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Life & Work with Alicia Briggs

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alicia Briggs.

Hi Alicia, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Hey, I’m Alicia (Ali) and I’m a local Kansas City plus sized model. Self Confidence was never something I possessed. Struggling with my weight and various mental illnesses left me feeling like an outcast in school, the workforce, and in my everyday life. Never believing that I deserved healthy relationships, stable employment, recognition for my achievements, or success in any form left me purely existing instead of truly living.

Five years ago, I lost a large amount of weight and saw how people started to treat me differently. So much so that I began to completely tie my worth to my weight loss. Stepping on the scale multiple times a day and telling myself that I am only successful or admirable if the number was going down – no matter the cost. During that time, I was focusing less and less on my mental, emotional, and financial health and more on my pants size and what others thought of my appearance. Years of this caused me to fall deeply into depression, debt, hopelessness, and shame. Ultimately giving up on my diet and workout regimen, causing me to gain back the weight I had lost to become “valuable.” The only positive thing that came from this era was the start of my modeling career. However, this, much like most things in my life at the time, was put on hold during

Thankfully I was able to get myself to the doctor while I was at my lowest two years ago. I worked with them to restart and tweak my medication as well as get my in touch with therapists and counselors for me to speak to. Finally, focusing on my mental health and no longer attaching my worth to my weight, I found myself succeeding in my career, becoming more financially stable, and focusing much less on the scale. I had gained some of my weight back at this point and, much like everyone else, I saw a large increase in my weight during 2020 (thanks, Corona). Previously, that weight gain would have broken me, but I have finally been able to work on myself (outside of my weight) enough to where that wasn’t the case. I was happy! With myself, my situation, and my body!

Being happy in most things, I found myself missing my creative outlet of modeling. I have previously told myself that I would only be successful in the modeling industry at my smallest. Told myself that I wouldn’t have a chance to participate in runway or succeed in editorial photography looking the way I do currently. However, I decided that I didn’t care if I “succeeded” – I just wanted to get back into the field for me. Since that decision was made in late 2020, I have found myself in 6 runway shows walking for multiple designers, getting signed by a local agency, being cast in an out-of-state show, working with multiple local photographers and businesses, as well as creating some of the best art I have created to date.

Loving myself for who I am now and not focusing on who I once was or who I could be has not only helped my modeling career explode in less than a year. It has also helped me skyrocket my career, as well. I am currently a Solution Consultant at a software company – something I never thought I would be able to do. Working my hardest and knowing my worth has allowed me to get yearly promotions and raises for the past few years. I am currently several levels higher and with much more responsibility than I was when I was struggling a few years ago and I plan on continuing this upward motion in the years to come.

Love yourself, believe in yourself and your worth, focus more on your happiness and health than what others think of you… and you will be AMAZED how your life will change.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Relearning that my value doesn’t come from my weight/weight loss was one of the most difficult things I have ever had to learn. I am currently a very proud curve model and quite a few sizes larger than my smallest size. I am still focused on bettering all forms of my health – physical, emotional, mental, financial, etc. – but health does not have a pants size.

Not caring about what others think of me is something that I am still challenged with on occasion. People can be cruel for a variety of reasons. Often saying things solely to hurt you and try to bring you back down. Not listening to those things are much easier said than done. However, having a strong relationship with yourself will help you combat anything that comes your way. Including those who just want to see you fail.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a Solution Consultant 2 at Hyland Software. In this position, as well as my previous, I am the only person on my team without a college degree. I have gotten where I am based solely off of my hard work, determination, and knowing my worth. Even just four years ago, I was in a completely different position making barely enough to pay my bills, living off the dollar section at Sunfresh. Not believing I deserved better. Not believing I would ever be better. Amazing things can happen in such a short time, even if you can’t picture it in the moment.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs or other resources you think our readers should check out?
The Subtle Art of not Giving a Fuck!! This is the only self-help book I have ever made it all of the ways through. Most other books in that genre lean heavily on religion and believing in a higher power to help you through things. This is completely fine if that is what you believe and what helps you out of your dark spots in life. However, that does not register with me personally and I could never really connect with their message. However, this book really cut to the chase and slapped me in the face with my reality and thought process.

There are also multiple therapy apps that have been coming out recently! These have helped me quite a bit because, as someone who struggles with mental illness knows, it is often difficult to ask for the help that you need in the throws of your illness. Even if you can ask for help, it is even more difficult to follow through with what is needed to be done to receive this help. Therapy apps are a no-pressure, no-expectation way to talk to an unbiased party about what is going on inside of your head. Most, if not all, have a free version and I cannot suggest that enough for anyone struggling now.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
KrisDavi Photography Courtney Gunter Royal Shurn AK Imagery

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