Kasia Pilewicz made it to the Top 5 on cycle 16 of America’s Next Top Model when she was done in by a camel and someone else at the photo shoot — who will remain nameless – who she feels had it in for her.
Kasia was this season’s “fiercely real” model — meaning plus size — and she made it a lot further than most of the size 8 models do. It helped that Kasia, who was slightly older than the other girls at 26, had been pounding the pavement in New York, and wasn’t a green girl.
Now, she talks to us about her experience on America’s Next Top Model, the Alexandria controversy and how she plans to take the modeling world by storm!
How frustrated were you on last night’s episode when you couldn’t find outfits to wear at that first challenge?
Kasia Pilewicz: I was secretly frustrated there. I don’t think I let it show. I thought I handled it really professionally. I pulled through. I did a great job in front of Andre, the designer, and that was important. It was difficult because those people were not necessarily nice to me. It was a little bit ridiculous for me to get to the store and them to not have anything that fit me.
Do you think that affected you later when you were doing the photo shoot with the camel, because it seemed as if you were having body issues during the shoot, or were you just having an off day?
Kasia Pilewicz: I actually went into the shoot feeling really good, but that wasn’t shown. I don’t want to trash talk, but there was one person in particular on set that wasn’t nice to me. I went into it feeling great and I felt criticized and criticized and criticized to the point where I didn’t feel good about my body that day. I am just sorry it came across as my insecurities coming out, which wasn’t the case. Both times it felt a little bit like sabotage. I hate to say that but it is what it is.
You did get much farther than most of the plus-sized models, so you must feel positive about that?
Kasia Pilewicz: I do, but I still thought I would go father. I know it is natural for [people to say], “For a plus-size model, you did really well.” I guess I get it. You have to be better as a plus-sized model to go farther. I thought I was strong enough as a model to go further. I am a perfectionist and I am hard on myself because I think I have better shots; I know I can do better. It is certain elements and things that came up that I let affect it. That is not cool by me. I should have been stronger. That is why I was watching [the episode] and going, “I could have done better.”
What do you think of Tyra’s use of the world real to describe you this season, instead of saying “plus size?”
Kasia Pilewicz: I love it. Plus size has a negative connotation to people. It is like there is something wrong with the term. People take it that way and say, “Full-figured is nicer.” I love that Tyra came up with “fiercely real.” What is wrong with being real? It is a positive thing.
Plus-size models start at a size eight. That is the way the industry is set up right now. It goes in and out. Sometimes, they will like size 14s. Sizes go in and out.
Can you weigh-in on all the Alexandria controversy? We had that one episode that was really explosive and then apologies were made, but it seems as if the girls still don’t like her.
Kasia Pilewicz: Poor Alexandria. I think what they showed is real. You see parts of all of us. It was not as if she wasn’t acting that way. It is not as if the way I was acting wasn’t shown. That is what they have to work with. Yes, they edit it into an hour each week, but the way you act is the way they are going to show you. They use the exciting stuff and what works for the show. I think for Alexandria particularly, she is young and immature. Luckily, I think she is going to see one day how immature that was and change her ways. Maybe this will help her do that. [She will realize,] “I need to not act that way with people and try to listen instead of take over everything.” I think she has the capability and the willingness to change, so I see that as a positive for her.
Did you have a favorite photo shoot and why?
Kasia Pilewicz: I had two favorite shoots: the couture shoot and the commercial shoot. The couture … I was dying for the clothes and they had stuff that fit me! It was great! They were prepared. I got to try on all these amazing gowns. They didn’t show Lori Goldstein saying how wonderful I was in the fitting. She could tell I was a fashion freak. She knows how to throw things together and make it amazing and eclectic and beautiful. It was amazing working with Molly because we are such opposites but we liked each other. It was a good dynamic.
The commercial shoot I just loved the styling and everything. There was this great fashion angle, but also there was this great ability to play with character and I got to use my acting skills and bring the two together. I saw it as a cross between the two. It was fun working with the director and Jaclyn. We had so much fun together. I love her. I think we pulled off a really great commercial. I was really proud of myself for doing so well.
Who do you think will win now that you are not there?
Kasia Pilewicz: To be determined. My vote is on Miss J to win. It is finally his year.
What did you learn about yourself that you didn’t know before?
Kasia Pilewicz: I learned how to keep up the pace of a hectic schedule of a top model. That is preparing me for where my career is heading. It is so exhausting and so tiring and no matter what, you can’t have a bad day. You can’t have a moment of weakness.
What’s next for you?
Kasia Pilewicz: I am going to continue working and taking it up and up and up and growing. As soon as I can sign with an agent, that is on the agenda. I am also working on some acting stuff since the show got out.
America’s Next Top Model airs Wednesday nights at 9 p.m. on The CW.