Lydia's Episode 2 Recap: I Can't Teach Self Confidence

By Lydia Hearst

In fashion, you must become the personification of imperfect perfection; you have to adapt, challenge yourself and be a chameleon. Changing your look can make (and even break) your career.  I dyed my hair via the network's request before starting this show! You have to have courage and inner strength, and you have to really test yourself. That's one of the things I am trying to teach and stress to Team Lydia because, of course, I want one of my girls to become The Face and brand ambassador of Frederic Fekkai.

Today my girls got makeovers from Frederic himself - the man who takes a revolutionary approach to hair care.  He is the master customization hairstylist!  There is so much potential and beauty with these girls and I am thrilled to see what he has in mind for Team Lydia.

All my girls have transformed into new women with their makeovers. But in order to win this competition and become a successful model, being beautiful just isn't enough. Team Lydia needed to come together and win this challenge!

I was disturbed by what Naomi brought to our attention. What Kira supposedly said was very disappointing, especially coming from someone with so much potential. There is NO room in this competition or in the fashion industry for racism. That kind of behavior is inexcusable and would NEVER be tolerated. (Read Kira's statement on the issue here)

The criteria for this campaign was for the girls to be nude and to showcase their hair in a sensual image (based on an iconic 1989 Herb Ritts photograph of Naomi and four other supermodels). A lot of the girls looked surprised to have to pose nude, but the reality of the situation is that you don't always know exactly what you will be doing at your photo shoots prior to your arrival. Sometimes you shoot beauty, couture, denim, lingerie or even nude. No matter what happens you have to be up for the challenge - it's sink or swim.

You can't fake sexy in a nude photo shoot; you have to be comfortable and confident in your own skin. The modeltestants are finding out what it really takes to be a successful working model. My girls were SO nervous, and rightfully so! This was a challenging campaign. It's important for the girls to realize that whether you're clothed or not, you are exposing a piece of yourself every time you step in front of the camera. My years of modeling for Vogue, GQ, lingerie brands like Myla and Agent Provocateur and various cosmetic companies have helped me discover who I am as an individual and actually learn to love myself - especially the unique little eccentric quirks that make me ME. I just hoped that Team Lydia was willing to love themselves and embrace this experience because if they can't, one of them would potentially be going home.

Team Naomi won this campaign. As much as I wish it had been Team Lydia for the win, Team Naomi did deserve it. They took a great picture.

Again, it was time to face elimination, and I had to decide which of my girls to send in (again) to face Naomi and potentially go home. I couldn’t just be strategic this time. I had to listen to the client, Frederic Fekkai, because in the end there will only be one girl chosen to become "the face" of Frederic Fekkai's 2014 national ad campaign.

I was concerned about two of my girls and I was torn between who I was going to send into the room - Amanda or Nakisha. Amanda is very sexy; perhaps too sexy. If she is to remain in this competition I needed her to focus! But, there was a slight disconnect between Nakisha and the camera. If Nakisha knows she could have pushed herself a little more, I would like to know why she didn't...? 

This is a competition, life is a competition, you have to fight for what you want. Nakisha said she wanted this, but I needed her to prove that to me, and to herself; she had to remember why she was there. I was hoping that by sending her into the elimination room it was the kick in the pants she needed to wake up, break out of her shell and show just how badly she want to be there. Unfortunately, self-confidence is the one thing that I cannot teach. There is no such thing as the perfect beauty. You have to genuinely love yourself for who you are. If you are not comfortable, the camera will capture that... And in Nakisha's case, it did.

My eyes are filling with tears while watching this show and seeing just what went down in the elimination room. The fight that Nakisha put up after she is eliminated is exactly what I was hoping she would do before Naomi made her decision. She really wanted this and finally broke out of her shell. Nakisha was reborn when she removed her wig and underwent her Fekkai makeover, and her story was just beginning. I am absolutely heartbroken that she has been eliminated; she had the potential to win this entire competition.

Flip through photos of Nakisha's highlights on 'The Face.'

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