jay: Thank you for asking. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Like I think it’s important to ask. I feel like probably not enough people have asked you, are you okay? Like, that was an– 


Alexa Jay: I’m okay. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –awful thing and– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –people are asking you to explain it all the time. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. I was not okay like right after it happened. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: Like so many people this past month have been like, Oh my God, it’s so good to see you. Like, where have you been or like, girl we haven’t hung out in so long. I miss you like, I haven’t heard from you. And I’m like–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Bitch. 


Alexa Jay: –no ones heard from me. I had just had so much bad anxiety about everything because I was like– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: Before, when people would come up to me. Um. I’m so fortunate that people that follow me like, feel comfortable to say hi to me sometimes, and it’s always, I love what you’re doing. Or– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: I saw the campaign or I saw–


Yasmine Hamady: Cool. 


Alexa Jay: –this, and now you’re talking to me about the most embarrassing moment of my life, you know? So it was just like I had to– 


Yasmine Hamady: Ugh. 


Alexa Jay: –be mentally prepared for that. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: And, you know, I’m confident when I talk about things on the Internet because I get to be I get to get myself in that mental space to talk about it. And then, you know, it was just like I needed to be ready at all times for someone to say it and people come up to me more than you would think. Like, I can’t even put it into words how– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oh I bet. 


Alexa Jay: –it’s crazy. It’s really crazy. And so I just needed to be ready for that. And you know, you’re also just fearful it’s going to happen again. You know– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yes. 


Alexa Jay: I don’t know if the bouncers are talking like I don’t know–


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: –what’s going on. And, you know, when I I did that, you know, you don’t never know who’s connected or if, you know, maybe some incel man saw it on the news and wants to yell that I’m fat out the window or something, you know, like, you just never know what’s going to happen. And so I was just like, I would rather just be at home safe with my friends where nothing can hurt me. Um. But I, after that happened, it was just like a horrible night. Like I didn’t even want to go out that night, but it was my friend’s birthday. I hate letting people down and she’s so supportive of me. I was like, I need to just go support her. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: So I go and it’s like a really big group of girls. I meet them outside of the club. Everyone’s nice, Everyone was diverse. So, you know, that’s why in all of this, I didn’t say anything about race because there were so many Black girls in that group that were let in. And we were like the last couple in the group. Um. And I could see the bouncer looking at me, my friend didn’t go in. I don’t know if you guys have been to Highlight room before, but it’s pretty much–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: –like a funnel straight in. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: So everyone always asks the girls didn’t wait for you? Nobody knew what was going on. The only person that knew was the birthday girl who was making sure everybody was getting in. 


Yasmine Hamady: Right. 


Alexa Jay: And so when I get to the front, I literally walk through the rope because he put it on and just walked away. Like he put the rope on so I wouldn’t get in. Walked away. And then um I it just slowly started clicking for me what was going on. Um. And then my friend Ella, she wasn’t there for the birthday party, but she was just there. And I’m a girls girl, so I’m like, just come with us. Like– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah exactly. 


Alexa Jay: –and when we walk in just join our table. It’s two more people like– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: –who cares. 


Yasmine Hamady: Exactly. 


Alexa Jay: And um yeah, he was like, nope, not you guys. Not tonight. No, no, no, no, no. Like, just disrespectful– 


Yasmine Hamady: Huh. 


Alexa Jay: –as fuck. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: Like he wouldn’t look at me, wouldn’t say anything. And I was A.) Sober thank God. B.), Um. I’m not stupid. Like I’m a Black woman. I’m not going to stand out the club yelling and screaming and crying to– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: No. 


Alexa Jay: –get in because then I look crazy. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: It doesn’t matter what you did to disrespect me, I know how I’m going to look. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yes, exactly. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. So I kept it cool. I kept it cute. I took my little picture of him. 


Josie Totah: Right. 


Alexa Jay: I did my thing, and then Ella handled it. And thank God for Ella. She stepped in, she’s white, and she was like, this is fucked up. Like, what is wrong with you? You’re really not going to let us in? Is this a size issue? What’s going on? Da da da da da. She starts yelling at the other bouncer and I’m just letting her do her thing. I’m like– 


Josie Totah: Good for Ella.


Alexa Jay: –you’re saying what I need to say. So thank you. 


Alexa Jay: Period yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yup. 


Alexa Jay: And– 


Yasmine Hamady: It’s not your battle to fight like people should be sticking up for you. So this is really good. 


Alexa Jay: Oh, it was great. It was so nice. And I was just standing there embarrassed, like, oh, the other part was I’m embarrassed. Like, there’s– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: Humiliating. 


Alexa Jay: I’m seeing guys I used to date. 


Yasmine Hamady: Ugh. 


Josie Totah: Right. 


Alexa Jay: I’m seeing companies I’ve worked for. Like my I.Am.Gia contact was there. My Tiger Mist contact was there. Like three girls I followed was there or they followed me was there. Like while this is happening, people are like, can I take a photo with you? I’m like, I’m trying not to cry.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: Ugh. 


Alexa Jay: But yes. Let’s smile. Whatever. And so– 


Josie Totah: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: It was just too much. It was too much. And so we leave. And then the next day I woke up and I and I and then when I got home, I was like, let me just feel myself, like while I take my makeup off. And just so I remember how I feel right now. Yeah. And so I filmed it. And then the next morning, I kind of remembered what was going what everything that happened. Watched the video again. And I texted Ella I was like, I think I’m going to post this. And it was the video of me like taking my makeup off and crying. And she was like, yeah. And then come over and like, let’s talk about everything. So I went over there and um that’s when me and her filmed the video together– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: And posted it. But by the time I had posted that, um my video had kind of started going viral. And I remember my manager called me, my my modeling agency. David Todd, I love you. And [laughter] he basically was like, I saw your video and I want you to know I stand with you 100%. Anything you want to do with it, anything you want to say. He was like, I’m a gay man. I’ve experienced discrimination. Like we stand with you, like we love you, your body, everything about you. You don’t need to change. So whatever happens, like you’re good. And that was a fear of mine. It’s like you don’t know you’re going to lose work for speaking out about things. 


