The Stunning Transformation Of Social Media Star Alix Earle

Since the dawn of social media, numerous stars have emerged from the ranks of Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and the like. Among these is Miami-based social media influencer Alix Earle, who has amassed more than 10 million followers combined on Instagram and TikTok. She's been dubbed "the internet's it girl" by Variety, which reported that Earle was No. 1 in 2023's annual "Taking Stock with Teens" survey as the most popular media personality among the Gen Z demographic, topping the likes of Taylor Swift and Mr. Beast. That achievement was made all the more impressive by the fact that she'd never before even made it into that survey's top 10, let alone rule it.

While Earle has come to have many irons in the fire, her bread and butter remains TikTok, where she's amassed nearly 900 million likes. The key driver to that success has been her "get ready with me" videos, in which she films herself putting on makeup and demonstrating her skincare routine while sharing her thoughts in a casual, conversational style that has clearly connected with people.

It's been a wild ride — and considering she turned 23 in December 2023, it's only just begun. To find out more, read on to experience the stunning transformation of social media star Alix Earle.

She had a privileged childhood

Alix Earle was born in Monmouth, New Jersey, the oldest of five children (she has one sister, and three half-siblings). Her father, Thomas "TJ" Earle, is the owner of Earle, a successful construction and road-paving company that was founded by her grandfather, and brings in more than $24 million per year. Thanks to the company's prosperity, she grew up in an atmosphere of wealth and privilege where money was never an issue.

Still, she's always had a strong work ethic. As her LinkedIn account pointed out, she held teenage jobs working in a boutique and serving frozen custard. She also took an active role in the company as a marketing intern, managing the company's social media accounts and even designing the firm's 2020 Thanksgiving card.

That extended to her social life as well. When her mom, Alisa, joined her on her "Hot Mess" podcast, she told viewers Earle was a bit of a control freak when she was in high school. "You were like the leader of the pack without being the leader of the pack. You liked to initiate every party, plan every outfit for every event that was going on and planning every event," she said.

Her parents divorced after her dad's scandalous affair

Alix Earle's father became embroiled in controversy when he had an affair with Ashley Dupré, a former call girl linked to the sex scandal that brought down former New York governor Eliot Spitzer. When the affair exploded in the media, it sparked a whole other scandal that led to the divorce of her parents when she was in the second grade. After Dupré became pregnant, she and Earle's father got engaged. "I didn't know the severity of what had happened between my parents," she said while appearing on the "Call Her Daddy" podcast.

As Earle explained, it wasn't until a few years later that she discovered the truth. "I'm Googling my family, and all of a sudden, I see that the past two years of my life had been a lie," she said, admitting that "it felt like my world crashed down in that moment."

Her father ultimately married Dupré, and Earle conceded her relationship with her stepmom hasn't always been easy. "I wanted to rip her head off," Earle said of her initial feelings toward Dupré. Over time, though, their relationship thawed and is now thoroughly warm. As Earle told Elle, she and her stepmother are now close. "We've gotten to such a good point," she said. Whatever's happened in the past, we've all gotten past it as a family."

She struggled with an eating disorder

Alix Earle always felt that she'd had a healthy relationship with food. Discussing the topic on her "Hot Mess" podcast, Earle shared that she'd never been one to restrict food or go on diets. "I just kind of thought it was like, eat what you want, eat what you love," she said.

During high school, she recalled, some of her friends began going on crash diets. As she observed their efforts, that kind of behavior gradually became normal to her. "It was a very, very toxic environment when it came to girls' relationship with food," she said. Before long, she found herself joining them on a quest to lose weight. Over time, restricting food and counting calories evolved into binge-eating and, ultimately, bulimia. Meanwhile, she also began developing body dysmorphia whenever she looked in the mirror. Realizing the dangerous path she'd placed herself on, she came to a decision. "I knew I needed to stop, and I did," she said. "I stopped making myself throw up."

Once she began attending the University of Miami, her new friends became concerned about her eating habits and schooled her on how unhealthy her behavior was. That positive reinforcement eventually led her to move past the toxic relationship that she'd developed with eating. "I'm able to be at this great place now with food where I don't really think about this at all," she added. 

Alix Earle's bad skin made her a social media sensation

When Alix Earle first joined TikTok, she dreamed of becoming a successful influencer on the platform. That didn't happen immediately, and she posted and posted for years, barely increasing her meager following.

