Meredith Lindemon (writer)
Stuck in a house for months without television, music, or a phone is like solitary confinement. Add in flamenco-dancing Tyra Banks, vicious fashionista boys, and a gaggle of neurotic women and it becomes a surrealist nightmare. If you survive, you have what it takes to be America’s Next Top Model. 22-year-old CariDee English calmly climbed to the top of the heap of hopefuls amid all that chaos. “Things got intense and crazy. Sometimes you really just wanted to slap someone,” she says.
Since winning the title, she moved from her hometown of Fargo, ND, to New York City. “It’s been a whirlwind,” she says. “I like waking up and not knowing what’s going to happen, I couldn’t do repetitive work. That would drive me nuts.” Luckily for her, modeling is an occupation where that trait is admired. Although she’s perpetually described as a bubbly blonde, she’s also chilled-out and humble. “Some people don’t take America’s Next Top Model seriously. I just be myself, and bring that to the table. I don’t rely on the title,” she says. Perhaps her remarkable lack of attitude comes from her struggle with psoriasis (she’s the spokesperson for the National Psoriasis Foundation). Like other models’ ugly-duckling stories, English had to struggle with the painful skin condition from age 16 to 20. “Imagine having a giant pimple covering your body. The stares you get, and the fact that people think it’s a communicable disease, really get to you.” She also went through a tomboy phase, but after she broke her tailbone in a skateboarding accident she decided to follow a “prettier path.”
“I was 14 when I got my first tattoo.” It’s a small butterfly on her right shoulder, signifying youth and beauty, which she has in abundance. Her other work is on her lower back: The word “Lucky” accented by a four-leaf clover that snakes up her spine. “I got it because I’m very superstitious, but I feel very lucky,” she says “That one hurt. I could feel it all the way up to my ears, but it was a good pain. Do you know what I mean?” We think we do.