Buy this shirt: Repulsorlift speeder classic shirt, hoodie, tannk top and long sleeve tee
On social media, Baumgardner exemplifies that idea. Her Instagram is filled with snapshots of herself training in leopard print bike shorts and posing in multi-color crop tops and leggings that showcase her sculpted physique. Though she proudly shows off her muscles now, Baumgardner admits that confidence took time. “I view my body as an art piece; my muscles tell a story,” she says. “I used to be incredibly self-conscious about them; as a young girl, I’d ask my parents why I had them because muscles were [coded] as masculine. I had to outgrow that mindset and become comfortable in my skin. That’s something I hope to bring to the fashion world, the understanding that muscles are womanly and feminine; you can embrace your natural looks and showcase that instead of conforming to a mold.”
While the idea of a boxer who fronts campaigns isn’t unprecedented. Stars like Laila Ali, Oscar de la Hoya, and Zeina Nassar have posed for Vogue Italia, Puma, and Nike respectively. But Baumgardner couldn’t have predicted her career trajectory. “I’d always wanted to model, but the crazy part is that I never imagined that the opportunity would come now,” she says. “When Ford came to me, I thought, ‘ok, this is big, but it’s [also] another avenue and a chance to show that other side of myself.” Modeling’s ups and downs require a different type of tenancy than boxing, but Baumgardner is eager for what comes next. “I’m open to the runway; I’m open to everything,” she says. “As an athlete and a woman, I love the challenge of trying something new and learning. Just as boxing was a sport to learn, modeling is the same; you have to practice being comfortable in front of the camera and posing.”
All the while, Baumgardner was also deep diving into high fashion via magazines, documentaries, and her ever-evolving personal style which skews sporty yet unapologetically feminine. “I was viewed as a tomboy because I’m this girl who plays boy’s sports, but I’m a girly girl at heart,” she says. “I’ve always loved dressing up, putting on makeup, getting my nails done, and just showing my feminine side. Some people only see Alycia the boxer, or they’ll view me as just a pretty face but knowing that I can be a beast in the ring and a beauty outside of it is powerful.” There are even practical advantages to staying abreast of the trends. “Boxing is an entertainment business; your image is important,” Baumgardner explains, citing theatrical stars like Deontay Wilder as an example. “People pay attention to your entrance, and from the moment you walk out, your uniform tells a story. Clothes are a way to show who you are; whether it’s a glittery outfit, rhinestones, or sequins, the fashion statement can emphasize your talents.”
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