One-on-one with Joyce Giraud for an intimate look at life beyond reality TV.BY WHITNEY BUTLER She was taller than I thought she would be as she walked up the studio stairs with her husband and young son. Dressed in all black, draped flowing fabrics surrounding her, she might have been tall but she was every bit as graceful as one might expect from a pageant queen. Joyce Giraud is beautiful as she explains to me that she almost canceled the photo shoot because she wasn’t feeling well. But Joyce is a professional, so, into hair and makeup she went. She kissed her son and husband adios, her Latin accent tinged with sadness—she would not be joining them on their play date in San Diego. Instead, she would have to sit around all day and be fabulous for photographer Marissa Boucher. Don’t get it twisted, it’s hard work to be beautiful, a truth Joyce knows all too well. Irony has a funny way of expressing itself in adulthood. “When I was a kid, they didn’t have a label for it,” she explained. They would just call it teasing. They would call me ‘olive oil’ or make fun of how thin I was—can you believe I’ve been this tall since I was 12 years old?” She sat across from me in hair curlers, her nose a little pink from what was apparently a cold she was trying to smile through with some positive thinking. Who would have thought reality stars ever get sick in real life?
Originally appeared in print March 2014.READ COMPLETE PRINT VERSION