I spoke with Diana earlier and surprisingly, she was a talker. "Top Model" didn't really show her "engaged" much. The show made her seem very quiet, but she wasn't in her interview, and it was nice... makes my job a lot easier. So check out my interview with her below and find out how she felt being in the house with a bunch of "skinnies" (my word, not hers), how that conversation between her, Whitney and Renee (RE: plus sized models NOT EVER being on the cover of VOGUE) wasn't at all what it seemed, how she feels about Jennifer Hudson actually making the VOGUE cover, and who her 2nd choice is to win it all... (cuz if you watch the show at all, then you know, Whitney is her 1st).
Click to read my interview with Diana...
Me: Hey Diana!
Diana: Hey, how are you?
Me: Good, how are you?
Diana: I'm great! Thank you.
Me: Ok Diana, before we start off, I need for you to explain something to me. (Diana: Mmm-hmm...) What exactly constitutes a "plus-sized" model?
Diana: I believe that it is a size 12 and up.
Me: So it is a size 12 and up.
Diana: I believe so, yes.
Me: Because on the first episode when they were measuring you guys with the measuring tape, they were measuring Whitney and they said that she had a 31" waist, and I was like, a 31" waist is plus-sized?
Diana: Yeah, well I don't really think that Whitney would be considered plus-sized in the modeling industry. I think that she's like a size maybe 8 or 10 or something like that, however on the show they just depicted her as plus-sized.
Me: Well I was a little confused by that because I usually fluctuate from a size 6 to a size 8 (and that one pair of size 10 pants I bought a few years ago, but those size 10's scared me a little, so I got rid of 'em quick! But of course this isn't about me, it's Diana's interview... my apologies. I'm focused!) so after seeing them cast Whitney as plus-sized, I was like, ok, so I'm plus-sized now?
Diana: I think in the modeling industry, that size (6 to 8) would be known as a "tweener" I think that's the correct terminology. You know, it's not quite the "skinny minnies" walking down the runways, but it's not a plus-size either.
Me: Oh ok, I got cha. Well you were the tallest girl this season right?
Diana: Yes I was.
Me: How tall are you exactly?
Me: Oh wow. Your parents must be really tall.
Diana: No, not really, I'm taller than both of them.
Me: What about guys? Do have a height preference for your guys?
Diana: Umm, you know, I prefer them taller, but I've never discriminated against anyone, I always gave all guys a chance. But my boyfriend now is actually 6'6". So that's just amazing!
Me: Well if you guys end up staying together, that child is...
Diana: I know!
Both of us: Going to the NBA!
Diana: That is correct. That's what we're hoping for!
Me: But for modeling your height was perfect, right?
Me: What about the plus-sized part then. Was it hard dealing with all the skinny girls in the house, because I swear, some of the time, when Jaslene would turn sideways, you couldn't see her no more. She'd just disappear.
Diana: (laughs..) I think that Jaslene was THE thinnest girl in the house.
Me: She was really thin.
Diana: Yeah, she was very, very thin. But the funny thing is, maybe initially, when I first saw all the other girls, especially the ones on the thinner spectrum... like I remember the first time I saw Natasha, and she was wearing skinny black jeans and a long sleeve black top. She looked soooo skinny! I felt like if I hugged her or touched her, I would break her, you know? But as you're living with these girls, you just kinda look past it. You don't focus on their weight anymore that much. So it wasn't really uncomfortable being around the other girls.
Me: Ok, on the topic of Renee and what she said about it never being a possibility for plus-sized models to be on the cover of VOGUE Magazine, do you think you let what she said get to you?
Diana: Yeah, that was a complete... misunderstanding, I don't know if that's the right word for it, but with Whitney and Renee, it was like a joke, kind of, like they were like "play-acting." Because Renee is actually very supportive of plus-sized models in general and she was also very supportive of both me and Whitney. Renee was simply mocking some of the other girls because we'd had a heated discussion prior to when they were both talking on the bed. And Renee was just kind of like poking fun at what the other girls were saying, and the whole editing thing... you know. It was just completely false.
Me: Oh, ok, so that's what actually happened? Editing is a monster.
Diana: Yes it is.
Me: Well at the end when everybody came over and told you goodbye after you were eliminated, did Renee even come over and tell you goodbye, because they just kind of showed her standing off to the side when everyone else was hugging you... or was that editing again?
