This “Super Model Korea 3” Kim Jin Kyung’s interview with Cuvism. She did it when she was 16 at the beginning of her career.
You shone during the Seoul collection. How was it to be a part of the Seoul fashion week?
I really wanted to be on stage. Aside from “Super Model Korea”, it was my debut stage, so there were many sunbaes to greet for the first time and everything, even the back stage experieince, was a first for me, so I was really worried. When I actually stood on stage, I was nervous at first, but it was really fun and I liked it.
“Super Model Korea 3” was definitely a good opportunity. How did you end up joining this program?
I had the vague dream that I wanted to become a model, but I didn’t try to do something specific to make it happen. I enjoyed watching “Super Model Korea 2”, so I applied by following the casting call at the end of the broadcast.
Have you wanted to be a model ever since you were a child?
It’s been my dream since middle school. I thought it would be nice to do a job I already like.
How was it to be a finalist in Super Model Korea?
It would have been better if I had ended up ranking first place (laughs) I wanted to win as someone who was a regular girl among the two other models that made it to the top 3. A model contestant won Super Model Korea last year and from my viewer point of view, I thought regular people would like it a little bit more if it were a regular girl. It’s a bit sad that it didn’t happen this season either.
What does Super Model Korea mean to you?
I think I would have had deep regrets if I hadn’t tried to go. Although I didn’t rank first place, I learned many thing, so I think I really did well.
How did people around you react after the broadcast?
My family members became suddenly more caring and my mom runs a clothes store, so I think she brags to her friends or to her costumers that I’m her daughter. My friends are also quite thrilled that I was on TV.
As the youngest contestant, there must have been the pressure to not look young.
There was a 10-year gap with some of the contestants. At first, I was worried and wondered if I would be able to do it, and then I built up some courage. I think that’s why I worked even harder.
To be honest, I didn’t notice you in the early phase. Your attitude changed after the Olympic mission photo shoot.
I thought I would be eliminated because I didn’t succeed at the missions in the first and second episodes. I worked hard and won in the 3rd episode, I think I found my self-confidence. The Olympic mission in the 3rd episode was a mission I did easily, but I really made efforts. However, I didn’t know the other contestants thought it was “luck”. I found out while watching the episode at home and I was embarrassed. I think that’s when everybody started becoming sensitive and feeling the stress.
How did you feel when other contestants called you “bubble”?
This started when we shot in Cambodia. I worked hard telling myself that I shouldn’t hear that I’m a bubble. That’s why Han Hye Yeon almost gave me no instructions during the circus mission and (Lee) Na Hyun-unnie said I learned/copied poses again. I didn’t get why I heard this when I gave my best. However, the picture came out pretty. I won’t think of a situation like this in a bad way in the future because the outcome is what’s important.
I think (Lee) Na Hyun hated you a little.
Yes, but that’s because I also felt tense around her at that time. (laughs)
Being criticized made you show us something. Was there anything difficult during the mission poses you had to do?
I realized that I was better at moving than at staying still. The circus mission was a lively mission, so I thought it was fun the moment I opened the door the first time. As I remember the poses I made while getting my make-up done, I thought I had to work harder because I picked the hula hoop theme since my previous doll mission was a success. When I was shooting, it felt like the result came out with no problem.
I feel your determination when I listen to what you say. Do you think of yoruself as someone determined?
I think you must be determined if you want to be a model. (Choi) Sora-unnie told me that I would go through some hard times while doing this job and to go for it with my natural determination. Sora-unnie is kind when you get to know her. That’s why she didn’t see me as a rival and helped me out a lot too when we were doing “Super Model Korea”.
You lived in a dorm during “Super Model Korea”, wasn’t it hard to be the youngest?
I was close with (Kang) Cho Won-unnie, so it was nice when we were together. Once she got elimintated, it was a bit hard for me to adjust. I didn’t know how to behave with the unnies. It was almost in the second half of the program, so people were sensitive and it was hard for me too. On the other hand, it was my first time living away from home and with strangers, so it was surprising to live in the Super Model Korea dorm, but it was an exerience that taught me many things.
Which contestant did you see the most as an opponent?
