This morning I had the pleasure of having a chat and a laugh with Kortnie Coles, the latest model to be eliminated on America's Next Top Model
. Kortnie and I talked about being the lone plus sized model in the house, being the clown of the cycle, and her thoughts on the upcoming "short girls" cycle of ANTM
. Just as she was on the show, Kortnie was hilarious and she had plenty of insight on this cycle's drama queen and who she hopes will take home the title of America's Next Top Model
America's Next Top Model is available on Amazon Prime.
Hi, this is Abbey from BuddyTV and today I am talking with Kortnie Coles of America's Next Top Model. How are you doing today Kortnie?
Hey, I'm good. It's very warm in Houston today.
So, how did you come to be on America's Next Top Model, Kortnie?
Well, after watching a few seasons of the show I realized that they put girls on there from all different backgrounds, different races, different personalities, different sizes. So I thought, this was my kind of avenue to pursue modeling, my own way. I knew that they would accept me for who I am and not like other agencies
be like, "Oh, loose weight," "oh have this," "oh, do this." You know, I just wanted to be as I am.
What was it like in the house? Who were your roommates? Who were your friends?
With this extra build up of estrogen, it actually turned out okay. I've never lived with so many girls in one house, I guess, it was like a sorority. Yeah, I made some good friends who I still talk to. Like Celia and Allison, they're still buddies. And everybody else was on a pretty even playing field, I kind of got along with all of the different groups of the house. I'm sure the one that sticks out, that really isn't friends with anyone, is Sandra.
Yeah, she seems like a difficult personality so far.
Sure, we can use that euphemism.
I was wondering about that. Is there as much drama with her as it seems or is it editing?
No. It's very frustrating actually, because sometimes I don't know if there's like a miscommunication with the way her brain perceives niceness. Because there have been so many times where Allison and I have tried to approach her, in a sweet way, but it's always comes back like, "Why you talking like that? Why are you talking to me like that? What's your problem?" And we're like, we were just asking if you'd like to join us downstairs for dinner. So I don't know what the disconnect is with her. But hey, at least we can say we tried.
That's true, I think that's more than a lot of people would have given her with her attitude, honestly. Were you pleased with how you were portrayed?
Yeah, I think we were goofing around and try to lighten up the mood, because I think it's kind of hard to be yourself when there's so much stress around you. So I think the best way to bring everyone's personality out is with humor. So, I think a few of us tried to lighten the mood. And I think they showed a little of it, but you know, you can't show too much of it. Like I wish the "Truth or Dare" game could have been it's own episode. But we also had food fights and all kinds of wrestling matches and I would do impersonations of animals. So I think the portrayed me well, like myself. And, you know, I didn't shame my family, so that's a plus.
Yeah, for sure, not all reality TV contestants can say that! I loved your description of yourself as a "dirty old man comedian in a curvy girls body." I think that was a great description and something to be proud of. Being beautiful and having a good sense of humor, that's the whole package.
You're welcome. So, what did you think of your red headed make over? Have you kept your look?
I have actually kept my look from the show. I mean, even though I'd never been a red head, nor have I ever thought about being a red head, I thought it was pretty fun and I liked fun. I looked forward to the makeover, I mean, I didn't think they would shave my head. But even if they did, it would be new material to make fun of myself for. I wasn't too surprised they gave the clown red hair, you know?
That's a good way of saying it. What was your favorite photo shoot you did during your time on ANTM?
It's funny because, one of my favorites was one that was actually a challenge. It was the one they show at the very end, with all of us in our kind of hand-fashioned black and white bikinis. That was so much fun. Plus we had just had our makeovers and it was all about "give me sexy, give me sexy!" Um, which is fun, because you have to kind of put on that act. Unless you think you're really that sexy and then you can go away.
I also liked the one on the New York City bus, because it was almost like we were getting a fun tour of New York. And I got to go to a totally fun neighborhood, SoHo. And we got to pretend to be artists and we got to use all these props and work with a partner. I think that was fun.
What was it like being the only plus sized girl in the house?
