To learn more about Cycle 14’s Brenda Arens, visit her bio page here.

To learn more about Cycle 14’s Brenda Arens, visit her bio page here. Photo credit: Dave Rossman.


In April of 2010, Mia Gradney with interviewed Cycle 14’s Brenda Arens. Watch the video to find out how she felt about talking with Manhattan’s Tinsley Mortimer, where she likes to hang out in Houston,  and why she feels like she got the “short end of the stick” in the competition.


To learn more about Cycle 14’s Brenda Arens, visit her bio page here.


In April of 2010, interviewed Cycle 14’s Brenda Arens. The interview summarizes why she tried out for the show, how she felt “set up” for failure with her makeover and the lessons she learned from being on the show. Here is the text from the article (written by Gina Scarpa and Michelle Spigner):

America’s Next Top Model Cycle 14: Exclusive Interview with Brenda

Last night, on America’s Next Top Model, Jessica won a challenge showing off her knowledge of the fashion industry and received a photo shoot with Seventeen magazine as her prize. She was able to bring two people with her and took Brenda and Raina along. Later, after their New York City women photo shoot, Tyra comes down on Brenda for lacking the fire it takes to be a successful model. After being repeatedly criticized for looking old in her pictures, Brenda was eliminated from the competition and spoke to RealityWanted in an exclusive interview today about her experiences on the show.

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: What made you want to try out for America’s Next Top Model this cycle?
A. Brenda: I started modeling when I was 16 and I watched the show ever since the first cycle when Adrienne won. I always thought it would be so interesting to just try out. I knew it was different than modeling because it had a lot to do with tv production. I said, “I already have these skills and I have the looks, so why not?”

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Being a fan of the show, was it surreal to actually be part of it and see Tyra, Nigel, and the Jays?
A. Brenda: Oh my goodness, it was literally an out of body experience. When I saw them, I was like, “Oh my God, they’re like dolls!” TV doesn’t do them justice.

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: How do you balance modeling with being a mother?
A. Brenda: It’s hectic. You can’t be a selfish person. I’ve been a single mom since I was 18. Her father now started to help out but it’s hard. You gotta put your daughter first but you gotta

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: It took some time for you to get used to your hair and your makeover. Can you talk about the process that you went through?
A. Brenda: When I got my first makeover it wasn’t a secret that I didn’t like it. I told myself at night, “You won’t go home over this.” I worked too hard and got out of two modeling contracts and left my daughter and I said , “Get over it.” I tried different hairstyles. I tried different things to be a team player. It took me, honestly, a good week and a half. You’re in a competition that doesn’t last that long. I think it took me two days to get over the shock and it didn’t help with the girls making fun of me.

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Speaking of the other girls, how did you feel about your relationship with them? Are you close with girls in your everyday life?
A. Brenda: I really am an extremely patient person. I know how to keep my mouth shut. I’ve worked in the professional world and in the industry but when someone is poking and poking, even off camera, you’re only going to break after a while. In my real personal life, I get along great with other girls. I have lot of friends but I have a very small intimate group that I trust.

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Was there a certain aspect of the show that surprised you, or maybe that you weren’t prepared for?
A. Brenda: As crazy as it sounds, for someone who’s watched every cycle, I knew I was going to get a haircut but I wasn’t prepared for such a drastic change. Until it really happens and those buzzers come out, you can’t imagine what that’s like.

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Did you disagree with the feedback from the judges and were there times that you wanted to speak up and respond to their critiques?
A. Brenda: Of course, I would look at them like, “Are you crazy?” They would call me old looking and old bones. When I came in, I had this long, signature, red hair and you cut it off, not me. You made me look very mature. Short hair matures you a couple years. I hate to say this, and I don’t know if this is bad, but I feel like I was set up. It wasn’t an even playing field because even Tyra said, “You’re too sexy,” and cut the hair off and said the other girls need to be sexified. My self esteem took a hit.

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: Do you feel that you left the competition too early and that, if you still had your long hair, you would’ve made it further?
A. Brenda: I can guarantee you… if they had left my long hair… I don’t need to be the winner but if I was top 3 or top 4, I could sleep at night. Leaving the house that night, it was so unexpected. I had great pictures the past two weeks. I didn’t show up to panel in bathing suits, I didn’t call people names, so I was shocked.