Everything changed when Earle, who had long struggled with acne, decided to feature a photo of herself in the middle of a fierce outbreak. Suddenly, after three years with little movement, she suddenly began gaining followers, attracted by the vulnerable authenticity she displayed by showcasing herself when she was decidedly not at her best. "When I started out, I had no idea, and I was trying to be picture perfect, and I thought that was the way to go," Earle said while appearing on "The Howard Stern Show." Instead, she learned a valuable lesson in social media, realizing that what actually connected with people was opening up her authentic self, not presenting a glossy, unreal facade. "The second I stopped trying to be the hot, picture-perfect girl — is when things started to take off," she added.

While Accutane treatments helped her acne immeasurably, she also took to YouTube to share her morning skincare routine. As she explained, she never really had a regular skincare regimen while growing up, which likely exacerbated her skin issue. "This has been a big part of my skin journey, and sticking to clean, good products," she said of her routine. 

She figured out how to differentiate herself on TikTok

Once Alix Earle's TikTok account blew up, she decided to analyze why it happened — and see if she'd be able to capitalize on that growth and build it even bigger. The key factor she identified was that so much of what's served up on social media is fake or staged, with filters making even the worst complexion flawless. Showing off her imperfections, she believed, made her stand out by presenting a raw authenticity that is unfortunately all too rare in social media. 

"People are going to know. So why lie?" she explained in an interview with Today. "I think it's also something you see on social media, I grew up looking at these girls with these perfect bodies and are so you think and you think that's natural, and you think you're supposed to look that way," she said. "But that's not always real."

That has extended to her own admission of having breast augmentation surgery. "Not that getting plastic surgery is great," she told Rolling Stone. "People should know that this is what people are having done, and this is not how people are naturally looking."

She ended her 'toxic' romance with professional baseball player Tyler Wade

In September 2022, Alix Earle confirmed rumors she was dating Tyler Wade, a utility player for the San Diego Padres. She revealed they were an item during a TikTok makeup demonstration, telling her followers she was heading to a baseball game. "As of a few hours ago, I have a boyfriend," she said. In case that message didn't come across, she underlined it by writing in the caption, "Tea: she is not single."

The relationship didn't last long. Just three months later, in a TikTok Live video, she confirmed that it was all over. "We haven't been together for a hot minute," Earle said, revealing the split had occurred two weeks earlier (via E! News).

A year later, Earle shared more details about the breakup in an episode of her "Hot Mess" podcast. "It was such a toxic relationship, which is why I kind of got to the point of, 'Oh, he didn't post me. We broke up.' That was just one of the things we would fight about," she divulged. "We only dated for three months, so it didn't really get too serious. Everything that I did, he s**t on. He did not support me at all, especially when it came to social media stuff."

Her ability to sell products was dubbed the 'Alix Earle effect'

Arguably, Alix Earle's most desirable skill has been her almost uncanny ability to convince her followers to purchase the products that she promotes. Typically, all Earle has to do is mention a product or use it in a video, and it instantly sells out. So innate is that skill that it's actually been given a name, the "Alix Earle effect," which has become enough of a thing that it's actually been highlighted by the Harvard Business Review

Not surprisingly, as companies began to see the impact she had on their sales, the money that Earle could command skyrocketed. As Fox News reported in early 2023, she was then being paid between $40,000 and $70,000 for each brand partnership she scores, with those brands including the likes of GrubHub, Tarte, and the makeup brand of actor and singer Selena Gomez, Rare Beauty.

According to Jeremy Boudinet of Ubiquitous, a top influencer marketing firm, the secret sauce in Earle's content is her relatability. "One member of our team remarked that it feels like you're watching a cool big sister get ready on FaceTime and tell you about her day in the process," he told Fox News. "This has quickly built a sort of trusting, friendly familiarity with her audience — so when she makes product recommendations, it feels like hearing about something from a friend."

She signed with a major talent agency

As Alix Earle's popularity grew along with the massive social media following she'd built up within a relatively brief period of time, she captured the attention of Hollywood. In March 2023, The Hollywood Reporter shared the news that she was now represented by UTA, a top Tinseltown talent agency, which would help her to further build her brand and take her into whole new areas within the entertainment industry. "Alix has taken social media by storm, and we look forward to introducing her relatable content to more audiences across new platforms," said UTA's Ali Berman and Oren Rosenbaum in a joint statement. Those platforms, the agency said in an Instagram post, include audio, television, and other ventures.

It didn't take long for Earle's partnership with UTA to bear fruit. Just a few months later, in August 2023, Deadline reported that Alex Cooper, host of the popular "Call Her Daddy" podcast, had launched the Unwell Network, which hosts content from other creators on a variety of different mediums. Focusing primarily on beauty, fashion, pop culture, and lifestyle, among the talent that Cooper's Unwell Network scooped up was Earle. "Alix took the U.S. by storm with her 'get ready with me' videos, college lifestyle, and endearing personality," Cooper said a statement. "I feel honored to be at a place in my career where I can pass along knowledge and advice for a new generation of creators to flourish."