It was a lot of fun actually, because we made lots of jokes about it once again. Since I'm on the lower end of the plus-sized scale so I think some of the girls didn't understand quite where I was classified. So it was fun to make jokes, especially when we were getting in the limo. It was really tight and tiny in there, even the size zero girls couldn't fit. So I'd be like, "everyone move aside, plus size is coming in!"
And to me, it's also fun, because I get to eat a little more and I don't have to worry. I mean, that's one less worry in my mind. If I want to eat a piece of cake, I don't have to count calories. It's almost like some of the girls look at bacon like it's a bomb. "Like oh no, step away from it! Step away from the bacon." And it doesn't hurt me, so that was nice.
Do you have a favorite plus sized ANTM contestant, besides yourself?
I'm going to have to say Toccara, only because I got to meet her. You know it's hard to pick somebody, but she's the only one I've gotten to meet and she was so sweet to us. And she kind of gave me some advice and told me what to expect. She came over and was like "Hey, you're the only plus sized girl and I'm a plus sized girl," so lets chat it up.
So, what's your dream modeling job?
Well, definitely working with an agency where we kind of feel like a family and we support each other. It sounds kind of fantastical, but I know it's out there and I don't think anyone should have to settle for less. I think that just really creative photo shoots or photo shoots that tie into education or conservation would be cool. Or spokes modeling, because you get to do more than pose, you get to ad-lib and speak and be yourself.
Do you have any thoughts on Cycle 13 being a "short girl" cycle, rather than a plus-sized cycle? For me, my thought was there are a lot more important issues in the fashion industry to tackle than "height-ism." So, I was wondering if you had an opinion on that.
Yeah, I mean it's kind of unexpected, because it's like "where are they going to fit in?" Because at least there is some sort of avenue for plus-sized girls, even though it's not as big as the main zero to four to size. But it's super interesting, because I think the show is almost going to turn around. There have probably been millions of girls who wanted to try out for the show, but were just an inch or two too short. They probably have so much feisty on them, I mean, I can't wait to see the little. Oh, little -- I don't mean for that to be offensive. 'It'll be so nice to see the little tiny girls try out.'
But yeah, I'm kind of excited about it actually. But I agree with you, it's exciting and I want to see what they do with the show, but it is an odd choice. Because, I guess the only thing that 5'7 and under can do right now is commercial print, but maybe that's the whole point. She (Tyra) brought plus-sized models up a few notches, so maybe this is also another thing we should be aware of. You know another thing that should be mentioned, like bringing different races to the forefront of ANTM and encouraging diversity. Maybe she realized, "hey, why are being reverse discriminatory to shorter women?"
I just hope there's a plus sized cycle in the future.
Yeah, that would be awesome. I'd hope I could come back and guest star on one of those episodes.
Heck yeah. Cycle 14, since size 14 is the beginning of plus-sized clothes, maybe it could be the plus sized cycle?
Heck yeah! Let's start the revolution!
Indeed! Now that you are out of the competition, who do you think will win? Who do you want to win?
Well, I'm sure this sounds biased, because I am her friend, but I'll try to answer it objectively. Allison, definitely. She has a unique look and she was the judges little darling, as far as the shows I was able to witness. You know, she just kind of has this natural face, she almost doesn't even have to work as hard because she's just naturally photogenic. She has these really striking features, but she's also very humble and she's quirky and she's funny. And I think if you're going to be a successful spokes model for something like Cover Girl among other things, including being a role model to young women, you kind of have to be a stand up person. Otherwise, I don't think you should win. So yeah, Allison.
Oh yeah, Allison is my favorite for this season.
Allison, I can totally see being a muse for some avant garde designer, because she has such a unique look.
Definitely! I mean, even if she doesn't win, she is going to be snatched up so quick by someone.
Lastly, what's next for you Kortnie?
Definitely more modeling. There are a couple of things I am looking into. If I had a crystal ball and I was rubbing it, or more likely a Magic 8 Ball, I think it would say, "Outlook looks good."
--Interview Conducted by Abbey Simmons, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image Courtesy of The CW)