Q. Gina, RealityWanted: What is the biggest lesson you learned about yourself through being on America’s Next Top Model?
A. Brenda: The biggest thing I learned about myself is that I thought that having long hair made you beautiful and made you feel more this and that but it’s not always about that. It sounds so cliché. It’s not always about outer beauty, it’s about inner beauty. I felt like the ugly duckling but I had to learn how to not show it and feel good about myself. That was a hard lesson.

To learn more about Cycle 14’s Brenda Arens, visit her bio page here.

Photo: CWJonathan Mannion

In April of 2010, interviewed Cycle 14’s Brenda Arens. The interview summarizes her previous modeling experience, her shocking elimination and the hair style she decided to keep post show. Here is the text from the article (written by Lara Martin):

Brenda (‘America’s Next Top Model’)

Brenda Arens’s first few days on America’s Next Top Model were definitely memorable. The 24-year-old from Texas dissolved into tears when she had her long locks chopped into a short style, then stripped naked except for a watch for her debut photoshoot. This week’s challenge saw the models posing as New York women on the subway, but Brenda’s “student” look left the panel unimpressed and she became the latest girl to pack her bags and head home. We gave her a call to chat about her experience.

Was it a shock to land in the bottom two?
“Oh, definitely. I had really good pictures the previous two weeks and I felt like I always carried myself very professionally, next to Alasia I was just like, ‘What?!’ I was very, very shocked.”

What did you make of Tyra saying you lacked “fire and desire”?
“I respect the judges, I really do, but like I said, I have to disagree. I got out of two modeling contracts to be on the show. I definitely didn’t lack any desire. Maybe what she meant was that I didn’t embrace the edgy haircut she gave me as much as she wanted me to, but as far as lacking desire, modeling is my passion.”

Looking back to that haircut, what was going through your mind? Did they tell you what they were planning?!
“They didn’t tell me at all! In fact, Mr Jay walked up and asked the hairdresser, ‘Are these razor-sharp?’ And he said, ‘Yes’, and it took the hair right off. When you’ve had long hair for 20 years it’s a shock. You just try to roll with it and do the best you can.”

Have you gone back to the long hair, then?
“I am in the process of growing it out. It’s to the bottom of my nose right now, it’s at a very awkward stage! I want to get it chin-length, I think that will look really cute.”

How do you think your picture compared to the other girls this week?
“I rather liked my picture. Jay told me the previous week what was prettier on me and I always tried to take his advice, so my eyes were looking up more to the left of me than necessarily straight to camera. I think it came out really beautiful but unfortunately the judges weren’t impressed. There were three girls that actually looked to the side but they loved their pictures. It was sad.”

You met last season’s winner Nicole Fox on the shoot. Did she give you any advice?
“I got a chance to talk to her real briefly. She was just saying try to stay out of the drama and focus on yourself, we all have flaws and something that is unique about us. I definitely listened.”

What sparked the row between you and Angelea?
“She has always been very intimidated by me and is on me, on me, on me. The limo was the height of the thing between Alasia and Jessica and I just happened to be sitting between. I think Angelea was defending Alasia and saying not to worry about us, and after somebody calls you the B-word so many times, I have a backbone and I’m going to stand up for myself. I thought she was very uneducated because that was the only insulting word she knew.”

Do you agree with Krista that the house is divided in two?
“Yes, we can only be so nice for so long. I definitely noticed the divide. I think it’s more because of how we were raised, our backgrounds, where we came from. You found in the house who you have the most in common with. I think that’s what sparked the divide.”

Can you give us any hints about your Seventeen photoshoot?!
“It was so exciting! It will be coming out in May, so make sure you get a copy! We got to wear an outfit that describes our personality. I got a very chic sailor-almost kind of look. It wasn’t too, too feminine and I really loved it. I’m excited to see the final pictures!”

You said you were excited about meeting Tyra. How was she?!
“She has a genuine personality about her. She is definitely a businesswoman, but I do see a softer side to her and she seems to genuinely care about the girls. I didn’t get to spend too much time with her, but from how much I did, I was impressed. And she’s very beautiful!”

What are your plans for now?
“I’m back home in Houston, Texas, and I have several opportunities and I plan to go back to modeling. I love the runway and want to break into commercials. I possibly might go to LA and try my hand out there, I’m excited for my future!”

