Twenty-year-old dominicana Angelia Alvarez wants to be America’s Next Top Model and when Cycle 16 premieres on Feb. 23rd at 8/7c on the CW, she'll have her shot. Alvarez, a military brat born in Germany, spoke to Latina.com about her lifelong dream, why it was difficult for her to get along with the other girls in the house, and the one reason she admires Top Model alum, Jaslene Gonzalez.
Who’s Dominican in your family?
My dad is Dominican. He was born in Santo Domingo. I was born in Germany.
What was it like growing up in a military family?
I loved it. It’s the best experience because you get to travel around and meet new people and in the long run it helps you out. I lived in Germany two different periods of time and lived in Seattle, Washington and Texas.
Has modeling always been a lifelong dream for you?
Since I was probably 15—that’s when I started getting into it, and trying to push it as my career. I modeled on one of the bases when I was young.
What made you decide to try out for America’s Next Top Model?
I’ve always watched the show and my friends told me I should try out for it. One day I saw that they were having a casting at the campus right next to mine and I decided to go. I tried out and made it to Nashville and the whole time I was just like, “If I make it, cool.” I don’t try to get my hopes up. I just go with the flow. I went there and I gave it a try and ended up making it out to L.A.
What was it like meeting Tyra Banks?
You know, surprisingly I wasn’t star-struck seeing her. She was just like a normal person to me. She's someone that I do look up to because she does so many good things, so it inspired me more to pursue my career and get my foot in the door.
What do you get if you win?
This cycle, you get a contract with IMG, and a spread in Vogue Italia.
Was it difficult for you to get along with the other girls in the house?
I'm a very sarcastic person and I just like having fun. In the past, when you watch the show, you see the girls and they're all about drama. I'm far from that. Was I involved in that? I mean, you're in a house of sixteen girls so of course there are going to be some catfights. I can take a lot, but once it all boils up I crack. I just try and confront people and be honest and confident about myself.
Do you admire Jaslene Gonzalez—the first-ever Latina to win ANTM?
I admire here for one reason: she came back. I heard that she went for the casting and she didn’t make the final cut, but she came back and won!
What’s the biggest misconception people have about models?
That we’re not intelligent. I work at a fashion studio in Miami and I do a lot of the networking for them and automatically people try to talk down to me and they’ll say these remarks and think that I don’t catch on because I’m a model. They think I don’t have any brains. But I snap right back at them and put them in their place.