Interview With Jessica Clark


AE: You totally changed my mind about
models. I think I actually feel bad for them.
And no one asks them their opinions about things. If someone asks me what
I think, I’m always shocked.

AE: I’ll ask. What do you think of America’s Next Top Model?
I think it’s great TV. Tyra Banks is a business genius. It’s like a high
school catfight. That’s definitely entertaining. Does it accurately reflect the
industry? No. When you’re a young, real model, you’re in low-end, low-rent rooms,
in bunk beds. It’s not nearly as chi-chi as they have it. But certainly, all the
insecurities or cattiness and all that, that you see amongst the girls? That’s all

AE: The show always makes sure there’s
at least one super bitch in the house. And often there’s a lesbian in the mix, because
that’s always a good time.
Yeah. They discovered that’s a winning formula. Everyone loves to watch
it if there’s a potential lesbian in there. I think that’s their thing now.

AE: Have you ever met Tyra?
No, I haven’t, actually. She’s one of the few I’ve never come into contact
with. The stories abound far and wide, though

Robert C. Mora/WireImage

AE: How about her nemesis, Naomi Campbell?
I have met Naomi. I’ve done a bunch of runway shows and things with her.
During one of my first runway shows when I was about 16 years old, she was changing
next to me. I was fascinated and terrified because I had heard all the stories.
I was waiting for her to scream at me.

AE: Did she throw anything at you?
[laughs] She was actually very nice to me. She’s like a panther. When she
was undressing next to me, I was like, "Whoa." [She's] very lean and muscular,
with crazy skin and stuff. She’s amazing. She’s a weird combination of simpering
little girl and a crazy warrior woman, depending on what mood she’s in.

AE: I don’t think "simpering little
girl" when I think of Naomi Campbell. I think diva.
It’s weird. She can definitely be a diva, but if she’s being nice, or if
she’s flirting, she kind of flirts a bit like a little girl. You know, that whole
coy, the head to the side thing. She does that and she does a little-girl kind of
voice. It’s weird coming out of a glamazon like that.

AE: There were days when you were not
a happy model; the days of nothing but cigarettes and Diet Coke.
And coke.

AE: Right. Cocaine is standard craft services
for any modeling job.
[laughs] Yeah, absolutely, it is.

AE: Did you have an epiphany that you
didn’t want to live like that anymore?
I had an epiphany I couldn’t live
like that anymore. I was in Paris doing a runway show, the last one in a circuit
that starts in New York, goes to London, then Milan, then Paris. You’re traveling
constantly for about five to six weeks; it’s really exhausting and stressful. And
you’re starving yourself and becoming completely strung out.

By Paris, everyone’s getting sick. I was probably the thinnest I’ve ever been
in my life — really feeling like death warmed up and living on nothing. And they
said: "Oh, can’t you just lose a couple more kilos, like five more pounds?
Then you’d be perfect."

AE: How much did you weigh when they
told you to lose more weight?
I’m 5-11, and I think I weighed 105 pounds. And I couldn’t really stand.
I was pretty ill.

AE: So, that vacuous, hollow expression
you see on runway models’ faces is actually because they’re seconds away from
passing out?
Oh my God, totally. I’ll tell you what it is, no joke. People say, "Oh,
you people are so bitchy and vacant" and whatever. And I’m like: "They’re
hungry. They’re hungry and tired and they
don’t know what you’re talking about because they can’t think straight because they
haven’t eaten for a month."

AE: And you couldn’t do it anymore.
No. I called my New York agent from backstage at the show and had a meltdown.
"I’m quitting, that’s it! I can’t take it, I’m losing my mind, I hate
myself!" She talked me down off the ledge and brought me back to New York.
I went through the whole process of getting clean. I had all different eating disorders
and all that crap. So, that took me a good year — obviously, it was a work in progress
… very up and down. I didn’t have any natural appetite. I destroyed my own metabolism.

AE: Your stomach was probably the size
of a walnut.
Yeah, it’s weird. It swings in the other direction, and your body is like:
"Oh my God, food! It’s the greatest thing I’ve ever seen in my entire life."

AE: Has maintaining a healthier weight
affected your career?
I don’t do runway shows anymore. I mean, I can’t. I can’t do runway and
not starve myself.

AE: Runway is the most stringent?
Runway is the most stringent. If you’re in the more "commercial"
arena, which is still the fashion things, but also things like Pantene and L’Oreal,
you can be a [size] two to a small four, which is what I am now.

Pages: 1 2 3 4

Tags: , ,