Were Tyra's expectations for her two plus-size models higher than for the other models this cycle? Diana, the 21-year-old college student, who surprisingly does have a personality and passion for modeling, became the fifth evictee from the competition. Hear her thoughts of being thrust into a profession where less (body fat) is more.
Hi, Diana. Thank you for speaking with me today.
Thanks for having me.
What made you interested in applying for America’s Next Top Model?
I wanted to experience something new. I wanted to try something else other than working in the bookstore or just going to school. I figured let me try out for Top Model. I always wanted to get into modeling, but I just never . . . I didn’t know how to go about that or where to go, so I figured auditioning, maybe I’d be good enough for Top Model, and hopefully it will bring more opportunities my way. Luckily enough, I did get chosen into the house, and, hopefully, offers will start coming in.
Did you have any previous modeling experience?
No. I did not.
You were a college student. What was your major?
Are you going to be returning to finish that, or are you changing your career?
Well, I decided to go back because I only have a year. I am back in school now, and I’m going to finish up. If an opportunity does come my way, and it leaves no time for school, I’m going to take an opportunity and pursue the modeling. Then, maybe down the road, I’ll go back to school and finish up, but if the opportunity comes up, and I would need to leave school, then I would.
What was it like for you living in a house with all those women?
Living in a house with 12 other females can get a little crazy. It can get frustrating, especially sharing, you know bathroom and all sorts of different stuff, and spending 24 hours a day with each other while cameras are there and no privacy. It gets a little frustrating sometimes, and I’m very, I can be a very private person. If the camera is there, it’s wasn’t the most comfortable situation.
Were you aware of the cameras the whole time?
Pretty much. For the most part, unless I really got into something . . . sometimes, during a photo shoot, I’m concentrating on the camera and the photographer, and not on the cameras, so you forget they’re there. For the most part, they were always around, in your face, kind of getting in the scene. So, I always knew they were there, and I was very conscious of the fact they were there.
Who was your roommate?
My roommates were Whitney, Jael, and Brittany.
Was there anyone you were particularly close to in the house? I know you were with Whitney, or it seemed that way.
Yes, with Whitney. I was also cool with Dionne, which they don’t show us even interacting at all. It’s really funny to me because we were pretty close. Also, with Felicia and Jael. Oddly enough, they don’t show any of that.
Sometimes, they tend to edit a certain way. You find that out.
Who was the most difficult one to get along with in the house?
In my opinion, the most difficult one to get along with would have to be Brittany because she would just always . . . it was always tears about something, and it gets to a point where . . . yeah, I cry over silly things, too. But, when you’re living with someone, and you’re spending every second of the day with them crying about silly things, it gets really, really annoying, and it starts to become frustrating.
I’m sure you saw her more than some of the others since she was your roommate.
Yes. Actually, she only became our roommate after Renee moved out because she got a little thing with Jael. In fact, after Kathleen left, Renee decided to move into her room.
Our readers always like hear another contestant’s opinion of the other girls in the house. Could you give me a one or two word description--just the first thing that pops into your mind when you hear the other girls’ names?
Brittany: Cries a lot.
Cassandra: Amazing. She has an amazing spirit.
Dionne: Very laid back; easy going.
Felicia: Always dancing.
Jael: Wild and crazy.
Jaslene: Miss Cha Cha diva.
Kathleen: Funny, loud, and crazy.
Natasha: [laughs] I don’t know what I can say about Natasha. Sweet girl.
Samantha: Sweet country girl.
Whitney: One of the closest girls in the house. Real cool, real sweet, real genuine.
You get a chance to say something about yourself, too.
Oh, really? [laughs]
Diana: AMAZING! [major laughter] That’s corn. [laughs]
What did you think of your makeover, and is that a look you kept?
It is a look I kept. My hair is still blonde. The roots are grown in, so I look kind of crazy. I really do like the blonde. It’s just kind of a nuisance to upkeep and the maintenance—getting your hair done every couple of weeks because of the roots. I’ve never been much of a hair person, so I don’t really care, but it just looks better when it’s all done and good to go instead of having roots covering your head. For a while, I think I want to keep the blonde, but I’ll eventually go back to maybe a darker brown—go back to my natural hair color.
I think the blonde looks great on you, personally. I don’t have the upkeep, though.
How tall are you?
I’m 6’ 1”.
Did you feel any added pressure being a full-figured model being on the show?
I did feel some added pressure because as you know, as your reader’s know, that nobody is perfect all the time. Everybody is insecure once in a while. But, me, as a plus-size model, if I showed any self-doubt or if I made a little comment here or a little comment there, immediately it was that I didn’t love myself. So they would generalize one small statement if I was having a bad day into something that was much bigger than it needed to be. So, being a plus-size model, I think they expected me to be on point all the time and be completely and utterly in love with every aspect of my being. You have to be realistic, and that’s not how everybody can be. Nobody is perfect all the time; people do have their doubts and insecurities. So, especially being around all these skinny models, who are getting praise, you show one little ounce of weakness, and they categorize you into having low self-esteem, and it’s not fair.
That brings me to the nudity shot you had. Were you having body image issues during that shoot?
Not at all! I don’t know where that whole thing that I was uncomfortable came from. I was uncomfortable with the position because I was trying to balance on one leg, and I kept hooking my one foot over my other one to kind of help keep my balance. Jay had to keep telling me, “Unhook you foot. Unhook your foot.” I was doing that unconsciously because I didn’t want to topple over, and my body was just in a weird position. It’s not like I was uncomfortable being up there. It was just the position that they put me in was so awkward. I was trying to focus on maintaining that position, and, yet, modeling at the same time. And, the picture they chose I wasn’t sucking in my stomach and sticking out my booty. I was just breathing at that time. [laughs]
That also leads me to Tyra asking you if you were uncomfortable with that during panel, and you said, “Oh, I don’t know.” Did that end with that because it seemed you were being edited as never having anything to say?
Yeah, I actually laughed when I saw that because I . . . even though I don’t remember my exact words, I said so much more. I made . . . it was like my point I made to Tyra, the way I responded to her was valid, and it made sense. I might have started off with, “Oh, I don’t know. Probably because blah, blah, blah.” But, all they show me saying was this, “Oh, I don’t know why I’m so introverted. I don’t know Jay. Oh, just ‘cause.” I say that kind of stuff.
Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you?
I came out of this pretty much a completely different person, even through the negative comments and everything. I went back home, and I was completely changed. My confidence grew, and I’m just really happy and excited that I got to be a part of America’s Next Top Model.
Congratulations on making it as far as you did, Diana, and best of luck in the future!
Many thanks to Diana and CW for this interview opportunity!