T Lo Interviews Fab MMAS Salome
We were just watching your exit interview. You’re so funny. So, “big butt/can’t walk” came a long way, huh?
I know, it shocked everybody, including myself.
Well, you said that when you want something, you go for it with all your heart, and it showed. You kept getting better and growing throughout the competition, don’t you think?
I do, I really do. Every time I did learn something that was definitely shown. I was fine with it. I guess it made me look like I was improving anyway. [Laughs] No, I definitely feel that I got more confident as it went along.
You had some modeling experience before the show, right?
I had done about five shoots before that, I’ve never walked the runway; I’ve never seen the runway.
How does a Mennonite decide to become a model?
I worked at a Starbucks and people would come in and ask ‘why aren’t you modeling’ and then a photographer came in and he asked me to do a test shoot for a magazine and I got the cover. Another younger photographer came in and did a test shoot of me and sent it to his agency, and they signed me, and that’s Click Models in Atlanta. So, I didn’t choose to, but I just realized that if people are willing to pay me to stand in front of a camera and just move… and I love it. I told my mom that I didn’t feel like I was sinning that I felt like I was expressing myself.
What was like growing up as a Mennonite?
It was a great way to be raised. The world could fall apart and I would know how to take care of myself. I learned how to work young; I’m very independent. I learn really fast because I have an open mind.
Did your family watch the show?
I have a sister that has watched the show and my little sister takes my mom to a library and they watch the show on the Internet. I think it’s hilarious because they don’t have internet or a computer and they really don’t have TV, so the fact that she learned how to get on the computer to watch my show is amazing.
Have you talked to them about it?
Yes, my family and I are very close. We talk at least once a week and we talked about the show.
They’ve seen all the naked shots and all.
My mom did see the nude shoot and she said ‘well, you’re a beautiful girl, if this is want you want, I love you anyway.’
You take amazing photos. It sucks that most of the go-sees were for runway jobs.
I agree with you. I begged them, we got an hour of Heelys training and I was like, “please, just give me an hour of one-on-one runway training. I can learn if I know what I’m supposed to do.”
We could see your excitement every time they brought someone in to teach you guys something.
I went on this show for the experience and to learn about myself, other people, modeling, to ask myself ,”Do I really love this? Do I really want to do this?” This is a chance of a lifetime. I know so many people who would’ve loved to be in my spot. I was so happy to be there and learn everything I could.
Do you think that it was your walk that sent you home?
Yeah, it definitely was my walk that sent me home. Well, that and my butt. The week before they said , they didn’t show it on air, but they pretty much said that my body wasn’t changing fast enough. I told them, if you measure me every three days and I work out two hours a day and only eat salads, it’s not going to change any faster.
But we did think that towards the end you had lost weight, that your body was smaller.
About three inches off my boobs, an inch and a half off my waist and an inch off my butt by the time the show was over.
We know that it’s a demand in the industry, but how do you personally feel about this whole body issue? Do you just accept it as part of the industry?
I accept it as part of the industry. I chose this industry and I know that to fit into there are rules no matter what you choose to do. You have to fit into it, that’s just it. And if my ass is bigger than it should be for high fashion, I need to change it or go on to something else.
There’s more than runway to the modeling industry. You can do print, you can do so many other things.
Right, I agree, and now that I have time to work on it, it’s getting smaller; it’s just that it takes more than a month to shrink three inches.
What did you think of the judges in general?
They were there to crack us into shape and not be nice. I always liked hearing Marlon’s advice because he told you what was wrong and he told you what was right. Perou was there to see who he could make laugh and who he could piss off, that was his job. Catherine Malandrino tended to be very poetic, you couldn’t quite understand what she was saying, but she always had a point and she would pick up on the smallest details. I really trusted Jenny Shimizu’s judgment because she’s been there, done that. She seemed to know what she was doing.
Best moment on the show.
I guess when I realized I wasn’t terrified of water anymore. That was my favorite moment. Water and dancing are my two biggest fears.
I loved the nude shoot and the swimsuit shoot. The pictures that I got out of it were amazing.
Who do you want to win now that you’re not in the competition anymore?
I have to vote for Mountaha. Sandhurst wants it really badly and I think he will do well. He could be the new Tyson sort of deal and his body is so amazing.
You said the judges can’t make you into a supermodel; you have to make yourself into a supermodel. Are you working on that?
Yes, I’m getting my body into shape. I’ve been doing a lot of shoots. I actually go on YouTube now and watch runway shows and say, “Ok, I see what they were saying now. I see it. I can see it.”
Do you still want to move to NY?
Oh, I will move to NY, it’s just a matter of when. I’ve been working a whole lot saving money. I cannot wait to move to NY.
Thank you so much, darling, you’re a doll. We truly believe in you and we think you have a lot of potential. Good luck!
Thank you, guys! You guys are so good at what you do. Thank you.