To learn more about Cycle 14’s Brenda Arens, visit her bio page here.

Photo: CW / Mike Ruiz

In April of 2010, interviewed Cycle 14’s Brenda Arens. The interview summarizes her previous modeling experience, her shocking elimination and the hair style she decided to keep post show. Here is the text from the article (written by Phil Kural):

There Were a Few Times I Got the Short End of the Stick” – RealityNewsOnline’s Exclusive Interview With America’s Next Top Model 14’s Brenda

Brenda was the latest girl sent packing on this cycle of America’s Next Top Model when the judges felt that she just didn’t have the fire and desire to be there like the rest of the girls. Was that the case? Did she keep the dramatic look Tyra gave her? Did her experience hurt her? Brenda answers all this and so much more right here!

When I saw Brenda eliminated in the most recent episode, I was a bag of mixed thoughts. I thought she did great this week, but even I had predicted her as the next to go. However, once I finished my interview with her, I was solidly in the camp of wanting her to still be around. Brenda had a personality that she didn’t display on the show and really made me want to see more of her. Read on to see what I’m talking about.

RealityNewsOnline: Hey, Brenda! Thanks for taking time out of your day to chat with me today. How much of previous cycles of the show had you seen and why did you decide to apply?

Brenda: I had been watching ANTM off and on all through the years, but I originally had seen the first cycle where Adrienne had won. From there, I would jump back and forth watching a cycle here and there. I always loved the show and wanted to try out so I just decided to go for it!

RNO: It was no secret that you had prior modeling experience before your time on the show. Do you feel it helped or hindered you in the competition?

Brenda: I would say a little of both. It helped because I was knowledgeable and familiar with the industry, but it did hurt me a little since habits are hard to break since you do something for so long and then when you are told to do something new, it’s hard to adjust.

I think also that the judges did expect a little more from me, especially when you look at how all the girls in the third shoot had American dances and I had African. I felt like there were a few times that I got the short end of the stick.

RNO: Obviously you were the “shocking makeover” of the season. Do you feel editing played up your reaction or were you truly upset over the whole thing?

Brenda: Oh no, those were real tears! Ha! I wasn’t happy about the whole thing, but like Tyra said, I was a team player. It wasn’t a secret that I didn’t love it but I had decided that there was no way I was going home over hair, so I worked with it the best that I could.

RNO: You said before panel that you felt you were going to be safe. What do you think went wrong and why do you think you were eliminated?

Brenda: I’m still questioning that too since my two prior photos were received well by the judges. I felt confident going in and that was why I was shocked when they said that they felt I lacked a fire and desire. I think it’s because I didn’t rock my hair the way that Tyra and company wanted me to.

RNO: We saw this week that there was a clear division in the house, but nobody ever mentioned which group Alexandra fell into. Was she with the drama girls or the low key girls?

Brenda: Yeah, the thing with Alexandra is that she was in Angelea’s room, but I have to say that she was pretty neutral in the whole thing. That being said, I don’t know what happened when the cameras weren’t around or what was said behind our backs that wasn’t shown. However, to me, she just wasn’t really involved.

I just feel like when you have a bunch of girls living in a house together you can only be nice for so long. It was just that girls that had the same background as one another were the ones gravitating. You have girls like Alasia, Krista, and Angelea that all grew up the same way, so of course they are going to gravitate.

RNO: It seemed like you were up and down all season in the judges’ eyes, but were ultimately eliminated when the judges felt you didn’t have a fire for the competition. What was your take?

Brenda: When I came into this competition I couldn’t stop smiling. I had my signature red hair and I was ready to go. It hit me hard when they cut off my hair and gave me a completely new look, and when that happened my confidence went right out the window. But as far as wanting to be there it never crossed my mind – I wanted to be there.

RNO: You were on your game this week getting praised at the teach and the challenge, and even Jay said your photo shoot this week was pretty good. At what point do you feel things started to turn?

Brenda: That’s why I said I was so shocked when I was eliminated. My vampire photo was loved by the judges and the fashion photo that we did last week wasn’t the best, but I was still called fourth from the top. I don’t even think that my CoverGirl photo was that bad, and I guess that is why I’m still shocked that I was sent home this week.