[spoken together by hosts] Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: This is like one of the biggest clubs in L.A.. They have locations in New York now. Like, you just never know. Like, there’s events at Highlight room, at Tao at all of these things. So I was–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: –just, like, terrified. But that was just really nice knowing that my agent, like, supported me. I was like, okay, I can do this. So we did that video. It went crazy. And– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: So, you know, 99% of the women are supportive. There was like a couple little pick mes that were being– 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh shut the fuck up. Yeah. Bye.


Alexa Jay: –crazy on the internet like, I didn’t even any video someone made that was negative. I have to this day not watched. 


Yasmine Hamady: No. And you don’t need to.


Alexa Jay: No. I just can’t like, I literally can’t like, I’ll freak out. I cannot watch those videos. The comments would get me enough. Like and to me it was like people just took it so fucking far like–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: So far! 


Alexa Jay: –why are you so, like, bothered by this that you need to send me a death threat every morning for the next month?


Josie Totah: Oh, my God. 


Alexa Jay: Like, people were so, like, you know, just ripping me to shreds, ripping me to shreds.


Yasmine Hamady: And you know that they’re like– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: So sorry. 


Yasmine Hamady: –some underground little city rat. 


Alexa Jay: Literally. 


Yasmine Hamady: Like, feral that like is hiding behind a screen, trying to put another woman down. Like–


Alexa Jay: The time. The time to send me a message every morning at eight am on the dot. Like–


Josie Totah: But [?] for literally no reason. 


Alexa Jay: No reason. 


Josie Totah: Like you were just– 


Alexa Jay: No reason. 


Josie Totah: –experienced discrimination. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: And we didn’t even do anything other than be like, all we said was like, Highlight Room. Do better. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: Like that’s what we said. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: You didn’t say anything disrespectful. 


Yasmine Hamady: No, you didn’t. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I still remember watching the– 


Alexa Jay: No. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –video for the first time um and going like, wow, the bravery of these two women. 


Alexa Jay: Aw thanks.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Um. Also specifically you being a Black woman. Like, let’s talk about it. I think people in society are way too comfortable policing Black women’s bodies, Black women’s voices, their anger. You sat there standing up next to your friend and said, this is not cool. We should stand up for each other. We shouldn’t allow this. And also, what you’re saying, isn’t rare, which is– 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –what’s messed up. It’s rare for people to talk out about it and to shed light on it, but establishments and groups of people should be held accountable. And I think what you did was so brave. Um. And also you did it in a really classy way, which you shouldn’t have had to, to be honest. 


Alexa Jay: Thank you. 


Yasmine Hamady: I agree with you.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: If you would have gotten on on TikTok and started cussing people out, I would have respected it just as much– 


Alexa Jay: [laughing] Thank you. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: And been like, yes, sis period as I laid in my bed and watched this video. [laugh] Um. But yeah, I, I I still remember being so like taken aback and dumbfounded by the comments people were making it like you were privileged, like– 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oh, they made it an influencer’s conversation, which I remember they were like, oh, influencers just expect to be let in everywhere. 


Alexa Jay: Get things for free.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Like–


Alexa Jay: Whatever. 


Yasmine Hamady: Shut the fuck up like– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: [rolls tongue to quiet Yasmine] which it’s like, no, this is discrimination. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: People still are awful to people with with, you know, that don’t always fit, quote unquote, “standards” or whatever it may be. Um.


Alexa Jay: And to make it an influencer thing, like the whole point of the video, as we said in the original video that has millions of views, it’s like we’re doing this for all the women that don’t get to speak up. I know– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: –I have privilege–


Yasmine Hamady: A hundred percent. 


Alexa Jay: –being an influencer. I know I have privilege being a mixed Black woman. I know I have so much privilege. 


Josie Totah: But when you’re there with the security guard, you’re not an influencer to them. Like–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: You’re none of those things. 


Alexa Jay: No. [banter]


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah exactly. You’re not. You’re just another girl. 


Alexa Jay: No. And to me, I don’t even think of that. Like, it didn’t even cross my mind to be like, do you know who I am? Like–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: No. 


Alexa Jay: What the fuck is that going to do, you know? 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: I don’t–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: People are trying to steer away from the real issue. 


Alexa Jay: The real issue. That was what– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: –bothered me as so many people were doing things or like people would ask, well, the the girls shouldn’t have gone in without you. Why are we even why are we talking about that? If that was an issue, I would have said that. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: I would have said fuck those girls.


Josie Totah: No but I know exactly what you mean. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: Like you get checked and then you you go– [banter]


Yasmine Hamady: Exactly. 


Alexa Jay: Yes you literally go in. You file in.


Josie Totah: –and around the thing– [banter]. 


Yasmine Hamady: It’s not like a–


Alexa Jay: And I didn’t know any of them. I met them all that night for the first time. Like– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: It wasn’t like, these are my girls, like if that was– 


Josie Totah: And for all the the– 


Alexa Jay: –with my roommates. Please someone would have died. Like, someone– 


Josie Totah: Right. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Period. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah yeah yeah. [banter]. 


Alexa Jay: –literally would have got beat up. [banter]


Alycia Pascual-Peña: [indistinct] nobody deserves to be–


Alexa Jay: Exactly. 


Josie Totah: No. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –made to feel that way. 


Yasmine Hamady: Well, it’s I think it goes back to, like, making someone feel like an other. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: And always. And it’s so isolating because like I understand from a different persp– like I’m also a curvy one in my friendship group, I was always like the largest one and like, I’m not even also the sizing called plus size modeling. I–


Alexa Jay: Mid size plus size. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: How do you feel about that? 


Yasmine Hamady: I, I– 


Alexa Jay: I have lots of thoughts about everything. 


Yasmine Hamady: I I’m gonna [banter] I’m going to pitch something to you and I– 


Alexa Jay: Okay. 


Yasmine Hamady: –want your thoughts on this. Okay. I think the word plus size models is the dumbest thing in the entire world because you don’t call Bella Hadid, a minus sized model? You don’t call them minus sized. You’re either a model or just you’re just a human like that is it. And– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: And specifically in America, the average woman isn’t the size of any sample size. 


Yasmine Hamady: No, it’s not.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Of any fucking sample size. 