In the beginning, I was the contestant coming from the regular world. In the latter half of the show, I thought (Lee) Min Jung-unnie’s photo shoot came out pretty. When we did the doll mission, Min Jung-unnie received a lot of compliments. I didn’t think I would rank first, but I did. She cried a lot and I was also very sorry.
On the contrary, I was sure the top 3 would be with Choi Sora and Yeo Yeon Hee.
I think I’m still more about learning from them than seeing them as rivals.
Is there something you remember in particular that happened during “Super Model Korea”?
The one thing that made me change and which I truly enjoyed was the circus mission and the desert mission was fun. It was my first time going to a desert, so it was really a lot of fun. When we were in Cambodia, I had a hard time, so when we were in Vietnam it was almost just fun and I put on weight. (smiles) Shooting overseas was fun.
How did you manage your weight?
“Super Model Korea” filming ended at dawn, so I couldn’t eat much. They gave me a lot of snacks, so I put on weight. You must eat to get energy, so I think it was hard for me to maintain my body in these circumstances. “Super Model Korea” was when I put on weight the most and I truly controlled what I ate for the final mission.
You have a plain face in your daily life, but such expression shines when you do a photo shoot.
Yes. I don’t know why (laughs). In my daily life, I’m outgoing, I’m close with guys, so my facial expressions are blunt. When I’m modelling, I must take on different poses and make different expressions. It was hard because I couldn’t see my expressions. I practiced while trying to imitate what I saw in magazines and listening to advice people gave me. I improved a lot, but I must keep making efforts.
You had no modelling experience, so the fashion field must have been very unfamiliar.
That’s why I looked up right away fashion terminology or stuff I didn’t know and (Choi) Sora-unnie helped me a lot. For instance, when we did the team mission in Jeju, Sora-unnie helped me with great advice like “you will look pretty if you stuff your hands into your pockets”. I don’t neglect my walking practice and I’m learning about fashion as I read a lot of Korean and foreign fashion magazines. (laughs)
I remember your words “if now is the teasing ime, I must do it”. What does being a model mean to you?
When I watched “Super Model Korea” at home, I regretted many things. (laughs) I wondered why I said things like this and there was still the final left, so I thought I had to be careful. (laughs) To me, models can get a hard time and have no fun being watched by others, so I wanted to do even better as I thought that this was the right job for me. “Super Model Korea” is a survival program with a small number of contestants. I meant that I want to do better because the competition now is with much more models.
Your calm way of speaking is off-the-wall and you’re cute, so you’re called “the off-the-wall girl”. How would you describe yourself?
I’m like a child when I’m with people I’m close with. In an unfamiliar place, I look blunt. I’m shy, but I’m very funny when I’m around people who know me well. I joke around a lot.
Are you the baby at home? It seems that you have a lot of aegyo.
I have absolutely no aegyo. “Super Model Korea” made me bring out my aegyo. It happened because I enjoyed how cute the unnies were as I looked at them when we lived together. (laugh)
That’s the working world. (laughs) Don’t your model activities affect your studies?
Right now, it’s almost only about work for me. I’m attending a high school of performing arts and I’m in the modelling section. After graduating from middle school, I thought it would help me to work in this field even more.
During the make-over episode, you dyed your hair in pink and I thought it looked good.
It’s the color that came out after struggling to have my hair bleached 4 times. I cried while I had to dye them back because of my middle school rules.
What influences you the most these days?
Once “Super Model Korea” was over, I kept buying magazines to study. When (Choi) Sora-unnie and (Yeo) Yeon Hee-unnie were in the magazines, I kept reading them. (laughs) Although “Super Model Korea” is over, it feels like I checked them when I was shooting with the Top 3. I wondered why I was this way and Sora-unnie said she felt the same way. (laughs)
If you still think that way although filming is over, this impression must have been even deeper during filming.
Because back then, I used to get teased and hear often “are you trying to imitate me right now?”. (laughs) I observe my other sunbaes and lean more. When I look at Sora-unnie or Yeon Hee-unnie, I still feel like I check them (laughs).
It’s healthy competition. Do you have a role model?
More than hoping to look like one specific person, I hope there will be more models who look like me. (laughs) It seems that there will be more young models working because of me. A lot of young girls tweet me that they’re aspiring models. That’s why I feel like there will be more young girls who will audition for “Super Model Korea 4” next year.
