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Tomi Lahren on Her New Book and Her Freedom Alexo Athletica Line

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Tomi Lahren may be young, but her intelligence, quick wit, and powerful personality have thrust her to the forefront as a political commentator and Second Amendment advocate. Lahren is the host of FOX Nation's daily programs First Thoughts, where she shares her opinions on the latest news in politics and pop culture, and Final Thoughts, where she recaps her views on the day's top stories in her signature, machine-gun style. As a young, attractive female with Constitutionally conservative views, Lahren frequently finds herself under attack by Hollywood elites and the mainstream media. These attacks only seem to fuel her passion and solidify her convictions.

Lahren recently teamed up with Amy Robbins of Alexo Athletica to develop her own signature line of 2A-friendly athleisure clothing. We had an opportunity to speak with Lahren to learn more about this new venture, as well as her new book, which encourages others to stand their ground and defend their own beliefs.

RECOIL: Can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got where you are today?
Tomi Lahren: Well, I’m not going to go into my whole start because, quite frankly, I don’t have that much time. It’s kind of everywhere if you want to read up on that, so I’m not going to go into my whole media history because that’s just tiring, quite honestly, for me to talk about. Just to give you a brief background, I grew up in South Dakota, born and raised. My whole family still lives is South Dakota. Both my parents come from ranching families. The family ranch is still in my family, which my uncle owns and operates. So, I come from very middle-class, middle-America roots, and I think that really lends itself to being a supporter of the 2nd Amendment. Our gun culture isn’t the same as the “gun culture” in urban areas and big cities. It’s very much a protect and defend your family, protect and defend what’s yours type of thing. It’s also a tool. It’s not necessarily a weapon. It’s something that’s a way of life when you come from where I did. One of the things that really spurred me to get into political commentary and a lot of what fueled my passion for the 2nd Amendment and advocating for it, was growing up watching the news from New York, or LA, or Chicago, and what was just a gross misunderstanding of gun culture, of the 2nd Amendment, and really just firearms in general. What I noticed was any time there would be a shooting incident, I would watch these anchors talk about guns and they didn’t have any idea what they were talking about, but here they were trying to educate the country on gun rights and the 2nd Amendment. I always found that very frustrating. That’s why in a lot of my commentaries, especially within the last year-and-a-half where we’ve had a number of these events like the March For Our Lives, I’ve taken it upon myself to speak out about the Second Amendment and what it really means to me.

Can you tell us about your recent collaboration with Alexo Athletica?
TL: I’ve known Amy Robbins for a couple of years now. When she started Alexo and they first popped up on the scene I knew it was something that was different. I like disrupters. I think Alexo is a disrupter. It’s something that said, “Hey, we’re going to take functional clothes and make them 2nd Amendment friendly,” and they were about female empowerment from a different standpoint than others in fashion would generally take. I like disrupters, and I like people who do something new and different, and that was what Amy was doing with Alexo, so I’ve been a fan of the brand for a long time. Now, I have to preface everything by saying that I don’t have a concealed carry permit. I live in California. This is not a gun-friendly state. There are not a lot of concealed carry permits that are issued in California, so I neither have one nor do I want one in this state, to be quite honest. However, I do love what the Alexo brand stands for, which is that you should be empowered to carry your firearm if need be. So that was attractive to me. Then, of course, everyone saw the photos that I posted of me in the Alexo pants with my gun in my pants, and that was the “big thing” and it was fodder for a lot of jokes, but that didn’t bother me because I think people misunderstood what I was trying to show there, which is that there is a line which is led by a female that believes in empowerment for women. In this time when we’ve had female runners being killed on their runs in parks, she was trying to remedy that by doing something from a very different point of view. That’s why I posted that picture, to make that point.

Is your line concealed-carry based like Alexo's other products?
TL: It was actually very important to me that my line did not have a gun holster in it for a lot of reasons, and my line doesn’t. It is not intended for concealed carry, it is not intended for a firearm, and I’m very clear and very specific about that. It’s not because I don’t believe in it. It’s because I think they're a lot of young women out there that follow me and believe in the 2nd Amendment, but they don’t really have a use for putting a gun in their pants. That’s just not where they are in their lives. They’re college students, or they live in a place like I do and they don’t need that utility, but they support the Second Amendment and they support what this brand is about. That’s why I wanted to partner with Alexo. I could have done a regular legging with a number of different brands, but it was important to me to partner with a brand that had that message behind it, even though my particular line doesn’t have the firearm holster.

