Angel Reese on Balancing Fame, Femininity, and Basketball

It’s definitely hard. Everyone comes from diverse backgrounds and has different lives outside of the team. I didn’t have sisters growing up, so my freshman year in college was my first time being around many different women with varying personalities, backgrounds, and styles. Initially it was tough for me to adjust to being around girls every day. However, as I’ve taken on leadership roles and become a captain, I’ve learned how to connect with each teammate personally. It’s actually quite enjoyable now. We have each other’s backs, communicate regularly, and provide unwavering support. I truly love them—these girls will be in my life forever.

I’ve always admired embracing my femininity as a female player, and of course, I’ve faced criticism for it at times. Now, seeing you confidently embrace your authentic self and being celebrated, I feel like a proud mentor. Tell me about your feelings in this space, especially now that you have a significant spotlight on you in terms of balancing beauty and basketball.

People often expect me to constantly showcase basketball on my Instagram and think it’s my entire life. They may assume that if I’m not posting about being in the gym, I’m not working on my game, or if I’m not sharing modeling pictures, I’m not pursuing that. Balancing it can be tough. But my social media is my personal space, a reflection of what brings me joy and what I want to share. It’s about what I like. I understand that many people pay attention to my social media, and it can be challenging to embrace this duality fully.

I mean, you’ve always led the way in embracing femininity in the league and in college as well, and I want to continue that legacy. You’ve shown that you can be both girly and fiercely competitive on the court. Knowing that strong women like you and others before us have paved the way, I’m determined to carry that torch forward.

What are your top two or three beauty tips or must-have products?

I always have my lashes in the locker room, and in case they get knocked off, my lash glue and an edge control brush. I always have my edges done. So it’s all about edges, lip gloss, and lashes. That’s my go-to routine.

Now, let’s give a shout-out to LSU. How has your increased fame impacted your campus life? It seems like your level of recognition has made it challenging to move around freely.

LSU has been incredibly supportive. While I do take an in-person class because I enjoy being on campus and seeing everyone, the rest of my classes are online, which provides flexibility. When I first joined LSU, I had around 70,000 followers, and now I have over 2 million. They truly embrace you here and go beyond recognizing you as an athlete.

LSU has a program called NIL LSU, which assists athletes in embracing the Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) concept and helps us build our personal brands. Our coaches understand that we’re not just athletes on the court but individuals with lives off the court. They prioritize our success both on and off the court. The LSU community has been exceptionally amazing to me, and it’s why I’ve been affectionately named Bayou Barbie. Baton Rouge has been an incredible place for me.

What are your basketball goals for the upcoming year and beyond?

This is my senior year, and I have the opportunity to declare for the WNBA this year if I choose to. So my main focus is being a positive leader for my team, especially with new players joining us. I want to inspire and support my teammates, especially the freshmen and transfers who are adapting to our system.

Our ultimate goal is to win another national championship, but personally, I aspire to make it to the WNBA. While I do have the option for another year, I do want to get out of college, start life outside of school, and pursue my WNBA dreams. It’s been a challenging but rewarding four years, and I’m excited to continue improving at LSU and beyond.

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