RNO: Tyra suggested that you keep the look that she gave you and begin a portfolio with it. Did you take the advice, or are you moving back to your old style?

Brenda: Well, I’m not going back to my old style. I’m going to compromise. I have decided that I’m not going to stick with the mullet and let my hair get to chin length and go with a bob. This way clients and designers can style me the way they like. I know I have to wait a little before I can start modeling again so this is giving me the time to do that, but I am definitely ready to get back out there and work again.

RNO: When I talked to Tatianna last week, she told me that Alasia is being edited as the loud girl who picks fights but is very personable when the cameras weren’t around. Would you agree?

Brenda: Umm, you know… Alasia is a loose cannon. She is up and down and I’ve never personally got into a yelling match with her but I would tell her that she needs to bring it down a notch at times. Someone would say something to her though and right away she would just fly off the handle.

Editing was kinder to some girls over others, though, and you have to realize that. I’m not sure if I’m allowed to talk about it since it may be in the clip show, but they haven’t shown even half of what Krista was up to, and I hope they do!

RNO: Do you feel like going on a reality show is harder for parents than it is for the girls that don’t have to leave children at home?

Brenda: Yeah, I think so. We all gave up something to be there. Simone gave up a scholarship and Tatianna gave up her studies, but a parent is leaving another person behind. Someone that relies on you and someone that you want to be there for so I would definitely say it’s harder for a parent.

RNO: After all is said and done, where do you see yourself a year from now?

Brenda: A year from now I see myself with several modeling agencies around the U.S. I really want to break into something new since I have never done so much commercial work before the show so I really want to try more of that. I wouldn’t mind getting into TV as well. Essentially, I just want to try my hand at a bunch of different things.

RNO: What type of advice would you give to girls who are thinking of applying to future cycles?

Brenda: I would definitely say that if this has been a dream of yours then you should just keep trying. I’m a single mom and if I can do it with just myself and my daughter then you can too. Don’t put up roadblocks for yourself and think that you can’t do it or won’t make it. When you do make, just try to stay out of the drama! Ha!

RNO: Looking back, do you have any regrets or do you think you played in the competition 100% true to who you are?

Brenda: I really did keep true to myself and that’s the one thing that I’m really proud of. The only time I snapped was this past Wednesday and that was just me standing up for myself. I don’t have any regrets about my time on the show and I was just me.

RNO: Is there anything you would like to add or say to fans of the show?

Brenda: Well, I do have a fan page so people have been awesome on there and people stop me on the street and tell me how much they liked me on the show so I really do want to thank the fans. They make me laugh when I’m down and really do have a way of cheering me up. I’m so thankful for the experience.

RNO: Thanks, Brenda!

To learn more about Cycle 14’s Brenda Arens, visit her bio page here.

Photo: CWJonathan Mannion

In April of 2010, interviewed Cycle 14’s Brenda Arens. The interview summarizes her experience on the show, how she did during the untelevised ‘chemistry challenge’ with Nigel and her feelings about the judges. Here is the text from the article (written by Meghan Carlson):

Exclusive Interview: Brenda Arens of ‘America’s Next Top Model’ Cycle 14

With her delicate bone structure, striking red hair and confidence, Brenda Arens, 23, had all the assets to break out from the crowd on America’s Next Top Model this season.

But, as on any reality show worth its salt, stress met her around every corner. A botched makeover, harsh criticisms from the judges, a fellow model who loved to just “poke and poke and poke” and Tyra’s crazy modeling jobs that required, among other things, nudity and blindness, eventually led Brenda to her personal “breaking point”–at about the same time that Tyra and her judges decided to break it off with Brenda, too.

But that’s not the last you’ll see of this striking mother from Houston. I spoke with Brenda after her America’s Next Top Model exit about the drama, the judges and her favorite modeling moments, as well as her future in the field.

A lot of your screen time during the season focused on times when you were upset or nervous. Did you have fun during the show or was it mostly a stressful experience for you?

I had a lot of amazing experiences. I had extreme highs, extreme lows. I do get frustrated a lot. I cried a couple times, but other than that, no, I had a really good experience on the show.

What was your favorite photo shoot while you were there?

