Dressed in head to toe green checks, a six foot four Miss J, of America's Next Top Model fame, walks into one of the meeting rooms of SCAD Hong Kong. As befitting today's setting - a converted court room - the professional runway coach commences the interview with a stern ultimatum. “If you’re shy, step out of the room. I’ll answer all your questions, if not, you’ll find some sort of answer.” We get a little nervous but within seconds, find relief when she switches back to the persona we all know and love on television, powdering her nose in front of everyone after gasping at the sight of her shiny t-zone in the mirror.
Anna Bayle in YSL. (Via Pinterest)
“One of my favorite, favorite, favorite models is from the Philippines," she shares, professing her love for '80s supermodel Anna Bayle. "She’s the girl who walks like she never touches the floor.”
But her most interesting revelation came as talk turned to manners (she took after her granny) and the most valuable thing she learned from her pre-Tyra days working at US department store Bergdorf Goodman (ask questions at the end of the day; it will make you smarter).
Imelda Marcos (pinterest)
She shared, “I was in Manila, and was told that I was having dinner with Imelda Marcos. I was thinking oh my god, I’m with a scandal, I’m with a World. Wide. Scandal. I was going to eat with a scandal."
But after their encounter, she quickly changed her opinion of the former first lady. It didn't hurt that Imelda even told her that she reminded her so much of herself. "She said, you remind me so much of me. And I thought, really? I don't see the reference here, at all."
Miss J went on. "She was so funny, she was hysterically funny and she taught me the third most valuable lesson in my life," she said. "People like you have a lot of personality and a lot of character. And what happens with that is sometimes, it’s hard to be hated but harder to be envied. Because when you are envied, people just want to tear you down as much as they can.”
And with that, she swiftly moved on to another topic, talking our ears off as if we were at ANTM panel.