Fashionistas may be familiar with the work of LA-based, celebrity stylist Ali Levine whose looks can be seen all over the red carpet but TV enthusiasts know her from Bravo’s latest show pushing all the boundaries—Stripped. Levine and her husband, Justin Jacaruso, were the first to attempt the social experiment on episode one, as they were separated from all their belongings (including the clothes off their backs) and left with nothing but an empty shell of a home, toilet paper, water, and food rations for 21 days.
In an attempt to learn about the unimportance of materialistic possessions, each day the couple chose to retrieve one item they felt was pivotal to their survival. Expected to live their lives per usual (going to work, visiting with friends and family, etc.) the couple underwent some awkward and very naked times, but inevitable learned that living like a minimalist may be the key to happiness.
Although Levine recalls sleeping on the cold wood floor, attempting to use toilette paper rolls as pillows to be the hardest part of the experience, she feels the process brought her closer to her husband as she realized the distance technology, work, and life in general can create in a marriage. Now that Levine's pregnant, we caught up with her to see how her experience on Stripped has impacted her life months later as she prepares for motherhood.
This opportunity has had an ongoing effect on the way she lives her life: “First off, I love my makeup and I am always glam, not having my makeup and normal products at my disposal has made me push myself to not always doll myself up. I still love to look good but I can be more natural and ok with that too. Secondly, I purge a lot more often and get rid of stuff. I recently got rid of 15 more bags of wardrobe, between charity and selling. Third, I’ve learned how to disconnect from my phone, computer and so forth better. I don’t respond right away all the time like I used too and I’m ok with that. I’m teaching myself, and especially with my baby girl on the way my attention will shift!”
She attributes her readiness for motherhood to her time on Stripped: “I believe part of why I’m pregnant is because of Stripped and not the being naked with my husband part! I learned how to disconnect, focus on myself and Justin, our lives, what really matters at the end of the day. So, I think that will help me with being a mom and figuring out how to multitask eventually but putting my daughter and family first.“
Learning to live like a minimalist hasn’t stopped her from shopping all things baby girl: “I want every adorable baby thing in sight! I think I’m more excited than anything. I feel like I’m trying to pick everything she needs. However, I’ve definitely gotten rid of some more of my stuff [to make room for] something for Baby J, which is a first for me.”
When it comes time to explaining Stripped to her little girl, she has no reservations, just lessons to share: “It’s not like it was porn! Yes, I was naked but there were valuable lessons I learned by being Stripped and I would teach her that. I can only imagine as she gets older how much technology and social media will affect her, so hopefully she can learn from it. Plus, I’ll show her how creative her parents were with the leaves and Adam and Eve vogue look!”