Yasmine Hamady: Like– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I don’t yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: I remember like Paloma Elsesser whose I’ve said this so many times. She’s my favorite model. 


Alexa Jay: Iconic. 


Yasmine Hamady: She’s iconic. 


Alexa Jay: Iconic. 


Yasmine Hamady: But like for Miu Miu’s campaign, they’ve had to stitch two different–


Alexa Jay: I saw that. 


Yasmine Hamady: –skirts together to just make it for the campaign that she was starring in. 


Alexa Jay: Uh huh. 


Yasmine Hamady: And so– 


Alexa Jay: So crazy. 


Yasmine Hamady: –this size like curve model models in general, what are your thoughts on that? Because I, I can’t stand this. 


Alexa Jay: If you look on my site, I’m signed to DT model management. You see me with every other model. There’s no separate tab. There is no– 


Yasmine Hamady: Amazing. 


Alexa Jay: –anything. Like I am a model in their eyes. I’m not any different because I’m plus size, because I’m curve, whatever. Um. I’ve always had an issue. I feel like I might literally just be speaking for myself. And this is another thing that I’ve gotten hate for that I don’t really understand. Um. I recently was introduced to Reddit and I didn’t– 


Yasmine Hamady: Don’t, don’t, don’t.


Alexa Jay: I didn’t. I didn’t think I would be included in that. I really didn’t think I was included in that. 


Yasmine Hamady: Don’t don’t go on Reddit. 


Alexa Jay: I thought that was for like the millions of followers. Like, I didn’t think anybody was talking about me. 


Josie Totah: No. 


Alexa Jay: And– 


Josie Totah: There are some dark holes there. 


Alexa Jay: [indistinct] horrific. It was like this whole Reddit thread about how I’m like a fake– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Ah! 


Alexa Jay: –plus-size influencer– 


Yasmine Hamady: Huh? 


Alexa Jay: Because I wasn’t always plus size and I’m like– 


[spoken together by hosts] What? [voices raised and heated]


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Is that a real thing? 


Alexa Jay: What are you talking about? I’m like first of all–


Josie Totah: Are people okay?


Alexa Jay: They’re not okay. First of all, I’ve always I’ve always been a size large or extra large, always, always, always. And like– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: But even if you weren’t. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah, no like, who cares? 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: What? 


Alexa Jay: Like, literally, who cares? 


Yasmine Hamady: Also– 


Alexa Jay: I don’t know. 


Yasmine Hamady: –why is any of your fucking business. Like–


Alexa Jay: No people just– 


Yasmine Hamady: –what size I am? 


Alexa Jay: Like, it’s just shows that people are literally just like, want to be mean and are so bored. Like, you– 


Yasmine Hamady: How sad. That’s so pathetic.


Alexa Jay: –had to find something about that you could be mean about. And it was that. So I was like, first of all, I deleted everything off my Instagram from the moment I graduated college. Like, everything’s archived. So you see my graduation photo and then you see me [?] like today. 


Josie Totah: That’s literally me. 


Alexa Jay: Like, that’s what it is. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Period. 


Alexa Jay: Nothing else is relevant to anyone else. That’s for me to look at. We don’t need to deal with anything. So if you’re looking. Yeah, I was really fucking small then, because that was the peak of my eating disorder when I graduated college. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yup. 


Alexa Jay: So you’re seeing that but you’re not–


Josie Totah: Now what a way to reverse shame you. 


Alexa Jay: Oh. Literally, it’s so weird. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: It’s very weird to me, but um you know, there is a lot of discord. You see it with Remi Bader all the time. You know– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yes! 


Alexa Jay: She’s someone who has talked about how she’s gained weight. She’s trying to lose weight, she doesn’t feel comfortable in her body sometimes. That is so normal. And like so for me– 


Yasmine Hamady: It’s the human condition. 


Alexa Jay: Exactly. It’s so hard because I am someone who’s always you like you see the differences in treatment of when you’re plus size and when you’re not. I would love to be treated how I was treated when I was skinny all the time. But like–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: –for me, I don’t feel that like need for my own self-worth to be smaller like, um you know, I’ve struggled a lot because I haven’t worked out in like literally two years. And that’s why I’m gaining weight because I’m eating anything I could want to because I feel like I restricted myself for so long. I deserve– 


Josie Totah: Right. 


Alexa Jay: –to indulge. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Period. 


Alexa Jay: But I haven’t worked–


Yasmine Hamady: You’re allowed to do whatever the fuck you want. 


Alexa Jay: I can literally– 


Yasmine Hamady: You’re a grown woman. 


Alexa Jay: And it shouldn’t affect anybody. Like literally– [banter] It doesn’t.


Yasmine Hamady: Exactly. 


Alexa Jay: So I um you know, I’ve struggled recently because I’ve gotten I’ve just had so much anxiety thinking about the gym, but I’m like getting– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: –to that point where I’m like, I’m excited again to work out and I want to do that. But, you know, I already know there’s going to be people that are disappointed in me because if I naturally, if I work out again, I’m going to lose weight. Like– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: –that’s just going to happen. And so I don’t ever want to like, you know, it’s just scary to think about what people are going to say if I start losing weight, you know it’s just–


Josie Totah: But people they’re always going to say something. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Exactly. 


Alexa Jay: That people are always going– 


Josie Totah: And no matter what. I mean, you could be the smallest person in the world or the largest person in the world. People are going to be mad. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: You’re so right. 


Yasmine Hamady: Exactly. [banter]


Josie Totah: And like, they’re always going to come for you and say something negative about who you are, which is why you just have to drown out the noise. 


Alexa Jay: Drown out everything. Yeah.


Josie Totah: As best as you can, but I can’t imagine that that sense of pain, especially when, like, we’re so into, like, commercializing everything and labeling everything nowadays and like, putting people in niche markets, like plus sized– 


Yasmine Hamady: Small boxes. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: –or trans model or gay model or Black model or whatever it is. It’s like you feel the need to upkeep yourself to maintain that perception– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yes Jos. 


Josie Totah: –of peo– in people’s eyes. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yep. 


Josie Totah: When it’s like you only need to be worrying about yourself and fuck everybody else. 


