The Jay Alvarrez & Alexis Ren Phenomenon
The year is 2016, the internet's it couple is composed of Hawaiian
model/actor/surfer/skydiver/travel influencer, Jay Alvarrez, and the Californian model/actress/environmentalist/workout instructor/social media personality, Alexis Ren. And despite their many job titles, the two were seemingly a "picture-perfect couple"…
Jay and Alexis ironically met over instagram as Jay dm'd her and asked her to "come to hawaii" low and behold, Alexis hopped on a plane to Hawaii with her older sister and met up with Jay. The pair continued to date from 2015 up until 2017 during which time they both built up massive instagram followings. They were very open on social media as they posted hundreds of photos and videos displaying their relationship, with many of them going viral and making people go green with envy. They travelled the world, from skydiving in Rio de Janeiro to swimming with sharks in the Maldives. They shared everything with their followers and their lifestyle could only be described as enviable which is exactly why the internet was eating up all of their content.
One not so fun fact the two had in common was the fact that they had both lost their mothers to cancer, and throughout their relationship Alexis felt she was trying to “replace her mother with jay” which in hindsight, was probably not the best idea. The relationship quickly turned into a money-making arrangement and Alexis constantly felt so much pressure to live up to what they were portraying online: "Every morning I would get up so much earlier than him to put on my makeup, and I don't know if he knew that I was doing that, but I felt the need to always look perfect."
As you can probably imagine, Jay and Alexis's relationship wasn't necessarily the most sustainable one and the pair went through a very public and messy breakup in 2017. Alexis took to twitter to express her frustration by posting things such as "that time you confused a lesson for a soulmate" and "hahah the relationship wasn't good for his business anymore…" amongst many other problematic tweets indicating that the two had definitely split. Alexis has since expressed a huge amount of regret for making these tweets public but she had felt so angry and just "needed a place to vent." Jay on the other hand stayed off of social media. The truly shocking bit didn't come out until 2021 when Alexis Ren did an interview on Call Her Daddy Podcast where she detailed their relationship and revealed that after they broke up she was tied into a contract with Jay where he technically got a portion of all of her earnings for the next 6 years. Alexis spent over 2 years in litigation fighting for her freedom and lost essentially everything, while battling a devastating eating disorder at the time as well.
Jay Alvarrez and Alexis Ren's relationship was one of the very first couples we ever experienced on the internet, which explains why it hadn't crossed anyone's minds that this relationship maybe was not as perfect as it seemed to be, to the outside world they were a match made in heaven. Both Jay and Alexis have continued to pursue their individual careers and both continue to be popular figures on social media, with millions of followers each. But let this story serve as a lesson to 1. Not trust everything we see online and 2. Not to compare ourselves to these carefully curated online personas. We musn't forget that social media is simply a highlight reel and is not real life.