Miss J. Alexander
If you don’t know him, you should. Miss J. Alexander, known simply as “Miss J.” is the lady-in-waiting for Tyra Banks, the host of “America’s Next Top Model.” When Miss J. isn’t busy supporting Tyra’s ego, he is the sassy and fierce runway coach for the wannabe supermodels on the show. Before his stint with Tyra, Miss J. coached Naomi Campbell, Kimora Lee and other big names in fashion.
Rocking the Runway
1. Examine the runway on which you are about to walk. You do not want to imitate Jael’s disastrous prolonged fall on “America’s Next Top Model.” Check for cracks, crevices, bumps, inclines and declines. Walk the route and look closely at the spot where you will make your turn.
2. Choose your shoes. Miss J. loved Elyse’s look in Cycle 1 of ANTM, but chided her for not wearing heels. In the beginning, hit the sweet spot between comfort and style. Aim for a 2-inch heel, and make sure it’s not the first time you have worn the shoes. The soles on new shoes are slippery, though you can scuff them up or put a little tape on the bottom.
3. Show attitude and exude inner strength. Miss J. advises, “When I look at a girl, I’m looking at her for body, for movement. She can be as ugly as the bottom of my shoe, but if she can walk, and have confidence, and look good, that’s all that matters for this. You can turn that ugly into beauty.” Keep your shoulders back and jut your pelvis forward.
4. Walk with force and energy. Miss J. says, “My motto is, walk like it’s for sale and the rent is due tonight.” Land on the ball of your foot and keep a straight line. When Miss J. watched the models in a runway challenge, he consistently reminded them, “When you walk, take the center.”
5. Avoid looking down. The temptation is to check your path, but supermodels must maintain their forward-facing gaze. Take a tip from spinning ballerinas and focus on a single point. Just make sure that your focal point is not the crowd. Your body should lead and your head should follow.