Diana: Yeah, yeah, but that was funny because my mom was like, "Why didn't she say bye to you?!" And I was like, "Relax Mom!" Because all the girls... like Jael jumped on me, almost knocking me over, then all the other girls ran to me and when I was leaving, Renee was the last one who said goodbye to me, but they didn't show any of that, you know? So we did hug and say goodbye, but they just didn't show it.
Me: I wanted to know what your thoughts were on Jennifer Hudson being on the cover of VOGUE. She's not a model, but she's not a size zero either.
Diana: Exactly! I've actually mentioned that in interviews in relation to VOGUE, you know, I think it's A-MAZING especially since it just happened recently! And yeah, you're right, she's not a MODEL but it's a step in the right direction. So I really think it's fantastic.
Me: Ok, let's talk about your "Just cuz" comment. (..after a "less than fierce" photo shoot, Jay Manual pulls Diana to the side to ask her why she wanted to be "America's Next Top Model" to which her reply was "Just cuz")
Diana: Oh no! I KNEW it was coming!
Me: So when Jay asked you that question, how long did it take you to realize that, Wow. Maybe I shouldn't have said that.
Diana: Well, IMMEDIATELY. But what happened was, right after I said that, ("Just cuz") I went on. I didn't just say "Just cuz" I kept going and explaining why, there was no pause there practically. That whole scene, I was just frustrated because Jay just kept throwing negative, negative, negative comments at me, and so I was just holding back tears. I didn't want him to see me cry, so that question completely caught me off guard. And the first two words to come out of my mouth was "Just cuz". But they made it look like I didn't even want to be there and like I had the attitude of "whatever" and that's completely not how it happened.
Me: Ok, I can understand being frustrated and not operating totally in the moment. So you're from New Jersey right?
Me: What were you doing before Top Model?
Diana: I was working at a bookstore, and I was also going to school. So after filming was done and I came back to Jersey, I decided to go back to school just because I only have a year left and I figure I might as well have a degree. Hopefully modeling works out, and if I do get an opportunity to do some modeling or traveling, then I will definitely take it and put school on hold for a minute. I'm hoping that I can do both at the same time though.
Me: Well you're so close (to finishing your degree) I don't see why not. And you still plan on pursuing modeling after?
Diana: Yeah, I really do hope I get offers from being on the show, and that I get to work with some amazing people.
Me: If you had to pick one lesson that you've learned from this whole Top Model experience, what would that be?
Diana: One good lesson would be to not let what other people say influence you. You know, people will try to put you down to get ahead themselves. So little things can frustrate you, and you have to learn, and I'm still learning to block out that negativity. Every day is a new day and a new chance to constantly try to think positive and not let all that negative energy get to you. So the whole experience actually made me a lot more confident, which is funny and ironic since most of the comments thrown were negative. But when I went back home, everybody, like people who didn't even know I was filming Top Model, they saw a complete change in me. They told me that I looked different and that I was glowing. And that was funny to me because I didn't really feel different, because the whole time there, I was trying not to let the negativity get to me, but everybody has their breaking point. But the whole entire time I felt I was constantly having to fake that confidence and fake that happiness, and then when I came back home I didn't need to fake it anymore, and I didn't even realize! So that lesson learned was like the best part!
Me: Well, yeah. Sometimes it takes people outside of yourself to be able to see real changes in you, because you're with yourself all the time, so you may not notice it as quickly.
Diana: Exactly, exactly.
Me: So do I even have to ask who you would like to see win, I know you and Whitney got really close...
Diana: OF COURSE! WHITNEY!!! Of course! You didn't EVEN have to ask that! But I would also like to see Dionne win. She's such a sweetheart. And it's funny too, because I interacted with a lot of the girls, and they didn't show me interacting with anyone other than Whitney.
Me: Yeah, I was gonna say that you did seem really quiet on the show.
Diana: They were stereotyping me into the "quiet girl." And yeah, that's part of my personality, but that's part of everybody's personality, to have quiet moments. And maybe sometimes, I was just reflecting, and they just happened to show that. It's just wild to finally see how they portrayed me, because it's not completely accurate.
Me: Well thanks so much for talking to me Diana, you really cleared up some things, I'll tell you that.
Diana: (laughing...) Thanks so much for having me!