Alix Earle launched her own podcast

Shortly after the announcement that Alix Earle had joined Alex Cooper's Unwell Network, Variety reported that Earle was launching her own podcast under the Unwell umbrella. Titled "Hot Mess," Variety noted that the new podcast promised to bring Earle's fans far deeper into her life than Instagram posts and TikTok videos ever could. "From friendships to family, relationship updates to rumors, traveling and navigating life after college, get ready for all the behind-the-scenes details that you've been waiting for," read the podcast's description. 

Once again, it didn't take long for Earle to make a huge impact on what, for her, was a whole new medium. Within days of its debut, the first episode of "Hot Mess" became the No. 1 podcast on Spotify, taking over the position that had long been held by controversial comedian and UFC commentator Joe Rogen.

A remarkable achievement, to be sure, but seemingly just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential projects that Earle might have in the works. Could one of these be a Kardashians-style TV reality show? "A lot of people have said to me that they think I should do a reality TV show or they want to see more of my life," she said in a September 2023 interview with The Wall Street Journal, timed with the launch of her podcast. "I feel like this podcast is going to be a way for me to produce a show of my own." 

She confronted rumors about her breakup with NFL star Braxton Berrios

Looking back at Alix Earle's dating history, her relationship with MLB player Tyler Wade was as brief as it was bitter. She had far better luck with another professional athlete: NFL star Braxton Berrios, who plays wide receiver with the Miami Dolphins. The relationship appeared to have started in March 2023 and was engulfed in drama over rumors that Berrios cheated on then-girlfriend Olivia Culpo with Earle. 

Gossip flared that Berrios and Earle were a couple when they were spotted together that May, and even more when he attended her college graduation ceremony and when they took in an NBA game together that June. In July, she accompanied Berrios on the red carpet as his plus-one at the Espy Awards. Finally, that November, she confirmed they were a couple when she referred to him as her boyfriend during an episode of her podcast.

In April 2024, Earle documented her trip to Coachella on TikTok. Those videos, however, sparked rumors that there may be trouble in paradise when Berrios was nowhere to be seen while she attended the music festival. She responded with a pointed TikTok video, boasting a caption that read, "When ppl think we broke up bc I didn't bring him on a trip." Meanwhile, TMZ Sports caught up with Berrios, who was bluntly asked whether he planned to propose to Earle. "We'll see," he said, adding, "It's going well. We're happy."

An astrologer believes Alix Earle's fame was literally written in the stars

In 2024, Alix Earle sat down for an interview with Cosmopolitan, which took a very different approach than the typical interview. Here, Earle spoke with astrologer Aliza Kelly, who gave Earle a birth chart reading.

According to Kelly, Earle was destined to become a celebrity — at least from an astrological perspective. The primary factor Kelly pointed to was Earle's Leo midheaven, representing career. "Leo is associated with performance, visibility, and theatricality. Being on camera is something that is baked into the way that people relate to you," she observed. "The other thing in your chart that's cool is that Venus — which represents beauty, values, and money — is right next to Neptune, which is associated with fame and the entertainment industry." In fact, Kelly told Earle that she's seen that same astrological aspect in the charts of several other celebrities, noting that famed reality TV star Kim Kardashian had an identical conjunction with Venus and Neptune. 

Kelly also read the chart of Earle's boyfriend, Braxton Berrios, and told her that the forces drawing them together far transcend the physical. "He's very attracted to you, you're very attracted to him, but the attraction has a lot to do with the way that you strategize on things and come up with ideas," she explained. "It's not just a physical attraction — it's also an attraction to your mind and the way that you take action on things."

She's eager to start her own brand

Raking in oodles of money as a top social media influencer, her podcast an out-of-the-box hit, and a potential reality show on the horizon, what else is next for Alix Earle? "I would love to start and build my own brand," Earle declared in an interview with Glossy. While there are no firm plans in place or even a hint of what that might potentially look like, it's fair to say that Earle's track record so far promises that whatever she does will probably become another roaring success. 

In the meantime, Earle will keep on doing what she's been doing — and, given that she can reportedly earn up to $250,000 for a single TikTok video, why wouldn't she? 

Of course, there will always be haters and naysayers, complaining that someone so young and seemingly inexperienced doesn't deserve the success she's achieved. For that segment of the population, Earle likes to remind that she's been doing this for a lot longer than people may realize. "A lot of people will credit it as an overnight success," Earle told Glossy. "But I was trying for many years on TikTok, ... [focusing on] many different niches. It wasn't until my third, almost fourth year on TikTok that my videos started to get views."