"You Just Don't Mess with A Girl's Weave!": An Interview With America's Next Top Model 4's Tiffanyby Phil Kural -- 04/18/2005
Is it even a secret how much I love Tiffany? Well, this interview made me love her about 30x more. When I was connected with Tiffany for our interview, the first thing out of her mouth was "Phil, I love you -- you're my dawg." How can you not love her? Tiffany had a fun conversation, where she revealed to me why she felt so down in the dumps, how often she now talks to Tyra, and if she still follows her rowdy ways. In what will probably go down as the most fun interview I've ever done for the show, Tiffany kept me entertained and laughing from beginning to end. With such a great personality, and true realness, it's easy to see that this girl is going places.
RealityNewsOnline: After what had happened during season three, what made you apply for season four of the show?
Tiffany: Well, my mom and grandmom really pushed for me after what they saw on season three. I was all screwed up after what happened, and didn't want to deal with any of it. My grandmom made me go to anger management, but honestly, that's not what changed me. They would sit there and say "You're angry," and I'd have to tell them "No, I'm not." Finally, I'd get angry since they kept telling me that I was! However, with my grandmom and mom in my corner, I decided to try out again for the show, more determined to make it.
RNO: Do you think that being there before gave you an advantage over some of the other girls?
Tiffany: Oh, hell no! If anything, it put me at a disadvantage. There was that memory of Tiffany -- the girl who had beer thrown in her weave. I couldn't come back to the show, frontin'. People didn't know the real me, and I wasn't trying to front.
RNO: Do you feel as if the editing intentionally made you look ignorant to fancy restaurants and high fashion, or was it accurate?
Tiffany:You know, the editing made it look like I was so stressed! I liked the food, even though some of it was looking back at me. They never showed all the fun I had, and I used to laugh and joke at those dinners. I mean, how could you not love the meals -- they were free, so I knew I could order whatever I wanted and as much as I wanted and not have to worry about paying the bill!
RNO: As the competition went on, what factored into your decision that you weren't happy?
Tiffany: Well, a lot of it were incidents you didn't get to see. I mean, those judges sometimes would just rip me apart every time I was in front of them. There are usually only three people that I care enough about to care what their opinion of me is, and that's my mom, my grandmom and my baby's daddy. It made me upset that the judges were able to emotionally bring me down, when it's very hard to do that to me. I was like Toccara from last season. I got there all bubbly and happy, but they were able to wear me down.
RNO: In a way, did you feel that you had more to prove than some of the other girls?
Tiffany: Yes! Especially after the incident in season three when I told Tyra I was from the ghetto. From that moment on, I was known as the ghetto girl. I was just joking about all that. You know what though, I was real and did my thing!
RNO: During season three, you were known as a bit controversial. This season, you seemed to calm down a lot until the last episode. Have you gone back to your rowdy ways?
Tiffany: I'm still rowdy, but in a fun way! Seriously, I had every right to get mad when that girl threw beer in my weave last season! They are not cheap. What was I supposed to say? "Oh, thanks, you poured beer in my weave, now the glue is running down my face and I'm getting knots. Thank you so much?" No, I was pissed, you don't mess with a girl's weave!
RNO: What did your grandmother say when she saw how you were portrayed on the show? Was she disappointed you all but gave up?
Tiffany:My mom, my grandmom and my baby's daddy know the real Tiffany. They know I didn't just give up. They were actually impressed with me, and were glad that I was real and stayed the real Tiffany. I wasn't like Kelle from season three. I didn't go in there acting so sophisticated. I spoke the way I always do and acted the same.
RNO: Have you spoken to Tyra or any of the judges since your elimination?
Tiffany:Well, if Janice Dickinson ever calls me, I'm hanging up. I talk to Tyra about two or three times a week, and she and her mom have become my mentors. Tyra said she's going to help me with modeling after this is all over, and I'm so grateful to her for that. I call her mom "mom" too, and I love them both. They have been so great to me.
RNO: Was your laughing when you were eliminated just a defense mechanism to now show your real sadness?
Tiffany:Phil, that's why I love you. You totally understand me. I had cried so many times before then, that I told myself if I cried one more time I was going to punch myself. You either love me or leave me alone. I was so tired of being picked on, so on the outside I was trying to take it the best way I could, and that was just joking about it. On the inside though, I was crying a river because I was so hurt! There was nothing I could do though -- I was eliminated!
RNO: What was running through your head when Tyra blew up?
Tiffany: I was thinking "Punch Tyra!" Then I started thinking "No this bitch ain't. She must be trippin' or something!" I wasn't exactly sure what to think at that point! I know now how much she loves me though, and how much she was just looking out for me. It's one of those things you have to reflect on before you can appreciate it.
RNO: After all that you have been through, do you still want to try and get into modeling, or are you ready to try something new?
Tiffany: Oh, I want to get into modeling, and Tyra tells me that I have no choice. She tells me all the time that she's going to help me and I'm going to model, so I can't wait!
RNO: Is there anything you regret from being on the show, or would you do it again if you had the chance?
Tiffany: As crazy as it sounds, I don't regret a thing, and if I had to do it all over again, I'd do it the same way -- from when I got there to when Tyra was yelling at me. I don't want to do another damn reality show though. I'm done with reality TV!
RNO:Did anyone resent you when you came to the aid of Brandy, since she seemed to be rubbing everyone the wrong way?
Tiffany: I think they made it look that way, but what I had with Brandy was like looking after a kid sister. I managed to be friends with Brandy, but stayed close to the other girls too. This season wasn't about everyone hating each other. We all got along, and although we had our moments, nobody was hating. Even when Brandy came out demanding to use the phone -- it wasn't a big deal. I think it was just made to look that way.
RNO: What's the one thing you walked away from this whole experience with?
Tiffany: You know, I learned that in this business, you should never let people know exactly how you feel on the inside. If someone says you look tired, say "Oh no, I just woke up from a nap, I'm great." However, don't be pushed around either. Be yourself, and that's the best you can do.
RNO: Tiffany, you're fabulous, I hope everything works out for you! I love you!
Tiffany:Thanks Phil, I love you too!
Phil Kural is a recent graduate from Temple University, with a degree in journalism. You can reach him at email@example.com with any feedback that you may have.
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