Alexa Jay: You’re so right. So like linking back to the Highlight room stuff. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: It was hard because being someone who it’s not that I was ever shamed shameful of being fat, but like, it’s not something I would always talk about, you know? 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: Sure. 


Alexa Jay: And it’s something that I’ve always struggled with my whole life. So then to go on the news and all of these, like literally my grandma’s Facetiming me saying I’m watching the news and I’m seeing you. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: And it’s them talking about me being fat. And so I had to sit my whole family down, you know–. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: And brace them for this. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. Yup.


Alexa Jay: Brace everybody. Like, you know, it’s not fun for me to have, like, my brother’s football team watching me, a story about me not getting in the club like I it it wasn’t fun. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: No of course not. 


Alexa Jay: It wasn’t fun to talk about. Nobody wants to talk about a bad experience that happened with them. And I’m very proud of who I am and what I look like– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yes. 


Alexa Jay: And all of those things. But it’s not like I enjoy someone discriminating against me because I’m fat. 


Yasmine Hamady: No. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: You know what I mean? It’s like–


Yasmine Hamady: Yes I do. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: It never becomes easy. 


Alexa Jay: Exactly. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: And also, frankly, you shouldn’t have had to do it and you didn’t need to do it and you decided to. But I just know for a fact that you made a lot of people feel seen. Um. You made a lot of people who maybe weren’t talking about it, talk about it, and you shed a light on it. And I think that that is a huge deal. Like, I’m really proud of you and I, I, I can’t imagine that it’ll ever get easier. Um. 


Alexa Jay: Thank you. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: And yeah, I also, like want to say in regards to like your journey, it’s it’s hills and valleys, like, you know, healing isn’t linear. I feel like I have to tell myself that all the time um because certain days I’ll do better than others. And I’m like, damn, I thought, like, I got over this. Right?


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: And it’s like, oh, I I forget that I want to give myself, but also other people the liberty to change and evolve and feel different and look different. And feel beautiful in all those phases, even if you know it’s an uphill battle, right? 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Because it’s like important to not do that toxic positivity thing. Like, I’ve enjoyed that this entire conversation you are so, you’re so candid about the fact that it like wasn’t easy when you were doing those things. Like you have a platform and you’re just using it so well. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Like– 


Alexa Jay: And that was the other thing like I didn’t want people to think I was doing it to go viral– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: No. 


Alexa Jay: –or followers like– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: No no. 


Yasmine Hamady: No. Of course not. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. When Ella posted it, she asked she like, I could have done a joint reel with her on Instagram and gotten so many followers, all these things. I was like, no, I don’t feel comfortable doing that yet like– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: –you post it, I’ll repost and I’ll talk about what I’m comfortable with, but like, I just am not. It’s not that I wasn’t as strong as her, but I just wasn’t. She’s someone that’s always been in the media and always have done interviews and all of these things and like I’ve never done that before. So I was just like, I need to tread very lightly. Like if you watch the news interviews, I’ve never done any of those. Like, it’s all Ella that’s done it. I, they asked me for a comment. I’ll do it. I was also traveling during that time, but– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: Um. Like, I just was very cautious with everything I did because I also know I’m perceived differently than Ella. I’m Black. So I–


Yasmine Hamady: Yes. 


Alexa Jay: –am just was very cautious with everything. And so I don’t feel shameful about that either because I did what was comfortable for me. But, you know, I all I really wanted was like an end result. And that never happened because–


Yasmine Hamady: Of course. 


Alexa Jay: They never apologized. They never apologized. 


Yasmine Hamady: No they– 


Alexa Jay: They never said anything. And then literally, like four days ago– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: What? 


Alexa Jay: I went to dinner at Delilah. And through all this, one of the best connections I’ve made is like one of the owners of Delilah. Her name is Marsha. She’s amazing. Um. She had Ella and I on her podcast, and now we’re all friends. And so we did like a girls night dinner. And um we’re leaving Delilah. And it’s me and Ella together outside and our friend Gigi. And all of a sudden, this guy is, like, coming up to Ella to talk to her. I’m like, what the fuck? And he’s like, um I’m the asshole that didn’t I’m the asshole that didn’t let you guys in. [gasp] And I’m like, shut the fuck up. I was looking at Ella I was I literally dropped my head. I was like, oh my God. It’s happening. It’s happening. I’ve dreamed about this moment forever and it’s finally happening. And who would have thought me and Ella would be together? Like–


Yasmine Hamady: Wow. 


Alexa Jay: –outside of this random place, it’s the bouncer.


Yasmine Hamady: The universe did that. 


Alexa Jay: Oh, yeah. So he’s like, I just wanted to say I’m so sorry. Um. I’ve lost sleep over this. I can’t believe that, you know, I made you guys feel that way. He was like, I mean, he was definitely being a man during this conversation–


Yasmine Hamady: Of course he was. 


Alexa Jay: –[indistinct] he’s, like– 


Josie Totah: Kind of victimizing himself. [banter] 


Alexa Jay: Oh yeah.


Yasmine Hamady: Poor him.


Alexa Jay: –being such a little– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Like– 


Alexa Jay: –pussy ass bitch. I was like–


Yasmine Hamady: Poor him. [banter]


Alexa Jay: Dude, I don’t feel bad for you. Okay, just wait so then he goes– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: No! 


Alexa Jay: –he’s like um, on those nights, I’m I’m getting I’m like a frontline worker. I’m getting thrown to the  dogs. 


Yasmine Hamady: Um. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: No. [indistinct]


Alexa Jay: I’m like, not you, not you comparing youself to a U.S.–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Cut the camera. 


Alexa Jay: –soldier. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Cut the cameras. 


Alexa Jay: I’m like– 


Yasmine Hamady: Him him comparing himself to a nurse during the COVID– 


Alexa Jay: No. 


Yasmine Hamady: –epidemic pandemic.


Alexa Jay: I’m like suddenly the Republicans are on my side. [laughter] 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah literally. 


Alexa Jay: Like all you needed is that one diss but anyways, so he was like, he was just like, um I’ve lost sleep over this. You can ask the mother of my children. Like, sometimes I stay up at night thinking about it. 


