Reality TV was “never her thing,” but when 20-year-old Canadian model Jocelyn Chew was approached by producers and saw the coaches names — Naomi Campbell, Karolina Kurkova and Coco Rocha — you could say she was more than intrigued by “The Face.”
The show, which airs on Oxygen, is hosted by Nigel Barker, who was a previous judge on another modeling competition, America’s Next Top Model for seventeen seasons. The new series follows the three supermodels as they compete with each other to find ‘the face’ of ULTA beauty.
Keep reading to check out my juicy interview with Jocelyn Chew (including modeling tips from Naomi Campbell…take notes, ladies!) and don’t forget to tune in to “The Face” on Oxygen this Tuesday, February 26th at 9/8c to follow all the action.
MJ: Why was it so important for you to be on Team Naomi Campbell?
JC: Obviously Naomi Campbell is an icon, a legend, amazing… You don’t get those kinds of opportunities often to get to hang out with someone like that, learn from someone like that… She told me I remind her of herself when she was younger personality-wise, which is really cool. My favorite campaign of Naomi’s, in the past five years, was the Dolce&Gabbana red sunglasses with leopard. I was like that is so hot and so cool. It’s really hard for any supermodel or any type of model to become a household name like Naomi Campbell.
MJ: Is that a goal of yours? To become a household name model?
JC: I think that is a goal but I wouldn’t necessarily want everyone to know me. I definitely want to have that big career. But then again I kind of like my privacy.
MJ: What was the most memorable thing that Naomi Campbell has taught you about modeling?
JC: There’s so many things. I actually wrote down a lot of quotes and tips. Naomi always says, for example, the “cool” nail colors are fun but if you’re taking modeling seriously, and you’re going to see clients, you should always wear a nude nail that is nicely manicured because nobody likes gross fingers. And when you’re walking, she always says to stand up tall with your shoulders back. She says to “walk like a horse.” And one of my favorite things she taught me was that, when you go into a photoshoot, you should view yourself as a blank canvas and morph into whatever character the client wants you to be. If they want you to be a tiger… you’re a tiger!
MJ: What was most challenging for you while taping “The Face?”
JC: I guess I would say the runway challenges because walking the runway has never been my strong point because I just don’t do it a lot. I do more shoots than runway. So that was hard, but I have the best runway walker in the world — Naomi Campbell – teaching me.
MJ: You are half Chinese and half Icelandic, but do you ever feel boxed into a specific category being an Asian model or do you feel you stand on your own?
JC: I think the industry definitely puts girls into categories. It’s not just like “we want a girl.” Its like “we want an Asian girl, we want a black girl.” I mean, I feel like Naomi has paved the way for black girls in the industry to kill it. It’s super impressive. it’s something to look up to. It’s amazing. Because who knows? If she didn’t do it, maybe the industry wouldn’t be the way it is now. I feel the same way about being Asian. I have my specific clients that want me and I like that because they know and like what they’re getting it. It makes it easy. I like standing out. I like being different. In my personality and in my looks I like standing out. That’s all you can do in life is own who you are.