I had so many, but I enjoyed something different from each photo shoot. I would definitely have to say-it sounds crazy, but the nude photo shoot was the one I dreaded the most. But when I actually got there and got the black wig, and found a way to work with getting the watch, it turned out to be, I think, not only my best picture, but I learned to relax. It was kind of like an accomplishment because I was stressing on being nude in front of that many people. I would have to say my first photo shoot was probably the best.

How about your least favorite?

As we all know, I would have to say the vampire. I’ve really never worn contact lenses in my entire life. The first time I put anything in my eye, they’re twice as large and thick as normal contacts. They have to cover from corner to corner. They were painful, and I think the other girls have more of an advantage because they wore contacts. I don’t know what it was, we all have our own problems. But for me, it was just too hard.

Who was your favorite judge?

I would have to say Nigel has always been really, really fair. He’s not quick to judge and he seems to always have the opposite opinion of Andre. It’s kind of funny watching the footage, because I never knew that they do disagree a lot. But I’d have to say Nigel. He was always really fair with me. He always found the good and the bad about a picture for me. He’d go out of his way to find something positive to tell me for next time.

How did you like that challenge where you guys tried to woo him in that trolley car?

It’s probably good that they didn’t show mine! You know, I don’t get intimidated by a lot of men, I really don’t. But I didn’t realize how tall he was in real life! He’s always sitting down when I see him, but he’s at least 6’3″ and he’s just gorgeous. It was just funny. I don’t think I’m the best at flirting, and so I think if they had shown it, it would’ve been crickets. It was … interesting.

There was a lot of drama in this last episode between two different groups that were butting heads. Where do you think the source was of the animosity that divided the house?

I think that the first week we were there, everybody was just trying to be on their best behavior, being nice. But after a while, everybody’s true colors come out. Then you live in a house with that many girls. I think a lot of the girls – Alasia, Angelea, Krista – I feel like they have very similar backgrounds, as maybe how they were raised. Then you have Raina and Jessica and myself. I can relate to what they went through as a child, and vice versa. I just think that the girls let how they were raised, where they were from, get in the way and distract us all from why we’re really there. It’s a competition and it’s hard to even tell how we first became divided, but it happened and it was very cliqued up in the house.

There’s some particular tension between you and Angelea. Now that you’re off the show, how do you feel about her?

I’ve had a lot of people ask me in the streets, on my fanpage, “Why do you hate her? Why do you hate her?” And I’ll say it again, I don’t hate anybody in this world. If anything, I feel really sorry for her. I think that our personalities–I’m very, very, very patient, but if you keep poking and poking and poking like you saw, when you make comments – “How does it feel to be in the bottom, Brenda and Raina?”–after weeks and weeks and weeks, everybody has a breaking point, and l think last night was just mine. I don’t know if she’s intimidated, or I don’t know what the deal is. You’d really have to ask her, but she definitely came on really strong since day one on me.

Did your haircut ever grow on you (no pun intended)?

See, I had two cuts and I’ve been watching this show for a long time and I’ve never seen, in the history of Top Model, a girl to get two makeovers. But the first cut, I liked it better than the second one. And I would’ve been okay with the first cut; I just needed a few days. When you have a drastic change like that, you just need it to sink in. So I needed a day or two and I started to embrace it. But then when I got the second one, I think that just sent me downhill so fast. The buzzed side, it looked beautiful on Simone but I just feel like it didn’t work for my personality so I never really got used to it. It’s growing out. It’s about probably the bottom of my nose. It’s in the awkward stage. I’m trying to get it to a cute chin bob, that’s my goal.

Now that you’re out of the competition, who do you think should win?

I’m not just saying this because she’s a good friend of mine, but I think that we all know that Raina has had the attention since day one. Her face is amazing, so I’m really rooting for Raina. Also for Alex, because she’s the only plus-sized and she has to work harder than anybody else. So I kind of wish them both the best of luck.

Are you going to keep modeling? Is that in the plan?

Oh of course, oh yes. I was in two modeling contracts and I had to get out of them to go on the show. So yeah, I plan to expand myself. I want to do commercials. Maybe host a show. I have huge plans. I might be going off to LA for a couple of opportunities, so it’s just the beginning for me.

To learn more about Cycle 14’s Brenda Arens, visit her bio page here.

Photo: CW / Barbara Nitke