Liris Cross

Liris Cross

Page 2 of 2

do you have for Black women who are trying to become models?

LC: You have to understand that when you model, you open yourself up to criticism. You have to be solid in who you are, or this industry can chew you up and spit you out. They also must know that modeling is about illusion and perfection to a certain degree. So yeah, you can be beautiful, but they’re always going to find something that can be improved about you. You have to be adaptable. You get more nos than yeses and you have to be strong mentally to deal with the rejection, period.

EBONY: What’s the deal with ethnic models being “in” one season, and “out” the next?

LC: You have to understand: it happens with more than just the African-American race. Sometimes it depends on current events. It could be the style of the clothing that that designer is doing, that they’re like, “I want strong ethnic looks for this campaign.” Or “We’re going really lifestyle and classic, so we want blondes with blue eyes, and we want a Black woman, but we want her to look like a ‘classic’ Black woman, not necessarily exotic.” As fashion trends change, so do the models. So sometimes your look can be in, and sometimes it could be out, depending on what you look like.

EBONY: What’s your take on “urban modeling”? Is there a stigma against women who do the “ass shots,” and music videos?

LC: There is. When I did music videos and those magazines back in my vixen days, I had to make a conscious choice to be sexy and classy. I never danced in music videos; I acted. A lot of times I would bring my own clothes to set. One, they usually didn’t have something to fit my booty. Two, you’re not just going to say, “Oh, well, all we have is this thong bikini.” Because I’ve seen girls fall prey to that. I would literally go shop before I had a shoot and bring my own clothes. I was very conscious about what I did in those music videos. The sad thing is, there are rock stars who do music videos who have women in bikinis, and they call them models. But for some reason, their men don’t call them hoes, sluts and whores. So it kind of trips me out that our own men and women will automatically call some of these women that.

EBONY: If there is such a high stigma, why do you think women still participate?

LC: Notoriety. They become the hot girl for a moment? They’ll make some money, maybe host some parties. But it’s very short-lived. There’s a very small window. If a market is so oversaturated, you’re only going to get but so much attention. It has to be something that’s so amazing about you that you stand out. Like Amber Rose. Her haircut, her look and her shape made her stand out. Melissa Ford was just a unique beauty, and had a crazy body. And she has a presence to her, so that’s what made her stand out. It’s more than just being a cute girl with a hot body. It has to be presence, poise and something unique about you.

EBONY: What’s new on your plate for the future?

LC: I’m currently in the Ashley Stewart spring 2013 campaign in store windows nationwide. I have a TV show idea that I can’t go into full discussion about, but I am in the beginning stages of producing that. I do have a company that seems to be interested, so I’m excited. The power of TV can bring you so much more. If you have one million people watching you every week, you need to capitalize on that. I’m partnering with the founders of Curves Rock Weekend to bring the second annual Curves Rock Weekend in July. I just got a new acting agent, so I’m excited to get back in the swing of that! I’m excited to get more curvy images on TV. I’m also still doing my hosting. I may be a spokesperson for a hair brand as well, coming up soon. But people can stay tuned with any- and everything that I have going on with my Twitter, my Instagram and my website, Lirisc.com