Perfection is a moving target. This week, the Cut explores the allure of trying to achieve the impossible. Her name is Alexis Ren , and she is confidently explaining how she looks the same on Instagram as she does in person. With long blonde hair, suntanned skin, and a waist so small in circumference it appears to defy the laws of physics, she is a flawlessly filtered bikini body come to life.
And she knows it. This body helped Alexis become a social-media phenomenon long before she could vote or even drive. She got scouted in a Los Angeles mall at 13, modeled in Japan at 14, and found fame on the internet at 15, when photos of her posing by the pool in a black string bikini went viral on Tumblr. She travels all over the world — Bali, Ibiza, Burning Man — and documents her teen-dream swimsuit-wearing lifestyle on social media. When we meet a little after noon, she is wearing low-slung jeans and a black T-shirt that has been cropped and tied to display both her midriff and a fair amount of her black, lacy bra, which is maybe a little bit too small.
I will kiss her on the cheek. I will love her. I will take as many photos as she wants. Oh my God. People know me in Spain. People know me in London. People know me in the States. And people know a lot about her.
Until recently, Alexis was dating another Instagram-famous model, Jay Alvarrez. They did commercials as a couple for Snapchat , Express , and the all-new Hyundai Tucson. They posted short films depicting their romantic vacations on YouTube. They made public displays of affection on Instagram almost daily. Sometime this past summer, Jay and Alexis unfollowed each other on Instagram, triggering a tidal wave of cry-face emoji from devastated fans.
Alexis arranges her long, toned arms into an exaggerated shrug. Alexis tells me she was financially independent by the time she was Now she has her own place in L. Or be a sellout. When I was about 15, I started posting behind the scenes of shoots, little things of me holding up the color corrector, cute things, me in a bikini. It was just all innocent and fun, and I saw people really starting to respond to it. Then she posed in that infamous black bikini for photographer Lucas Passmore.
He posted the shots on Tumblr, and things spiraled from there. She reaches just about everyone on the planet, however, through various forms of social media. She has recently started posting her own aphorisms to great applause RTs. My aunt has a Facebook. Sometimes brands pay for the trips, and sometimes Alexis pays for the trips. Sometimes commenters claim that sugar daddies pay for the trips, and Alexis calls them out. I laugh. I find it so amusing that people actually think that.
At our lunch, she orders a kale-and-quinoa salad with seared tuna and an almond-milk latte. Part of the job is keeping an even tan. You need it. I need it to have that little spark … I think of the sun as my battery, my charger. So I have to have sun. I ask her if she wears sunscreen, and she says yes. I love to show off my body, and I feel like I earned it, because I work out every day.
In the future, Alexis hopes to transition her bikini success into more high-fashion jobs. I respect her because I understand … I mean, girls like her open the doors for girls like me.
So all I can do is thank her. Now she and fellow reality star Kendall Jenner are two of the top models in the world. Alexis could be one TV appearance away from mainstream success. Already a subscriber? Log in or link your magazine subscription. Account Profile. Sign Out. Alexis Ren. Tags: cut homepage lede perfect 10 alexis ren jay alvarrez instagram snapchat social media stars models fame More. Most Viewed Stories. Best of The Cut. More Stories.