In case you haven’t seen Alice’s TikTok videos, she is a 19-year-old successful model and all round boss babe. Last month she was involved in an accident, leaving her with burns across her face and body. We have been following her recovery story, her journey with internet trolls and the impact it has had on her mental health. We wanted to find out how she was coping. Keep scrolling to read our full interview with Alice Yaxley below.
Interview with Alice Yaxley
How did you start your journey into modelling?
When I was 16 I went to a festival with my friend and a model scout gave me a business card. I went to my first interview and was signed with Phoenix Model Management straight away and I’ve been with them ever since.
How did your accident happen?
My friend and i were on our way to Brighton when we realised her car was overheating, she had just had a new radiator fitted (and we have subsequently found out it was fitted incorrectly).
I opened the car bonnet to see if the radiator had enough water and coolant, but the tank was empty, so I looked at the radiator and it exploded with boiling water and steam all over my face and body.
It broke the surface of my skin very badly on my face and 999 was called. A fire engine came and I was hosed down for half an hour to try and stop the burning and then i was rushed to hospital in an ambulance. I was left with awful burns to my face and body and i couldn’t see out of my left eye for 3/4 days due to hot steam damaging the surface of my eye.
How did it impact your mental health?
It was such a shock but the first thing I could think of was “oh no I’m never going to be able to work again”. At first my mental health was awful, I had such a negative outlook on life and just questioned why this had happened to me. The hospital staff suggested that I avoided l look in the mirror and couldn’t give a definitive answer about if my face would ever heal.
I was in so much pain and I just remember touching my face and feeling my skin peel off, I was devastated. The next day I went to a specialist hospital for burns and they said that my chances of recovery with minimal scaring was very likely. But working in an industry based on looks made me put a lot of pressure on myself. Watching myself get better every day and having so many supportive people around me helped my confidence. If anything, I feel better in myself now with scars than I did before the accident! I’ve learned to love myself, no matter what I look like.
What made you want to share your story on TikTok?
I wanted to share my TikTok because it was an awful accident that I wouldnt wish on anyone. The video went viral and I had lots of positive comments saying how inspiring it was to watch me be so confident.
I made some more to help anyone that was struggling with self confidence or anyone with scaring. Some of these videos have had over 4 million views now and I hope it can inspire people. Beauty comes from within and I wanted everyone to see that looks really aren’t everything. In fact in my industry, you are more likely to be remembered for who you are and how you treat people than what you look like.
What is making you feel positive during your recovery?
Definitely the support Ive had from people on TikTok and brands such as Missguided has helped me feel better in myself. Even spreading awareness and changing some peoples’ views on what beauty really is has kept my spirit up.
What tips would you give someone who is struggling with body confidence?
Looks don’t define who you are as person, confidence comes from within you and only you can show who you truly are! Don’t let other people’s opinions try and shadow your shine! I sometimes feel self conscious of my scars but no one has ever pointed them out before. You are your biggest critic, everyone else thinks you are beautiful the way you are… remember that.
What’s the best way to deal with hateful or nasty comments on social media?
I have had some nasty comments on social media including: “you deserved to burn” “haha you’ll never model again” “I hope when you have children they burn just like you did” “You only posted this for attention and to brag”. At first they upset me but the positive comments have outweighed the negative massively! I tackled the comments head on by replying to show their comments really don’t affect me. If anything they are making more determined to prove them wrong and show how well I can do in the fashion industry even with scars.
What does self-care mean to you and how important has it been?
During lockdown I let myself slip, but I’ve realised how important it is in the last few weeks. I pulled myself out of a dark place after the accident and I’ve come out the other side so much more positive. Manifesting good things into my life has been a big part of my mental self care recently. Everyday I write down 5 good things I’ve done and 5 things I like about myself and its really helped me to see the good in myself.
What’s your empowering boss babe mantra?
“Turn doubts into determination” As I said before about the hate comments motivating me to do better, I think its so important to use the negative things in life to grow as a person.
If you enjoyed our interview with Alice Yaxley and want to read more empowering Q+As, discover celebrity style steals or find your latest beauty hack, check back to the Babezine for new posts every day.