What is the targeted demographic for your line?
TL: My line is tailored to women of any age and any size, and it’s very patriotic. We have camouflage prints, we have stars, and it’s an interesting take on a lot of the traditional patriotic symbols. It looks very much like me. Anyone who follows me on social media will see my style reflected in this line. I wanted to call it Freedom because it’s more than just running, or lifting, or going to the airport in your leggings. Freedom to me symbolizes something much bigger. If you want to put your cell phone, or a Taser, or Mace in your pocket, there are places for that. It also represents something bigger to me. Conservatives are largely shut out of the mainstream, especially when it comes to fashion, and as someone who does what I do, I’m shut out of that world. We’re often told, “This isn’t really for you. You don’t really get to be in this space, because you’re controversial, and you have conservative opinions.” That’s why it was important for me to be able to show that I can very well be in this space, because I have a following of like-minded people that are looking for a brand they can support, not only because it’s cute, but because it represents an area where conservatives aren’t supposed to be able to exist and have a business. That’s why I wanted to do this line with Alexo.

In what other ways does your Freedom line differ from the standard Alexo line?
TL: My line is a full line with sports bras, leggings, a jacket, shirts, and sweaters that can be mixed and matched. It’s not an athletic line, it’s an athleisure line. It’s something you can wear to the airport, or the bar, or the grocery store. It was important for me to make the clothes very comfortable. Anyone who has ever worn Alexo pants knows they are built to carry a firearm. Mine are not built that way. They are much more for comfort and fashion, and the prints are very patriotic. It’s very much for my following and young women that want to have a cute line they can wear, that’s made and designed by someone they agree with politically and they want to stand by.

How do you deal with the pressure and attacks that come with being in your position as a defender of the 2nd Amendment?
TL: This is actually a big point that I like to make to girls and women, and I talk about it a lot in my book that’s actually coming out right before my Alexo line. The book comes out July 2nd, so it’s actually good timing. It’s called, Never Play Dead, and that’s really the theme of my life. I don’t spend time thinking about what haters think of me, or what they say to me, or the backlash. If I did, I wouldn’t have time to do the things I do on a daily basis. I like to tell young people that life is way too short to care about what people on a free app on your phone say about you. If people that I’ve never met are saying vile disgusting things to me and about me because of my political beliefs, I’m really not going to give them my time or concern because they really don’t matter to me. I could really care less about what they have to say. As far as being called controversial for being a conservative, I think we need to turn that on its head. I’m often referred to as the “controversial firebrand.” If that’s what they want to label me, I’m fine with that, but since when do the beliefs of freedom, liberty, and the Constitution constitute being controversial? I would like it if we could just start looking at conservative thoughts as conservative thoughts, or thoughts of freedom being thoughts of freedom and rights, and less as being controversial just because they don’t fit the mold of what the leftist Hollywood or the mainstream media tells us is acceptable.