Is there any other job you’d like to do, modelling aside?
I like drawing and customizing stuff, so I’m into design too. I’m more interested in fashion designing than studying. I like customizing letters, so I create Christmas cards and I think I’m really into arts. Before starting modelling, I was planning to go to the sports field. I did taekwondo, swimming, I played soccer and I also did figure skating. I really enjoyed learning, so I tried to become an expert, but I gave up because I was tall and was already too old to be an athlete. I want to do a figure skating photo shoot during my modelling activities. (laughs)
You seem pretty satisfied. (smiles) Do you have any complex?
I have a large pelvis. My pelvis is more like the one a Westerner would have. I have strong bones. (laughs) Even without watching my weight, I loose faster in my upper body than in my lower body, so they don’t balance each other. (smiles) And Sora-unnie and I enjoy eating, so watching my weight is very hard.
What about your strong point?
I have a thin waist. I have a large pelvis, so that’s why my waist looks like this. (smiles)
You’re at the age when you get really into guys. Do you have an ideal type?
Indeed. It’s the age when you’re really interested. My style is more to see and like someone than to have a specific type. I’m still young, so that might be the reason why my feelings don’t last. (smiles) For instance, even if I like idol singers, my mood changes fast like a migratory bird. In the past, I liked Infinite, B1A4 and now, it’s fading away. Even if I don’t see them as someone from the opposite sex, I hope there will be a lot of male models my age that will work a lot. I have an easygoing personality, so I’m more comfortable with guys.
I heard your nickname in school was “Bikini”.
I think it’s because of the spoiler when I auditionned for the 4th round of “Super Model Korea”. Before I started my modelling activities, boys at my school were usually short, so my nickname was “beanpole”. Lately, I get called “Bikini”, but they’re too shy, so they don’t really say it. And after I filmed “Super Model Korea”, when they see me studying, they often say “but you’re a model (it’s okay if you don’t study)”.
You work as a model, don’t you think it’s too much for someone your age compared to your peers?
Sitting down to study is harder for me, I realized it wasn’t for me. I think modelling is fun because you get to move more instead of listening to a teacher. I can’t experience it more, so that’s how it is for me, but it’s fun for me so far.
What do you want to do more in the future?
I want to try various things. I did my first show. Now I’m close with a lot of models, so I feel it made the show even more interesting. The PushButton show was great, so I want to do various shows, aside from that one. I also want to try photo shoot work. I want to work a lot in Korea while getting even taller and I want to work overseas once I’m in my 20’s.
Have you ever thought about acting?
I’m interested in acting, but I feel like it’s still too much for me.
When you did the CF mission in “Super Model Korea”, your acting was cute.
Ah, I’m confident that I can do better than that. (smiles) I don’t know why I did it this way back then. Because it was my first time. (smiles)
How do you spend your free time with your friends?
I like watching movies. I’ve become friends with model (Lee) Ho Jung and when we finish working we go watch a movie together and we have dinner together. And I also spend some time with the unnies I met through “Super Model Korea”.
Do you often watch movies?
Except for war movies and historical movies, I like every genre. I enjoyed what the movie called “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. It’s about an alien. (smiles) I also enjoyed “Truman Show”. I like action movies too. When I watch movies like this, I wonder why I can’t have super powers like that. (smiles)
Women your age usually like romance. (smiles)
I really hate romance. (laughs) Did you watch “A Werewolf Boy”? I don’t like sad romance like this. I don’t know how to react when someone cries next to me.
It seems that you see more often your model friends than your school friends.
We often meet because we can go out and have fun right after we finished shooting.
Do you talk about work when you’re with your model friends?
When I meet my “Super Model Korea” unnies, I ask them a lot of questions about the job.
I think you have even more important things coming your way. Which kind of model do you want to become?
I think it’s nice to hear “she’s determined even at such a young age”. I want to work hard and improve. Last season, (Jin) Jung Sun-unnie was in the finals and she works a lot now. I want my career to grow like this.
One word to the Cuvism readers
I will use “Super Model Korea” as an opportunity to make effort and show you a better image of myself. I hope you will keep watching me.
DO NOT TAKE OUT.
DO NOT SCREENCAP.
Translation: @thesunnytown – thesunnytown.wordpress.com