Yasmine Hamady: Aw. Sob story.


Alexa Jay: And first of all, I’m like, mm first of all, think about what? Like, this has nothing to do with you because we never put your name or your photo out there. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Very true. 


Alexa Jay: People are talking to Highlight room. No one has talked about you at all. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: No one knows it’s you. 


Alexa Jay: Like. No one know, nothing happened to you. 


Yasmine Hamady: No one knows it’s you.


Alexa Jay: Yeah. So you’re welcome. Because I had your name. I had your full name. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oooh. 


Alexa Jay: Sir. And I had–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: And a picture. 


Alexa Jay: Oh, I had a photo of you and I had a video of you. I could have put a we hate you train, but it’s we hate Highlight room instead, so you’re welcome. And then he went on this whole tangent and he was like, yeah, I’m like a frontline worker out there. It’s overwhelming. I’m just, like– 


Yasmine Hamady: Being a bouncer? 


Alexa Jay: –desensitized to it. Yeah. So to me, I like, people are screaming my name. People have threatened my life before for not letting them in. And like– 


Josie Totah: My God. 


Alexa Jay: -God forbid, I don’t let a Black girl in, then I’m a racist. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Ah! 


Alexa Jay: I was like, all right. Any last [?]– [banter]


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Absolutely not. 


Yasmine Hamady: What? And then [?].


Alexa Jay: I was like, you lost me. 


Yasmine Hamady: Let’s call it a night. Alright.


Alexa Jay: First of all, sir, you got the wrong bitch. Because I never said that about you. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: I said that it was because of my weight. I never pulled the race card because you let the other Black women in our group. So I was like, I just want you to know that. And I was like, also, I would love to know, did I disrespect you that night? He was like, no, you didn’t and I was like, exactly. Because I’m cool and I didn’t. And he was like, actually, I don’t even remember her. I just remember you. He was like, I only remember you. 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh! 


Alexa Jay: I don’t remember Ella. I’m like, convenient that you remember the Black girl in the situation, but you don’t remember the girl that was literally cussing you out. How do you not remember Ella? 


Yasmine Hamady: Yup. 


Alexa Jay: She was the only one you were talking to. So I’m like, first of all, why did you bring up race? Nobody was talking about that. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: You brought it up and because you wanted to make yourself clear your name right now to me that you’re also not a racist, when I never called you one so you’re already being sus.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Which non racist people don’t need to say. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. I was going to say. 


Alexa Jay: Exactly. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Sorry, pero– 


Alexa Jay: So you’re already being sus about that. 


Josie Totah: Right. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: So don’t care. Then you’re telling me you’re staying up late at night? No one’s threatening your life or no one’s anything? Because they don’t know it was you. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: You got the backlash! Not him.


Alexa Jay: I got the backlash, bitch. People follow me and tell me about this for the rest of my life. No one. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yup. 


Alexa Jay: No one attaches this to you. And I also see, oh, what are you doing right now? Working. You’re working. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oh. 


Alexa Jay: You got your same hat on, the same company you worked for. You didn’t lose your job. He said, uh like I, Highlight Room told us he will no longer be working there. But obviously Tao Group owns a bunch of different stuff and he works for a private security or bouncing company. I don’t know if those what you would call it. 


Yasmine Hamady: A frontline company. [laughing] Yeah yeah yeah yeah.


Alexa Jay: A front line worker company. Yes. And so they um so I guess they’re just contracted by a bunch of different nightlife places. So he’s still working. He’s totally fine, you know, and he told us allegedly that Highlight Room told him they sat him down and were like, you did absolutely nothing wrong. [gasp] Um. We told you to only let a certain type of women in and that’s what you did. There’s always going to be backlash to these decisions, but that’s what we wanted you to do. So we’re going to move you to this different location. Meanwhile, they’re telling us. 


Yasmine Hamady: We’ve done all the measures that we cou– 


Alexa Jay: This has no they said this has nothing to do with Highlight Room. It’s a bouncer gone rogue. [gasp] It was all him. We would never tell people to–


Josie Totah: Oh no. 


Alexa Jay: —not let a certain look in. Da da da da da. Mind you, after me. So they tried to set a meeting up. I’ve talked to them three times. I’ve talked to Highlight Room three times. One and it’s the same manager. She sucks. Her name is Mitzi. Don’t care. She sucks. You can maybe take that out if you want to, but you can also leave it in because I don’t care. 


Josie Totah: We’ll leave it. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah fuck–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: We’ll leave it in. 


Yasmine Hamady: –Mitzi. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: We’ll leave it in. 


Alexa Jay: Oh yeah. So, Mitzi, she was like, um I try to get in contact with her, the first call, she’s like, hello, who is this? Who is this? And I’m like. It’s Alexa. You DM’d me your number. Like what? Who else would be calling you? She’s like, Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, my gosh. Yes. Thank you for calling me. I’m like, Yeah, like, I’m sure obviously you’ve seen the videos of what’s going on about of our experience, like, you know, I would love to like not just talk about this on social media, but make an actual change. I would love to set up a meeting– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yes. 


Alexa Jay: –with like you, me and Ella and maybe some higher ups at the company. Whoever can be there, like that’s what we would prefer. And um she was like, yeah, I just wanted to confirm was it uh [name bleeped out] was he the bouncer? And I was like, yep. And she was like, okay, that’s what we thought. So I’m like, okay. So I didn’t even have to tell you who it was. You already have obviously gotten complaints about this man because– 


Yasmine Hamady: You [indistinct] the bouncer’s name before, yup a hundred percent


Alexa Jay: –[indistinct] his name without. Exactly. I never had to tell you anything, and I never said it online either. So that was step number one. And then, um you know, I was like, let me make sure Ella’s schedule’s free. But like this Saturday, let’s say we talked on a Friday or I was like, this Saturday tomorrow seems like a good day for us to meet. 


Yasmine Hamady: Right. 


Alexa Jay: I go talk to Ella. She’s like, we need to give it the weekend. She’s like, right now they’re going to say whatever they want to say. They’re going to want to smooth it over, like, let’s give it the weekend and then let’s circle back Monday, make a new day. 


Josie Totah: Right. 