You mentioned you have a new book coming out. Can you tell us a little bit about the book?
TL: I’ve been working on the book for about two years now. I don’t think it’s any shock to the people that follow me that it’s kinda my story and what I went through, going through a lawsuit, leaving a network, and everything surrounding that. It’s a more personal look into my life as well, but what I really want to do is show people that you can stand your ground, you can believe in what you want to believe in, and no one on either side of the political aisle, personally, professionally, or politically, is ever able to make you believe you’re not enough, unless you allow them to do that. I believe in standing my ground. I take heat from the left and the right, the middle, up and down, and I’m still where I am today. It hasn’t crushed me, and it hasn’t ended me like people said it would, because I’m authentically me. I stand up for what I believe in. I don’t play for a team. If someone does something I don’t like, I’m going to call them on it, regardless of which side of the aisle they’re on it. That’s how you become a genuine voice, and it’s something I pride myself in. You know, I don’t follow all the checked boxes I’m supposed to follow as a conservative, and I’m okay with that. The truth is there are a lot of people in this country, especially young women, who don’t fit the mold of what you’re supposed to be on the left or the right, and they think that’s somehow a problem, that they somehow need to change and evolve to be more like one side. In my book, I talk about how you don’t need to be more like one side or the other. You can be in the middle on certain issues, you can be on the left on certain issues or the right on certain issues, and it doesn’t make you “less than.” I also talk about standing your ground in a variety of different ways, not just politically like I have, which I’m very proud of, but also personally. I tell a lot of personal stories. I share a lot of stuff about my life that other people would otherwise not know about me. I want to help young women find confidence, and to me, confidence is not something you turn on or off, it’s not dependent on the day or where you are in your life. If you find true confidence, then you are confident in every area of your life, at all times, and you’re able to stand up for yourself. That’s why the book is called, Never Play Dead. It’s really what I live by. There are times where I think maybe I shouldn’t say this, or I shouldn’t say that, maybe I shouldn’t rock the boat and just keep quiet. Then I ask myself, “Why?” This is what I believe in, this is what I stand up for, and I’m not going to apologize for it. I want other you women to feel that way as well. That’s why Alexo was such a good partnership for me, because I know that’s what they believe in as well.

Do you think young people can benefit from your book?
TL: I believe that we have to teach young people to stand up for themselves, whatever their beliefs are, and to truly know why they think the way they think, and not just think that way because their parents told them, or their friends told them, or their professors told them. We need to know why we think the way we think and if we can back it up. I reject the idea that people need to fit into boxes. I think that’s why I have the following that I do because people know that I don’t wait to see which way the wind blows. I don’t care. I don’t care about losing followers or fans by saying something my fans might not typically like or agree with. I’m much more concerned with becoming a shell or caricature of myself, standing up for just the things I’ve been told I need to stand up for. That’s also why I appreciate the founding fathers. They didn’t do that. We’re not taught that in school anymore, but we should be. If you look at the people that formed this nation and also gave us our 1st and 2nd Amendment rights, they very much believed in discourse, and disagreement, and compromise, and standing up for what’s right, not for what’s popular. That’s really what I live my life by.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
TL: “No one hunt’s small deer.” I remind myself of that often. When I’m coming under the most scrutiny, criticism, backlash, and hate, and people are saying the nastiest things they could possibly say to me, I remember that no one hunts small deer. The reason they’re coming after me is that I’m causing a reaction because I’m saying something that’s important. You may not agree with it, but I’m saying something that’s important. Otherwise, people wouldn’t be reacting to it. If no one is criticizing you from either side, then what are you really doing?

Do you have any parting thoughts?
TL: You said something earlier that I’d like to revisit because now that I’m thinking about it, it’s important. I do have a trigger. When people, not Internet trolls, but men in my own political party call me “stupid.” Or when they say that I just got to where I am because of the way I look. That’s a trigger for me. That really pisses me off, because it’s their way of diminishing everything that I’ve done because they are so threatened by me that they have to make me seem like I’m stupid. People on the left do it all the time, and that really doesn’t affect me because that’s par for the course, but there are certain people that exist in my own industry, that probably have 95% of the same views as I do, that when I say something they don’t like, they go to: “Oh, she’s just some girl who says things,” or “She’s just some pretty blonde girl they threw on TV.” My response is, “No, you’re just threatened by me, and you have to do whatever you can to minimize me so you can make yourself feel more comfortable.” That kind of thing bothers the hell out me, but it just motivates me at the end of the day. I write about that a lot in my book. Being a woman, I’m not going to sit here and cry and say, “Oh, I’m a woman and I’m not treated fairly.” I don’t do that. I’m not a victim. But I will tell you, it really pisses me off.

Tomi Lahren
Age: 27
Home Town: Rapid City, South Dakota
Alma Mater: University of Nevada
Role Model: My Parents
Favorite Firearm: Any Glock Model
EDC: Pepper Spray
Favorite Food: Spaghetti
Favorite Color: Hunter Green
Favorite Movie: Anything starring or directed by Clint Eastwood
Favorite Book: The Gift of Fear, by Gavin de Becker
Perfect Date: Margaritas with Chips & Guacamole by the Beach

Special thanks to Alexo Athletica for providing the images for this article.

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