Oxygen Media has kicked off a new documentary series called Pretty. Strong., featuring female football players on the Chicago Bliss, which competes with other team to reach and win the Legends Cup ( formerly known as the Lingerie Bowl ).
Wide receiver Alli Alberts describes herself as being sexually fluid, and has a lesbian sister. Alberts practices general dentistry during the day and practices sports at night.
Windy City Times met her at Harrison Park at a photo shoot to find out more about what makes her Pretty. Strong.
Windy City Times: Hi, Alli. Start off with where you are from.
Alli Alberts: I am from Smithton, Illinois, which is down by St. Louis. It is 45 minutes from St. Louis but still in Illinois. It is a small town with cornfields. I have lived in Chicago for seven years.
WCT: You studied dentistry?
AA: Yes, I came to dental school here initially and stayed for residency. I am in my last year of residency now.
WCT: Have you always been interested in sports?
AA: Yeah, growing up I played every single sport known to man. In high school I did volleyball, basketball, and track. In college I did volleyball, and track.
WCT: How did get involved with this show?
AA: I started playing in the league my last year of dental school. I saw it on TV and wanted to play. I tried out for the team, made the team, and the show just happened last year. They picked our team because we went to championships. I didn't expect to be on the show.
WCT: How was being around the cameras?
AA: I didn't mind it all. Maybe because we already had cameras for being in the LFL so it felt normal. I get used to them really quickly.
WCT: What does Legends Football League mean?
AA: It used to be Lingerie Football League then they switched it to Legends. Basically they wanted to rebrand itmake it not about sexy lingerie, and instead about the athletes.
WCT: What has the response been?
AA: My friends thought it was cool but my family was surprised at first. In the middle of dentist school, they didn't think football made sense. They still come to all of my games and my sister loves it. She is so supportive of everything.
WCT: Your family is supportive of your sister being a lesbian?
AA: Yes, they are. She came out when she was 26 after she graduated. She's an eye doctor so went to optometry school. When she told me I already knew. I love it. She is so happy. She wants me to date a girl and I am totally open to anything. I will date whoever is my fancy. If I have chemistry with someone I am going to date them. I don't care if it's a girl or a guy.
WCT: Do you not like labels?
AA: No. I don't like labels because it really is more of spectrum. Everyone has a little bit of it in them whether they want to admit it or not. I am somewhere on the spectrum. I feel like it is becoming more excepted. People want to put you in a box and label you. "Are you straight, gay, or bi?" Why do I need that label?
WCT: Did you watch reality shows before being on one?
AA: I didn't watch a lot of reality TV. I watch more HGTV than I do anything. I like house shows, which is technically reality TV.
WCT: What brought you to this photo shoot today?
AA: The photographer's message that is here is "Strong is the new pretty," and we feel that way as well. We wanted to get the message out there that it is cool to be strong. I hope to do more events especially with these athletic girls like the ones here today.
WCT: You can inspire people.
AA: I know; it's so amazing. They can do flips like when I was a kid.
WCT: What are your goals with the show?
AA: Let us just see what comes out of it. I would like to be a role model for young girls. My career is centered around dentistry so [football] is just fun for me. If a door opens, of course, I am going to go through it. When will I have these kinds of opportunities?
WCT: What if you are cleaning someone's teeth and they recognize you from the show?
AA: Once the show airs, it will be interesting to see. Right now, nobody recognizes me from the league.
WCT: Are you worried about your teeth being knocked out?
AA: No, because I wear a mouth guard that I made for myself. I made a couple of girls on the team mouth guards, also. You can wear it and not have to take it out to talk. Most have you have to take out but mine you can keep in and talk. That is way better.
WCT: You can market that. Do you have any sports figures you look up to?
AA: My biggest female sports figure that I look up to is Jackie Joyner-Kersee; she is from my area East St. Louis. She is a heptathlete in track and field in the Olympics and I was one in college.
A heptathlete is where you do seven events where each event gives a point score. The points are added at the end and the one with the most points wins. Bruce [now Caitlyn] Jenner won the gold in the decathlon, so that made him a decathlete. Jackie won seven. Girls do seven and guys do 10.
WCT: Who do you like more Serena or Venus Williams?
AA: Serena gets more press right now but Venus was the big one back in the day when I was growing up. I love them both. I think it is awesome they are both sisters. That is how I grew up with my sister competing with each other. We were not playing the same position but we were both competitive. We played on the basketball team and would be in practice yelling at each other. It was fun, though. I would love to go back to those days.
WCT: Why should someone watch Pretty. Strong.?
AA: I think it is really different than what you see on TV right now. These relationships are real and run very deep. We are very much like sisters. We fight and love like sisters. Everything is very real on the show. I hope that comes through.
Pretty. Strong. is airing Tuesdays to Oxygen at 9 p.m. central. Visit www.lflus.com/chicagobliss .