Alexa Jay: Circle back with her Monday. By then, it’s on every news source you could ever see. BuzzFeed, you know, Good Morning America, anything you could imagine. Everyone’s talking about it. So I get on the call with her again and I’m like, yeah I would love to make a new time. And she’s like, well, this has just gone way too far. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Uh. 


Alexa Jay: She’s like, the girls that work here are scared that they’re going to get hurt, and lose their lives. 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh shut the fuck up. 


Alexa Jay: That someone’s going to come and jump them or people are going to come and like hurt them here. I was like, liar. Because I’m talking to the girls that work there. They’re reaching out to me and telling me that you guys have not addressed it with your employees, that you haven’t done anything about this, that all you said is if someone asks you to asks you to talk about it, you’re supposed to say no comment and not address it. Like–


Josie Totah: So the actual employees of Highlight– 


Alexa Jay: –of Highlight Room had reached out to me. 


Josie Totah: –have reached out to you. 


Yasmine Hamady: Wow. 


Alexa Jay: And were telling me things about it. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Ay dios mio.


Alexa Jay: They followed me like, what is going on? Like, you know, it was just ridiculous. And so yeah, she basically a flip had switched. She was so angry and I was like, you know, I know how to talk to people. So I was like, I completely understand why you feel that way. But unfortunately, you know, we were the victims in this. 


Yasmine Hamady: Right. 


Alexa Jay: And I would still love to come to a conclusion and do this. And I was like, Ella is looking for it because Ella was very adamant. She was like, I want them to make this happen. They messed up. So I was like, this is our email. This is our phone numbers for both of us. If you could just make a meeting like we’ll be there. Never heard from them again. 


Josie Totah: Wow. 


Alexa Jay: Sent her another text. Just following up was hoping to get something on the books for this week. Never heard anything. Sent another text, never heard anything. I haven’t heard anything from them since. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Wow. 


Alexa Jay: They have no comment. We’ve reached out to the owners of everything, like no comment from anyone. Nobody wants to even touch it. Their comments are still off on Instagram. You can’t leave reviews for them on Google. Like that’s their plan. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oh wow. 


Josie Totah: What a way to completely avoid the situation in the most blasphemous, immature, disrespectful way. 


Yasmine Hamady: That’s pathetic. 


Alexa Jay: A hospitality business.


Josie Totah: With no accountability. 


Alexa Jay: Ridiculous. 


Josie Totah: And have you considered legal action because it is against the law to discriminate against someone? 


Alexa Jay: Yes, I have– 


Josie Totah: At an establishment.


Alexa Jay: –discussed with Ella like we talked about it. Um. It’s just really hard because in most discrimination things like weight is not included in it. 


Josie Totah: Yeah I was going to ask that because I know that, um like we work so hard as like for LGBTQ Americans, including like Black people and queer people, um to protect them against discrimination from like schools, businesses. And I think it only just passed like a year ago or something. But I didn’t know if weight was a factor in that. 


Alexa Jay: It’s not, which is so upsetting and it’s like something that was something me and Ella talked about as well is like, should we push for legislation about body inclusivity and discrimination– 


[spoken together by hosts] Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: –with that? And I think in our case, what lawyers had told us was that it wasn’t like he looked at us and said no fat girls aloud or anything like that. So he did confirm for for us later when we met him, you know, the other night, he did say, you know, they tell me to only let a certain look in yadda yadda yadda. So I was like, oh, so you don’t think I’m cute? [laughing] But I was just fucking with him. But anyways. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: As you should. 


Alexa Jay: I was just having fun. I could tell he was stressed when he was talking to us. But–


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah, let him be stressed. 


Alexa Jay: I know. 


Yasmine Hamady: Let him lose sleep. That’s fine.


Alexa Jay: He was like, I have two daughters da da da da da and I was like– 


Yasmine Hamady: That’s scary. 


Alexa Jay: No, I literally said I was like, I hope your two daughters never feel the way I felt that night. And I it was so nice getting to look him in the eye and say that. Because–


Yasmine Hamady: I’m so proud of you. 


Alexa Jay: That’s all I wanted to say is–


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: –just like– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: You don’t realize like the effect you have on people. It might be 5 seconds for you, but like, I haven’t been to a club since. Like I have not been– 


Yasmine Hamady: No. 


Alexa Jay: –enjoying my life since, and it’s because of you. And I was like, I will remember you for the rest of my life. Like, this is going to be with me for the rest of my life. And like, you get to wake up every day and be [bleeped name] the bouncer and like, he was like, I’m old now. You think I want to be doing this? I do this to like make a living. I’m like, okay. Like– [banter]


Alycia Pascual-Peña: But you still don’t have to be awful. Yeah.


Yasmine Hamady: Why is that your fucking problem?


Alexa Jay: I don’t know what that has to do with me. Like, go get a different job. Like, I really don’t know what you– 


Yasmine Hamady: No. 


Alexa Jay: –are trying to make me feel bad for. Like, I don’t feel bad for you at all. 


Yasmine Hamady: And I think this all goes to show that with how much progress we think that we’re doing in this industry and how much progress we think that we’re making, people like him still exist and they’re all over, even the higher ups–


Josie Totah: And the and the businesses still exist like that. 


Yasmine Hamady: I was going to say the business. They’re doing– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Absolutely. 


Yasmine Hamady: –just fine, I’m sure of it. But like with how much progress we think we’re making. But then there’s the trailblazers like you who are actually doing something and making. Like I, I felt like an other before because I’ve been, you know, I’m wearing, you know, a size 32 on my pants and whatnot. Even though there’s women who are larger than me, there’s women who are smaller than me, like because of women like you who are making even though that’s not your job, even though you shouldn’t have to have gone through that to say something. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: Like you are just you’re just so like, you’re outstanding. That’s the–


Alexa Jay: Thank you. 


Yasmine Hamady: –one word I could think of, just outstanding. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: I agree. And I also think it’s important to note like. It’s beautiful that we’re talking about diversity. Right. But I think that we forget that, like intersectionality isn’t always the center of that conversation. 


Yasmine Hamady: 100%. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: You know, when you are Black, when you are not a sample size, when you are not X-Y-Z, like, what does that look like? And specifically with diversity like I wish. It’s beautiful that we talk about diversity and race and sexual orientation and how you identify, but it’s like, I don’t think that we see enough diversity in body types. 


