If you happen to look like the quintessential SQ girl, listen up: US supermodel Tyra Banks thinks you're beautiful.
The Singapore Girl has been traditionally depicted by stewardesses of Singapore Airlines (SIA) dressed in their distinctive sarong kebaya.
That certainly is quite the compliment, seeing as how it comes from the creator of the hit US modelling reality TV series America's Next Top Model (ANTM).
Since its first season in 2003, Banks has been a force to reckon with - if her dominatrix on-screen persona is anything to go by. As host and judge of ANTM, she has had to eliminate contestants based on their flaws, which she points out nonchalantly amid pitiful sobs from the girls.
So it was surprising when she met the local media yesterday during a 20-minute press conference at Resorts World Sentosa and was a vision of the girl-next-door sweetness.
Togged in a demure yellow halter dress and what looked like six-inch (15cm) heels, the 1.77m-tall Banks towered over everyone in the room, but captivated with her bright-eyed smile and eagerness to please.
Where were the brutally honest and quote-worthy remarks, the "fierce" attitude that has won her both fans and detractors?
Perhaps that was Banks the businesswoman- celebrity, who saw to it fit ham it up in front of the cameras.
Yesterday, we meet Banks the sweetheart, who was in Singapore to promote her hit show's Asian version, which doesn't have a premiere date yet.
She tweeted her affection for Singapore Airlines on Saturday afternoon: "I've been traveling since I was a teen but this is next-level..."
Continued a gushy Banks at the press conference: "The trip here from New York was fantastic. I've never seen an airplane cabin like this, it was like I was in a boat.
"I would be sleeping and get woken up by these beautiful Singapore Airlines flight attendants asking if I wanted anything. They were so pretty.
"I've been to Singapore in the past where I have spent the night but this time round I was flabbergasted by the architecture.
"It's what an architecture student would dream up but never conceptualise (to fruition)."
Hosted by Indonesian-Australian model Nadya Hutagalung, Asia's Next Top Model will see its winner walk away with a contract with a major modelling agency and a cover shoot and fashion photo spread in a top magazine.
Its finalists will compete in a highly-accelerated modelling bootcamp and it will be a crash course to fame.
More information can be found at www.AsiasNextTop- Model.tv.
And what's an interview with one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People In The World (1996) without a discussion on Hollywood's obsession with super-skinny models?
Banks, a self-confessed "curvy woman" who reportedly ballooned to a size 14-16, has lost a ton of weight over the past three years - although she refuted that it was less than the 14kg that was previously reported.
Now a toned size 10, she insisted it all had to do with wanting to be in the pink of health.
A few years ago, Banks had decided - along with her ANTM crew - to see who could lose the most weight and become healthy the fastest.
Although Banks did win the weight loss contest, she felt that she had shed too much and "gained back some" so that she'll be in optimal shape.
Said Banks with a laugh: "I've always been in support of plus-sized girls whom we call fiercely-real girls on the show.
"Some say that Hollywood's obsession with thin women is because it's cheaper to use less fabric on skinner models.
"But with exposure (and social media), now we can show different types of beauty. It's very sad that we can't all be beautiful in our differences. It's a fact that women have to live with."
In 1999, Banks founded TZONE, a foundation that helps cultivate teenage girls' independence and self-esteem.
As part of her passion in wanting to put more "real" women in the limelight, she admitted that that was why past ANTM winners have often not been of the supermodel mould.
Added Banks: "I've sometimes had to sacrifice high fashion modelling success for a girl whom I felt was more relatable.
"Sure, choosing the super skinny girls may have meant more success (in terms of fashion spreads and modelling work in general), but I didn't create my show wanting that."
The upcoming 19th season of ANTM, which premieres in the US later this month, is a "college edition" that features only university undergrads, with Banks pledging funds to the winners' education scholarships.
And in a new twist, fans will be able to vote online for their favourites alongside a brand new panel of judges, including UK male model Rob Evans, Filipino fashion blogger Bryan Boy and fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone, who is a returning judge from last season.
Recently, Banks tweeted an intimate shot of herself and rumoured new beau Evans - she was draped over him standing in the Jamaican sea.
Viewers will also have the opportunity to have their comments and video messages featured on the show.
Earlier this year, Banks shockingly fired her long-time fan favourite judges Nigel Barker, J. Alexander and Jay Manuel.
She explained: "People on the show think I'm the boss and that's it. But I also have a boss who has a boss and they called me after season 18 and said that we needed to make major changes to the show.
"In the past, we didn't allow fans to vote because we didn't want the traditionally pretty girl to be picked.
"Now, we're going to put the photoshoots online and I can tell you that fans who vote for the pictures first will scream later when the girl they voted for (after watching her on the show) turns out the nasty one."
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