Since I was a little girl, being on America’s Next Top Model was all I ever wanted. My dream finally came true this year, when I was called to be a semifinalist on my favorite TV show. I was beyond excited to be involved in the whole process. The fact that Tyra Banks saw something in me made me feel so special.
For me, it was a very different experience. I had never moved out before, or lived on my own or with roommates. When you make it into the final 14, you are placed in a house with 13 strangers, and drama ensues. Everything from who gets the bed, who gets the shower and, let’s not forget, who wins the challenge. Emotions run wild every day in the house. By the time I was eliminated, I was already done with the drama, and I made a promise that I would never get involved with drama.
I had to remind myself why I was there, and I was there to win. Not being able to confide in my family after getting the most dramatic makeover in ANTM history, the “model mullet” was extremely hard for me. I did my best to act as professional as possible; after all, I was living my dream and I knew that there was a chance that my hair would be cut off going into it. I will say that although my confidence wasn’t what it used to be after my transformation, I was still very shocked when I was eliminated. I went from winning the Tyra suite, getting a model mullet and then getting eliminated, all within a week. I don’t remember when that’s ever happened on ANTM before.
When I heard what the photo shoot was about, I was so excited to recreate what I loved in many horror films. Wearing contacts and being able to show a different side of my modeling was amazing. Although I was eliminated, TyTy and Kelly repeated that my face was “stunning, as always” in my photo. Their comments somehow lessened the pain of elimination.
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Looking back through all of the drama, fights and tears, I would say that I would do it all again. Even though I was a professional model before ANTM, I have grown up a lot, and I took many lessons from the show. I have grown to love every contestant, and appreciate them for all their unique differences. I like to refer to us as “the beautiful misfits.” I will always look back at my journey on ANTM as something I considered to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
America’s Next Top Model is definitely one of the proudest accomplishments that has been added to my résumé. Life has been wonderful since the show. Although I had a very successful career in modeling, acting and singing before the show, I am grateful for the platform that ANTM has given me. I am off to New York this week to walk for New York Fashion Week. I am proud to represent petite models in the industry. I hope that I can continue to be an inspiration to all the petite beauties out there; you don’t have to be 5 feet 10 inches to stand tall. I also would love to continue to inspire my generation to be proud of who you are, and never change to fit into someone else’s image of you.
On the show, I was called the “flower child.” This is a name that I wear proudly. The reason I love flowers so much is because no two flowers are the same; they are all beautiful in their own way. So what’s next for your favorite flower child? I’m working on my music and embarking on my brand, which is called “bloom by Ava.”
My goal is that by next year, everyone will know my name and that I will continue to inspire others everywhere. Stay tuned!