Yasmine Hamady: No we don’t. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: You know, or [?]. 


Alexa Jay: Influencer trips. Don’t get me started. [laugh]


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Don’t even get me started like–


Alexa Jay: Don’t even get me started. 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Like when it comes to individuals with disabilities, when it comes to people who um are plus size and all those things. But how do you feel about influencer trips and a lack of diversity when it comes to– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: –body inclusivity? 


Alexa Jay: It’s just so interesting. Like, I just feel like there’s people that really make it their life mission to be inclusive, and then there’s people that want to check a box and they want people to be able to look at their Instagram post and say, okay, two Black girls, one Hispanic girl, one Asian girl. [claps] Nice. They did it like– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: No! Like make sure–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: But why is everybody the same size? 


Alexa Jay: Exactly. And like, and then, like, I am so privileged. I grew up with a business mindset. I my dad’s a businessman, like I know how to make long lasting relationships with people. 


Yasmine Hamady: 100%. 


Alexa Jay: So when I start working with these brands, I’m not just like send me free product, thank you so much. Good to see you. Like, I’m like, you want to eat lunch? Like, let’s sit down. I would love to get to know you. 


Yasmine Hamady: Invest in these relationships. 


Alexa Jay: Exactly. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: That’s how you get a long lasting career is like making relationships with people. And it’s just interesting because 99% of these companies that are inviting these influencers to all these things, they are white women. And I can’t tell you the amount of time that companies have asked me, oh, are there any other Black creators you like or are there any other curve girls that we should be looking at? It’s like, go do your own fucking research. 


Yasmine Hamady: That’s not your fucking job. 


Alexa Jay: That’s literally not my job. Like, that is not my job. Don’t go scroll through my Instagram of who my friends are that are influencers. Like go out and look at who the women are that are representing your products and are also doing good things in the space. Take the time to do that. Like–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: They’re lazy. 


Alexa Jay: Exactly. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: When it comes to diversity and inclusion sometimes. And it’s like that tokenism that you talked about earlier. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yup. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Like, oh, you have one, but you don’t actually want to listen to me or empower me or give me the platform you’ll give white girls, because now I’m here at this party with you, right? But it’s like, are you going to sustain that relationship? Or does Cathy, who seems more paleable [SIC] and is a smaller size than me, get the support? 


Alexa Jay: And I know I’m not the normal influencer like I do product reviews– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: And you shouldn’t be. 


Alexa Jay: –I do stuff like that. But I also speak my mind like I’m not– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Period. 


Alexa Jay: I don’t disrespect people. I keep it cute, but like I’m going to be honest about things. And maybe that turns some people away. 


Josie Totah: But that’s also why people love you. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: And– 


Yasmine Hamady: That’s that’s exactly. 


Josie Totah: And why you have such a great fan base, including us. Because– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: –like you, you do speak your mind and you’re authentic. And I think that’s something that even people are realizing nowadays with influencers, at least among my friends, that like we really like, it’s like the honesty and the rawness that you possess that I think is what attracts people to you. But I think we should shift gears a little bit– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: Okay. 


Josie Totah: And talk about your life now and– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yes. 


Josie Totah: –how’s everything going. As you know, you’ve garnered so much success and now that you’ve entered this new era as we spoke um– 


Alexa Jay: It’s so interesting– 


Josie Totah: –how are we feeling? 


Alexa Jay: –hearing like other people talk about my successes because in my mind I’m always like, okay, what am I doing now? What’s next? 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah what’s next? 


Alexa Jay: If I go one week without a shoot or without something, I’m like, dried up, done. [laugh] Like there’s nothing else– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yup. 


Alexa Jay: –to do da da da. But, you know, I it’s been really nice, like making real friends in the space because then you get to actually hear people’s experiences that it’s highs and lows, like– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Absolutely. 


Alexa Jay: There’s months you’re making so much money, you’re like, how am I doing this? And then there’s months where there’s literally zero and you’re like, whoa, what’s going on there? You know? And so I think for my career, I’ve just been I’ve always been, like you said, like an authentic person. So if you see my Instagram post or if you see my TikToks, like I’m actually doing the things in that moment, like it’s rare for me to like, put on an outfit and go take an Instagram picture. I need to be doing that more. And my manager tells me to do that more. And I do need- 


Yasmine Hamady: I’m dead at that. 


Alexa Jay: –to be doing that more. I do. But like I’ve just always been a very in the moment person. So like if I’m going to go take a picture, it’s like, okay, let’s go get dinner and like, I’m going to wear this outfit and get a picture for it. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: Or if I’m making a TikTok, it’s like me actually getting ready to go do something, not just like doing it– 


Josie Totah: It’s not–


Alexa Jay: –to make the video.


Josie Totah: –three p.m. and you’re like, I have a I have a flight that’s leaving in 5 minutes. 


Alexa Jay: Literally. Yeah, no. 


Josie Totah: I need to get my full [?] done. 


Alexa Jay: I can’t. I’m also like what are you guys–


Josie Totah: Also how how are these bitches wearing this much makeup on a flight? 


Alexa Jay: I’m like I– 


Josie Totah: I’m so confused about that. I’m like–


Alexa Jay: –get off the flight with three extra pimples, how are you [?]– [indistinct banter] 


Josie Totah: –[?] California to the East Coast in full glam. 


Alexa Jay: I– 


Yasmine Hamady: Because they’re in business class and they could just lay down and they’ll be fine. 


Josie Totah: No. But even I feel like when you step in an airplane, it’s like the air is like–


Alexa Jay: Immediately my mascara’s down to here. 


Josie Totah: It’s like feces. [laugh] [indistinct]


Alexa Jay: I am like I am not cute on a plane. 


Yasmine Hamady: No. But no–


Alexa Jay: Never have been. 


Yasmine Hamady: Um. I I am. But I will never put on makeup. I always say, like, just in case.–


Alycia Pascual-Peña: No, she does look cute. I look–


Yasmine Hamady: No. I always look good on a plane because just in case I go down, I want be the hottest corpse alive. 


