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America’s Next Top Model: Eliminated Sara Talks About Self-Esteem

March 20, 2011 12:00 PM by Allyson Wells

On America’s Next Top Model, Tyra Banks boasted that Sara had a face that she started the competition for.  However, Sara couldn’t get over her confidence issues and was eliminated.  She discusses why she does have confidence, that short haircut she didn’t really care for, and who she is rooting for to win it all.

Question: On the show, it seemed as though you didn’t like your makeover at all. What would have been your dream makeover?

Sara: I actually did a couple on set interviews and I actually loved my makeover! I think that the short hair on Top Model is kind of the kiss of death…I don’t have the experience that the other girls have, so I feel like having all the attention on my face when I’m not really sure how to work it was a bit of a challenge, and I wanted it to be easy, and that was selfish and immature of me. But I didn’t hate it, I loved it! I’ve had that haircut for four years, if I hated it, I’d be walking around with a wig. I was most upset I didn’t get a weave.

Question:  Was there any conflict for you, as a feminist, in terms of trying out for the show in the first place?

Sara:  I wondered if going on the show would change me, would make me lose contact with my inner Sara-ness. I’m pretty political, pretty involved with women’s rights and empowerment for women in my area. So I worried what kind of person I would come back as. And I’m pretty happy I came back as the same person, actually.

Question:  There were no tears when you were eliminated. Is it accurate to say that you seemed to take it in your stride and suggest that it was probably your own fault?

Sara:  That’s pretty accurate. I’m an easygoing person and take things in my stride. If Tyra Banks and a panel of extremely experienced people in the fashion industry tell me, ‘You didn’t do well and deserve to go home more than anybody else here’, I’ll be like, ‘Cool, peace. I’ll go work on my modeling and be back in two years’. I wouldn’t say, ‘Wah, I don’t deserve this!’ I didn’t do well at the runway challenge or the commercial and I felt like I’d prefer to go home because I deserved it rather than a more talented girl go home for drama. I was happy. This is what life has in store for me.

Question:  It seemed in the last couple episodes you were having some confidence issues–comparing yourself to the other girls and worrying about your look.

Sara:  There was really only one occasion that I was comparing myself to the other girls and feeling really negative about myself, and unfortunately that’s what they chose to focus on for the rest of the episode. I really don’t have a lack of self-confidence, so it confused me that throughout the competition they kept telling me, “You seem to be down on yourself. You seem to lack confidence. You’re unsure of yourself. You don’t realize your potential.” I’m just a new model and I’m really inexperienced, so any bit of unsureness or confusion was about modeling itself, but not about how I feel about myself.

Question:  Alexandria is getting a very strong edit on the show. Can you speak to what she’s really like in person?

Sara:  Alexandria is a lovely person, I cannot stress that enough. The competition is extremely pressure-filled and stressful, and people react differently to different kinds of stress. Some people might go and listen to Enya in the corner, and some people might get bitchy. I can definitely understand where she was coming from. I had to hold back sometimes not to snap at people. But she’s a lovely person. She left me a voicemail. We text. The voicemail was just like, “You’re adorable, I miss you, and seeing this episode makes me miss you too.” She’s a nice person when you’re not in such a high-pressure environment.


Question:  What was the problem you had with the commercial?

Sara:  They stuffed two pairs of socks in my bra, and were telling me, ‘Now you’re sexy and so womanly and shapely, and here, let’s put you in this vintage dress but oh no, it’s too small and ripping off your body’. I definitely had Hulk feelings. I’m a very skinny girl so having a dress rip and fall off my body made me feel like maybe I shouldn’t have had a third chilli dog. The whole idea of ‘you’re not sexy until we change you’ threw me for a loop, and I was being immature about the commercial. When you’re starting as a model you can’t pick and choose what sort of jobs you do and photoshoots you take. A real model would have sucked it up and done it and complained about it later over a couple of drinks with their friends.

Question:  Tyra mentioned your confidence at panel. Did you have any issues with confidence before the show?

Sara:  I’m a very confident person. I’ve lived in the Valley since I was 11 and I’ve grown up strange and looked different to what was perceived as beautiful in the Valley; I’m kind of the anti-beautiful there. I had to learn to work it, be confident and have good self-esteem while being told constantly, ‘You’re not beautiful, this isn’t what a woman looks like or does’. I had butt loads of confidence going into the competition and then having people say, ‘You seem so unsure of yourself and seem to doubt yourself…’ I think when I would say, ‘I didn’t do well at that runway challenge or photoshoot’, it was perceived as low self-esteem but it was just me saying the truth. I want to talk about when I suck and improve and do better.

Question:  Who do you think should win?

Sara:  I think we should all win. But that’s not possible, so I really hope Brittani wins. I really relate to her story. She grew up poor like I did, and winning the show would help her escape the cycle of poverty. She deserves it. They all deserve it, but it would be really cool if she won.


Question:  Will you still be going to college or will you focus just on modeling?

Sara:  I’m finishing the semester and working my jobs, but I plan on moving to LA in June if I don’t get an offer to go to New York City or overseas. I’ll maybe take one or two community college classes to keep my edge, and I love learning, but I think I will try modeling for a couple of years and then go back to school. It kills me to say that because my parents have encouraged me to get an education all my life and I feel like I’m skipping a couple of steps now.

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Photo credit: The CW

Topics: America's Next Top Model, CWTV Reality TV Shows |

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