Alicia Fox has opened up her life to a worldwide audience on WWE Total Divas.
Showing a more vulnerable side, the female butt-kicker resonates with fans outside the ring on the E! reality series.
Fox relives these experiences, both good and bad, alongside audiences on Tuesday nights. The 29-year-old has found the experience educational.
“I realize I still have a lot of growing up to do,” Fox admitted.
“I began to start digesting how to mature from those immature moments. I definitely felt I have grown as a person. There are certain storylines — I have one coming up with my family. Everyone has family struggles. My favorite recently is when Paige and I help a kid who is going through a sexual struggle in coming out to his parents. Being there and supporting him, it feels really good. The feedback has been really good. A lot of people feel really motivated and inspired.”
Fox’s relationships have been a focus throughout the seasons, including the current Season 5 and her frequent disagreements with fellow divas Paige and Rosa Mendes. Then there is the problem of finding the right guy. Whether she has to figure out how to coexist with an ex at the workplace or deal with the complications of dating an older man, Fox’s story is relatable to many in similar romantic situations.
“It feels really awkward — my dating life,”Fox said of watching it unfold on TV. “I think, ‘Wow, that came off like a train wreck.’ But it kind of helps you after watching it in making better choices in the dating world. It just feels kind of lonely, because you watch and are like, ‘Aw, poor girl! Poor me.’ Dating an older man is different. It’s enjoyable, but dating someone in the business is one lesson and something I will never do again. Never.”
Fox is part of Team Bella with Nikki and Brie. During the time, she has bonded even more with the twins. The leggy beauty is always willing to lend a hand — or an ear — during challenging times in their professional and personal lives.
“We’ve been friends going on about 10 years now,” Fox said.
“It’s pretty cool that we’ve been able to struggle together and grow together. However, in recent months — with Nikki’s injury and whether or not Brie is going to start a family and all the stuff happening with Daniel [Bryan] and his injury and retirement — it really means a lot that they can trust me as a friend and have me on their supporting team. It feels good to go through that with them, because I constantly put myself in their shoes and figure how I would deal with everything.
“It can be giving advice or just listening to them,” Fox continues. “I want to be there. Then too, being in the same industry, it’s a different lesson. You think, ‘This injury could have happened to me. I’ve been in it this whole time.’ With Nikki and her neck and if she is going to come back, these are real-life situations. I take this and think about where I structure my own plan and how it can totally change, because that’s reality. So I try to be a good friend to them and figure out a way to support them. That has definitely brought us a lot closer.”
A benefit of Total Divas in Fox’s eyes is the chance to show fans that being a woman in a male-dominated industry isn’t always glitz and glamour. Along with the occasional red-carpet and modeling session, there are sacrifices and constant obstacles to overcome.
“In this business, the beauty is in the struggle and never getting away from bettering yourself,” Fox said.
“I think the big misconceptions is that we get a lot of sleep or we make a lot of money or we are always being wined and dined and get flown here and there. They think it’s all this celebrity lifestyle, but really it’s not. I mean, Paige and I can have this five-hour drive after Raw to a SmackDown taping. Typically, we leave the building by 11 or so and get checked in at the hotel by 2:30 or later. Then there are other things we have to get done, whether it’s doing interviews or going to the gym. Then I’m stressing about trying to figure out when I’m going to be home to pay my bills. It’s a struggle of time management. That’s the biggest thing I think people will never understand.”
Another part of the job of being a public figure is the regular scrutiny about looks. Everyone has an opinion about every inch of a WWE performer. Fox can often set social media afire with just her hair.
“People want to put their two cents in,” she said. “Why I don’t take it personally is because I understand my struggle when it comes to not only getting a hair appointment, but personal image. If you look at the Diva’s division right now, across the board, everyone seems to have the cotton candy hair. So I think about what I can do to be different. Thinking about how I want to express myself. Those are just things I have been thinking about personally. Then WrestleMania is around the corner, so you want to freshen things up. You’re not just worrying about your hair, but trying to figure out where you fit into the division and where you can add more value to the brand.”
It’s hard to believe Fox is approaching the 10-year anniversary of her first WWE contract. Since then, she has evolved from onscreen wedding planner and backup dancer to respected in-ring veteran and the first African-American Divas champion in history. She attributes much of her longevity to being versatile and flexible.
“You see it in my bookings,” Fox said. “I’m a bad guy. I’m a good guy. I’m throwing French fries. Then I’m not. Sometimes I get dizzy, too, but I think being able to help in any fashion is what adds value to the superstars and Divas of WWE. Not having an ego is important. I think people can get caught up in certain things and start believing their own hype. But you have to realize that nothing stays the same. So you just go through that journey with confidence and try not to stress as much. That can all contribute to long-term success from my perspective.”
The “Foxy One” has really done just about everything in WWE — although she says she hasn’t had a love interest yet. So there is that.
“I keep teasing the Dudley Boyz that I’m going to go down to Dudleyville,” Fox said, jokingly. “But they’re like, ‘No chicks allowed — I don’t know if we can have girls again.’ I think it would work. Oh well.”
It’s an exciting time for fans of women’s wrestling in WWE. The company has provided a newfound platform for its divas to showcase their athletic abilities. With new blood in the locker room, the atmosphere is competitive to say the least.
“It’s definitely motivating that they have pushed the women in a new direction,” Fox said.
“However, I think about creating my next chapter and how much longer I want to be in the ring and where I want to go after. That’s what has kind of fueled the fact that I’m so willing to help these new girls get to where they want to go. It’s not so much as me wanting to put myself on the back-burner, but I think it’s important to share my guidance and experience with these girls.
“I think it makes me more valuable at the moment than anything else because being in this for almost a decade I’ve been in their shoes. I’ve been in the ring with Beth Phoenix, Gail Kim and Melina. They were at a point where they have been on a different level and ready to start their own new chapter. I feel like right now I’m balancing things and deciding what direction I want to go. I see these new faces and notice the division is changing. I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Mandy Rose is the latest addition to the Total Divas cast. Fox can see potential in others if producers decided to include someone in the group.
“I definitely love when Renee [Young] is on there,” she said. “She is always fresh, spunky and fun. I get along really well with Lana. I think Lana is great. She is outspoken at times and crazy. It would be interesting to see what she is like in real life and how she would get along with the girls. There are a lot of good girls I would like to see on the show, but maybe someone from NXT. I really like Carmella. She is really nice. I don’t know how she is in her personal life, but she seems really sweet. I would like to hang out with her. Any girl really could come on this show, and we would have a good time.”
Fox and the rest of the roster are gearing up for WrestleMania at AT&T Stadium in Dallas on April 3. The week leading up to the grand spectacular is also meaningful. The festivities include the WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Among the 2016 class is Jacqueline Moore, a tougher than nails and the first African American women’s champion. Fox is gearing up for an unforgettable time.
“WrestleMania means a lot,” she said.
“It’s cool because you see the visual growth. Last year there was a tag match…Now it seems like it’s a new edge and new feeling of divas going forward. It’s awesome to be a part of.
“Jackie, seeing her as an African American woman and a former women’s champion is going into the Hall of Fame, it’s really cool. WrestleMania is always that feeling of what you are going to wear and what you’re going to do. It has its moments, but I think myself and the other girls are going to feel motivated to keep creating the next level for the division and leaving legacies from all angles. We are very proud. I’m very proud to be a part of the division and be a part of this team. You feel this support and sense of girl power. You feel this sense of women empowerment.”
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Photos Courtesy: WWE