Alexa Jay: I’m obsessed. 


Yasmine Hamady: Like that’s a part that’s a part of my like stand up bit. 


Josie Totah: What is another brand or a campaign that is a goal of yours that– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yup. 


Josie Totah: –you want to put out in to the universe? 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. Come on, Manifestation Queen. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: I have worked with this brand on social media a lot, but I want to do a campaign so bad with Skims. So bad. 


Yasmine Hamady: Oh!


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Okay. 


Alexa Jay: So bad, so bad.


Yasmine Hamady: Everyone will talk their shit about it. I’ll die for Skims. 


Alexa Jay: I’ll die for Skims. 


Yasmine Hamady: I’ll die for skims. 


Alexa Jay: I don’t care. 


Yasmine Hamady: I don’t care.


Alexa Jay: I love their stuff so much. 


Josie Totah: Tracy. Listen up. 


Alexa Jay: Yeah. Please. [whispering indistinct] 


Josie Totah: Miss Romulus. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yes. 


Josie Totah: This girl’s right here. 


Alexa Jay: Pick me, pick me, pick me, pick me. [laugh] I don’t know who I need to tell but please pick me. But that’s a huge goal for for me. I would love to do that so badly. And then another group that I or a brand that I love is Meow. So I just stated working with [indistinct]– [banter]


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Ah they’re great.


Alexa Jay: But I would love to model for them. 


Yasmine Hamady: –their corsets. I’ve never had like a clothing that actually makes me feel like as someone who is curvy, where it like, cinches me in all the right places, you know how many [indistinct]– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: You actually are obsessed with Meow. 


Yasmine Hamady: –my tits are, I’ve said this last episode to the gods. 


Alexa Jay: To the gods. 


Yasmine Hamady: And it makes you feel so sexy. 


Alexa Jay: Ugh. 


Yasmine Hamady: I love that. Also, I’m putting this out there right now while we close out this episode. In the next two years, you are going to be walking in a Savage Fenty show. Mark my words. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yes. 


Yasmine Hamady: You are going to be walking on it. I’ll put the I literally I thought about that months ago by the way. 


Josie Totah: 100 percent. 


Yasmine Hamady: I literally was like, this girl is going to walk this Savage Fenty show. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Yasmine Hamady: Give it two years or less.


Alexa Jay: No. That’s my number one goal. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Alexa Jay: My like it’s in every manifestation, anything I’ve ever written, seen, done, whatever. I love the Savage team more than I love myself. I love them so much. 


Josie Totah: Tell them. Tell them right there. There’s a camera. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: The camera. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah tell them. 


Josie Totah: Tell– 


Alexa Jay: Me, you, Savage. You already know. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oooh. Period. 


Alexa Jay: Let’s not play around. Just call me. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah, but all in all, Alexa we are so grateful that you came here today to talk to us. [banter]


Josie Totah: Genuinely. 


Yasmine Hamady: You are genuinely such a light. And you are anyone who is gracious enough to have you in their life. Like even just us. We’re so damn lucky. And thank you for giving. Like, I don’t know, like girls like us and like my little sister and her, all of her friends someone to look up to on social media and someone to like see themselves in because we don’t see that anymore. And we don’t see that a lot. So thank you. You should be–


Josie Totah: Couldn’t have said it better. 


Yasmine Hamady: –so damn proud of yourself. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: We appreciate you.


Josie Totah: Everyone please go follow her at– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yeah. 


Josie Totah: What are your ats? Tell us your TikTok– 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. Plug yourself.


Josie Totah:  Tell us your instagram.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Whatever you want to drop. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Let us know.


Alexa Jay: TikTok is @flexylexxxy I think Lexxxy has three X’s. Don’t really know. Also didn’t know I was going to be a TikTok-er when I made that username. Just so everybody knows.


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah! You’re stuck with her.


Alexa Jay: I’m stuck with her forever. And then my Instagram is @AlexaaaJay and Alexa has three A’s at the end. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Period. 


Alexa Jay: And I just want to say I’m a fan of you guys. Like I’ve literally been a fan since you posted that you were launching this. And so I’m so thankful and like in my mind, I was manifesting being here, so I’m so happy to be on here.


Yasmine Hamady: Ah no way. Oh my god well we’re so happy. 


Josie Totah: We’ll have many more conversations– 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Yes. 


Josie Totah: –like this to come. 


Alexa Jay: I would love that. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah, we’ll all hang out.


Alexa Jay: And we all just need to get together. [banter indistinct in agreement]


Alycia Pascual-Peña: [indistinct] –dinner moment. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 100%. 


Alexa Jay: Would love that. 


Josie Totah: Yay 


Yasmine Hamady: All right. Well that’s our episode um check out Dare We Say on YouTube and subscribe to our channel if you want to watch us all look so fucking sexy while we talk about shitting on L.A. clubs and body diversity. Um.


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Purr. 


Josie Totah: Or shitting in L.A. clubs we’ll tell you which one has the best bathroom for doing so. 


Yasmine Hamady: Yeah. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Oooh. Yeah.


Yasmine Hamady: That was good Jos. 


Alexa Jay: Honestly genius.


Josie Totah: Thank you. Bye. 


Yasmine Hamady: Bye. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: Bye. [music break]


Josie Totah: Dare We Say is a Crooked Media production. 


Yasmine Hamady: Caroline Reston is our showrunner producer and mommy and Ari Schwartz is our producer and show daddy. Fiona Pestana is our associate producer and Sandy Girard is the almighty executive producer. 


Josie Totah: It’s hosted and produced by me, Josie Totah. 


Yasmine Hamady: And me, Yasmine Hamady. 


Alycia Pascual-Peña: And me, Alycia Pascual-Peña. Our engineer and editor is Jordan Cantor, and Brian Vasquez is our theme music composer. Our video producers are Matt DeGroot, Narineh Melkonian and Delon Villanueva and Mia Kellman. 


Josie Totah: Lastly, thank you to Jordan Silver, Gabriela Leverette, Jesse McLean, Caroline Heywood, Shaina Hortsmann, Deisi Cruz, Danielle Jensen, and Ewa Okulate for marketing the show and making us look so damn good.