CariDee English Interview with (Dec 09/Jan10)

September 23, 2010

In December of 2009, interviewed Cycle 7‘s winner CariDee English to catch up on her career since Top Model. Here is the text from the interview (written and posted by Out Staff):

Where Are They Now: Top Model – CariDee English

1. What have you been up to since you were on the show?

First off just let me start this off by giving my absolute gratitude to my gay community. I am just as dedicated to you as you are for me. Your big loving support means the flippin’ world to me. Thank you. On with the show…

What haven’t I done? Man, the show has been such an amazing platform for my career and I have just scratched the surface. Since December 27, 2006 I have been living, eating, and sleeping my dream. I immediately signed with Elite for a three-year contract and couldn’t have been more proud. I also re-signed with CoverGirl, making me the only second top model — next to Dani (Cycle 6) — to be re-signed with the cosmetic giant. Their support has meant the world to me. I also immediately took my curse of psoriasis and turned in into my cause. I am the global ambassador for psoriasis advocacy. I stand behind my disease 100% to raise awareness and to give support and to tell people, “I have psoriasis but I don’t let it have me.” I volunteer my time with the American support group the National Psoriasis Foundation as the active “youth ambassador,” giving children hope and encouragement to live a full life and empowering them to know nothing in this world is impossible if you have psoriasis. Nothing. God gave me this for a reason, and now I am a model on a mission. I also have lobbied on Capital Hill to support bills in further psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis research. I also just started to take on Project Angel Food, giving meals to people with HIV/AIDS by bringing meals to their homes.

I also have landed the what I consider the “Oscar of Modeling” — covers. My covers to date include, Seventeen (front and back), Social Life, Healthy Living, Cover magazine, American Salon, and Runway Magazine. That, for me, is HUGE step in the world of modeling. I really, really feel sad and disappointed in the way the industry has taken the model’s biggest accomplishment and given it away to actors, celebs, and musicians. If you really think about it, the only cover models get now in America is one: the annual Sports illustrated swimsuit issue. And even that can get away from us year to year. Yes, I do acknowledge that Giselle and Agnes have got us covers for our industry, but it’s very, very few and far between. The age of the supermodel is dead. Let’s look back even 15 years, when models were on every cover. Cindy, Christina, Linda, Claudia, Elle, Patti, Rebecca, Naomi — that’s when supermodels took over the world, one stiletto at a time, and it’s heartbreaking for us to really try to make an impact when everything is so celeb-driven. I totally understand the marketing side behind it, but it’s still a blow for our industry. So although six covers might not seem like many, I feel now that’s an amazing accomplishment. I’ve also landed campaigns with JCPenney, Matrix, and countless ads for anything to do with fashion, health, or music. I most recently hosted a show for the Oxygen network called Pretty Wicked. Getting into television hosting is sooo fun and amazing for me. It really challenges me, and it’s something I will continue to work on in the future. I also was on the hit show Gossip Girl, that was super fun for me to be part of a huge successful machine of a show. Runway runway runway. Countless talk shows, MTV, hosting, lots and lots of fun. I am working on a career in music now also. I started recording with Better Than Ezra’s bass man Tom Drummond. In November I am going to New Orleans to get creative and work on some inspiring music. I sing, play guitar, piano, flute, and drums. Music has always been a huge passion of mine. I could read music before I could read words. I just collaborated on an AMAZING song with singer, songwriter, and producer Brad Walsh. It’s so good. I love working with him and his loving, talented boyfriend Christian Siriano — we have gotten close over the year. I also am committed to working more in the hosting realm of TV. And, of course, finding time to be an active giver to my community. I have a power and a story and will leave a big footprint when I am done.

2. Do you think the show accurately portrays the life of a model?

The life of a model is not by any means structured. So in terms of the spontaneity of reality television and real-life modeling — absolutely. But after the show there are casting calls, rigorous ways to keep your body in shape, newfound fame that can be a bit tricky to adjust to in the fashion world. But I love a challenge — that’s why I won.

3. What was your favorite challenge?

Every single one. Honestly, I loved my experience on Top Model. I really got into every shoot I did, because it comes so naturally and passionately to me. I do have to say it was fun to be Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie — love the character aspect and embodying such powerful people. Shooting my Seventeen cover was big also. My CoverGirl campaign, skydiving — ahh — all of it. Love, love, love the challenge.

4. What was your least favorite challenge?

Anything with runway. My stronger talents are in front of a camera. Haha.

5. Give us a little dirt on Tyra: Is she as nurturing as she appears? Or what was your favorite memory?


6. Who was the biggest villain on your season?

Monique. Bitch was a fucking loony. Bless her.

7. Who is your favorite supermodel?

Cindy Crawford was my girl growing up. Love Rebecca and what she has done for her career, also Molly Sims is someone I’ve gotten to meet and she has always been an inspiration for me. I am good, good friends with Rachel Hunter and she was a HUGE influence when I was just starting, because everyone said I looked like her. Love her.

8. What is your favorite fashion trend right now?

I hate trends, but I do have to say, I like how hairstyles have really been an expression of one’s soul. I just got a new style, cutting 13 inches off, and I feel more me and beautiful.

9. What is your least favorite trend right now?

Impractical sunglasses. I mean, I hope no one is wearing those ridiculous fuckers and driving. Jesus.

10. What’s the biggest misconception about models/modeling that you’d like to clear up?

That Top Model winners don’t go anywhere. It breaks my heart to read that because I have worked my ass off on an industry that doesn’t really take to our titles. I love and support all my fans and hope they will continue to do the same. Just because I don’t have a sex tape doesn’t mean I don’t deserve recognition! There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs.

To learn more about Cycle 7 winner CariDee English, visit her bio page here.

Photo: Getty Images

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