Before I talk about how The Face changed my life - and it did - let's talk Tiana! Until the very last second, I had no idea we would win. In fact, I was surprised it was us! Of course we both wanted it. But I had become focused on helping Tiana become the best model (and woman) she could be. I wanted to get her out of her box, out of her comfort zone, to become bigger and better, and winning had become almost secondary. That's not to say it wasn't sweet!
I'm incredibly proud of Tiana, and so happy she's "the face" of Frederic Fekkai. The girl definitely earned it! She worked so hard. All season long, she took my guidance and direction and was able to run with it in real time during the challenges. As a mentor, that's all you can ask. Really, all of the girls who were on my team are great models. They also happen to be good, sweet human beings who don't have a mean bone in their bodies. I think Tiana winning was a win for them all. They had amazing team spirit. They backed each other up every single challenge. And that's a huge part of modeling. You have to work together. You have to not be the star when you aren't asked to be the star.
As for me, The Face was one of the most amazing experience in my life. I'd go so far as to say it was life-altering. I've modeled for 13 years, and while I love modeling this show gave me an opportunity to speak my mind for the first time on a job. Models usually don't have a voice, at least not in a significant way. We're objects that help sell a product. But The Face drove home for me personally how well I know this business, and made me realize that I have a lot to say and a lot to teach. Now I want to give back. While I love modeling, I want to help inspire and empower young women to have a voice. Too many of us don't!