Ever since she first appeared on America’s Next Top Model in 2005, Kim Stolz has
given a face to a new generation of queer women. She may not have won the
modeling reality show, but she’s been the success story of the series, and she
also happens to be an out lesbian.
Stolz is now an MTV News Correspondent as well as a VJ for
mtvU, where she hosts The Freshmen, a
show about new music. (AfterEllen.com’s parent company, Logo, is owned by MTV.)
She’s not only a talking head, though — she’s a reporter who interviews
political candidates and writes stories for the MTV News website. She has also maintained
her flair for fashion and entertainment by working on features with musicians
and movie stars on and off the red carpet.
Stolz recently talked to AfterEllen.com about her career,
her odd relationship with Tyra Banks, and her plan to have no plan at all.
AfterEllen.com: You’ve been doing a lot of political writing
for MTV News. Is that something you wanted to do when you first started out at
Kim Stolz: Absolutely. My major at
Wesleyan was government and international politics. Politics is really
something I want to be involved with, and definitely something that sparks my
interest. For MTV News, being able to interview presidential candidates and
other political figures and covering political stories, it’s been an amazing
part of my experience and something I want to continue to do.
AE: Being an out lesbian, have you ever felt that anyone has
thought you were trying to get across “a gay agenda”?
KS: No. Honestly, I am a news
correspondent so I try to report the news and serve as a bridge from who I’m
interviewing to the audience, so I don’t think that I come across having an
agenda simply because I don’t have one.
Photo credit: Jeff Fusco/Getty Images
AE: Are you the first
out lesbian VJ on MTV that you know of?
KS: Honestly, I have no idea. To my knowledge [yes], but I don’t want to
offend anybody if anyone else is out there!
AE: At least in America, from what I’ve researched,
I haven’t seen any others.
KS: Well, I know I’m the only lesbian
news correspondent in New York.
AE: It seems like
your personal style has changed quite a bit since when you were on America’s Next Top Model. Is that
something that you had to do to be more “camera-friendly” for MTV or
something that has evolved for you?
KS: I’ve always felt that my style was very versatile, and I think that at
different points in my life, I’ve expressed different parts of myself. I think
everybody can relate to that.
I think there’s a time and a place to wear the more
androgynous clothes I wear, and there’s another time and a place, like on TRL, when I want to wear a cute dress
and get in touch with my feminine side. I think that I’ve never been pushed to
wear one thing or another. It certainly all comes from me, and I like to
express myself different ways through my clothes.
Stolz at the mtvU
Woodie Awards in New York
Photo credit: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images
AE: When you decided to get your new haircut, did you think
that some fans might have something to say about it? It seems like you have a
lot of them on the internet making comments like, “Kim has girlie hair
KS: Well, from the moment I stepped on
the television on America’s Next Top
Model, I felt like I tried to transcend stereotypes, as someone who was
adverse to that. I certainly don’t want to be boxed in a haircut or a style of
clothing. I don’t know, I do what I like with my hair and my clothes, and I
present myself in the way that I feel and hopefully people get it.