This morning I had the pleasure of chatting with London, the most recent contestant to be eliminated from America’s Next Top Model.
Just as she was on the show, London was a delightful mix of goofy and serious, answering questions with surprising candor and lots of charm. London and I talked about her unique sense of style, how she avoided drama in the house, and the real shocking reason she gained weight during her time on Top Model. We discussed the alternate universe of living in a house plastered with Tyra Banks photos, what it was like styling and photographing Allison, and who she thinks will be crowned America’s Next Top Model.
On the surreal nature of life on America’s Next Top Model:
Honestly? The way I describe it whenever I get this question is, it’s like literally I felt like I was in this alternate universe. You’re so almost out of whack with reality. You eat, breathe, and sleep ANTM. I mean, it’s the honest to god to truth. You’re in a house that is equipped and just covered with Tyra, you’re not really allowed to go outside, except when you go do photo shoots, and runway shows, and challenges. And then when we do go out it’s to do those things, so that’s more ANTM. You’re consistently with girls mainly talking about what the next challenge is going to be, what the Tyra mail meant, you’re literally in this alternate universe. And it was a bit, I don’t know, kind of odd. Especially looking back at it, I was like “Wow, that was strange.”
On how she avoided the drama of life in the Top Model House:
I always envisioned it as all the girls are lining up, and I’m in the middle, and I have this bubble around me. I remember whenever drama would start, I would pray about it. And God just really revealed to me that he wanted me to be this person that everyone could come to after the drama, before the drama, like whenever, and just talk to me about things. I would be the medium almost. And everyone else, when there was drama, I just knew that that’s something I needed to participate in, it’s not something I need to add to. Because what good would come of that? It was petty arguments. It was nothing really important, nothing really of life and death. A lot of it I think was even hammed up for TV.
On Her Best Friend in the Top Model House:
Natalie and I particularly became best, best friends in the house. And I was really sad to see the wrap she got. Because I think she was portrayed and a lot of the girls got this sense of that “oh Natalie is better than us.” She’s this rich, snobby, Gossip Girl kind of girl. But honestly, that’s not who Natalie is.
On Her Struggle with Her Weight During The Competition:
I was recovering from an eating disorder coming into it. Gaining the weight just beat down on my self confidence. It was just a struggle. It was so much more to me than a modeling competition and that’s all it was for the other girls. And to me, it was a spiritual competition, it was a mental, it was a physical competition. It was just very burdening to me, and it was very difficult and very hard on me.
On How She is Doing Now with Her Eating Disorder:
I’m a lot better now, compared to what I was going through while I was in the competition. Even now, I still do struggle with my eating disorder. And it’s something I am in recovery like everyday, and I am getting help for. So yeah, I still have my battles even now. But I’m a lot better, I can say now, than I was then.
If She thinks Tyra is a hypocrite for sending her home for her curves, after praising curves and championing plus-sized models:
Tyra does promote healthy eating, curvy girls are beautiful too. And I honest to God I do think that’s how she feels in her heart. She’s a curvy girl, being her, herself. But I do feel like it’s almost a double standard. Because she promotes this yes, but it is the modeling industry and she can only change so much of it. So when it does come down to a girl being curvier and gaining weight and being in the industry, she can say here on one hand “Yeah, Yeah, I definitely promote this.” Which I am sure she does believe in, which a lot of people do. But she still can’t say, hey yeah you can make it industry being the way you look. Because the industry right now is 6’1”, 100 pound waifs.
On Her Favorite ANTM Challenge and Teach:
The artistic director, when we had to step in for Jay, I loved, loved, loved that. Because I loved styling Allison, even though it’s what I got in trouble for, for putting a little of my own touch on that. But then I think, doesn’t every stylist do that? I mean how are you going to be known to not have your own touch in it.
On Her Own Unique Fashion Sense:
I would definitely say, London grunge chic. I really take a lot of London street style, not my name, but you know literally, London, England. Very grungy, street style, but I don’t want to look like a hobo, which I sometimes end up doing. So I always try and throw a little high fashion chic in there.
On Her Favorite Photo Shoot:
It’s ironic, because it was the one I was eliminated off of, I loved the Ciara shoot. I am so enraptured with music, myself in my personal life, so to be able to incorporate that into a photo shoot was wonderful for me.
On Who She Thinks will Be America’s Next Top Model:
Well, I’m rooting for Natalie, only because she was my best friend in the house. But to tell you the truth, from the potential I saw in each photograph, would be Teyona. She photographed amazingly. She knew what she was doing every photo shoot. She has the confidence, she has the body, so I would personally say Teyona.
–Abbey Simmons, BuddyTV Staff Writer
(Image Courtesy of CW)