The perception that models are nothing but airheads infuriates Lisa S. (born Lisa Selesner). Sitting pretty in a blue dress, Lisa speaks passionately about how that impression needs to change.
"The idea that models are dumb is completely wrong. The fashion industry is a giant game and to survive the business, you really need to be smart," Lisa says during an interview in Kuala Lumpur recently. The 179cm-tall model arrived in town to promote Diva Universal's latest show Supermodelme: Femme Fatale.
Lisa returns as host and judge on the show featuring 12 contestants competing for a shot at an international modelling career. On top of that, the winner also gets cash prizes worth RM90,000 (S$35,000).
Supermodelme began as an online series in 2009. The show was such a hit with online viewers that it eventually got picked up for television broadcast. This year, the fourth instalment of the show has a new home on Diva Universal.
"Being on a new channel, we wanted to differentiate ourselves from where we were last year. We wanted a thought-provoking title. I think if you hear 'femme fatale', you'd think, 'Oh. I wonder what is going on there'. It adds a little bit of flavour! It would be dull to just call it Season Four."
Lisa says the concept behind Femme Fatale is about finding "a strong woman".
"The idea of Femme Fatale perfectly encapsulates what we're looking for in a well-rounded model. Ultimately, we want someone who can survive the competition because it's gruelling and modelling is a tough business."
She adds some of the contestants thought they had it all figured out by watching past seasons. Viewers might want to look out for moments where the contestants admit they got it all wrong.
"These contestants … they came in with strategies and after the first or second elimination - everything went out the window! It was a new game."
Ultimately, the contestants must remember one thing about being on the show.
"You can play a game but you're also here to be a professional model".