You all probably know Alexander Jenkins as Miss J, runway coach extraordinaire (as Tyra Banks would introduce him) from the hit modeling reality show, America’s Next Top Model. For a person who has been in the business longer than the 21 (and counting) cycles of the show, you can guarantee that what he knows from experience are lessons worth keeping. But ever wondered what ticks her off? Style Bible scored a face-to-face interview with Miss J herself.
IN ONE EAR, OUT THE OTHER
“It annoys me when they don’t listen.”
You don’t have to be a professional to learn how to pay attention. When someone is willingly giving you advice, listen. Really ladies, it can’t be that hard, right? “There was one student I remember having, beautiful girl, I kept on asking her to do the same thing over and over and over. It was pretty simple.” That girl never got it because she didn’t use her ears.
“I’m asking you to open up to make mistakes”
“I think we’re all in some way taught to be perfect and we’re not perfect,” says Miss Jay. “I’m not perfect either.” Sometimes, when insecurity gets in the way, you focus more on those around you, instead of improving yourself. You don’t have to be great at everything, because who cares if you only have one look? Some professional models like Helena Christensen have one look and she made a fortune with that one look.” Sometimes it just works, but you won’t learn what it is if you don’t try.
DON’T WHINE AND CRY
“When you’re an amateur model, you don’t whine and cry”
Be open to learning, but ladies, no one said the process is easy. Miss J shares, “A girl once said she doesn’t like to be told what to do in front of other people. I said, you came to the casting voluntarily, I’m explaining things to you and now you’re telling the professor you don’t want to be told what to do and you don’t like being criticized in front of other people? And I thought she shouldn’t be alive at that point.”
The coach's final advice? Anyone with talent can be the next anyone, just do the things you like. And girls, the next time you attend a casting, try not get the Miss J’s of the world mad. It could stall your career before it even starts sailing.