Although we took a bye week, Beauty & Brains continues to make brains beautiful and Ms. Letoya Graham is no exception to the rule. The Florida-born Virgo with a deep cinnamon skin sits down with your favorite section to give better financial advice than Henry Paulson, talks tough about Obama and explains why sheís such a ďdangerousĒ girl to come across.
Beauty & Brains: Just for the recordÖ whatís your ethnic background?
Letoya Graham: My mom is born Jamaican and my dad is British.
B&B: When you attended NYU Ė how did that help and hurt your chances at modeling with all that time spent in academia?
LG: I was going to school for Pediatrics and about three years into studying I had realized that I lost the real drive and interest to pursue it. I work in the music industry now and I have a lot more respect for the game, as far as the networking and things that you can learn from being involved in it. School really didnít influence me because that versus modeling are two different type of subjects.
B&B: Youíve had a lot more modeling experience than the last few girls Ė during this financial crisis Ė what would be your advice for those starving models out there?
LG: WowÖ I always say have a back up plan in terms of never being a full-time model. If that Ďs what you want to do, props to you, but you should definitely have a back-up plan. Iím not downplaying jobs like working retail or whatever, but just have something that you can fall back on. If youíre in school, stay in school, itíll help you out in lifeÖ
B&B: If you had your way what would you do to balance the nationís budget?
LG: If I had my way, Iíd let it be known that the government is taking money away from all of us, so Iíd offer more jobs for people to have something to do. The unemployment is making us all depressed because we all canít be taken care of by the government. They should provide more jobs. I know not everyone is educated, but you give out more jobs, youíll have people fueling the economy. Personally, when the recession comes, I do not want to be here when it happens. I have dual citizenship and Iím thinking about getting my tail to Britain before the drama hits. I canít live through [Barack] Obama. People are voting for him because heís black and although itís highly appreciative, no one is saying anything different than before Obama. I just think that thereís not going to be much of a change during his administration. Weíre putting the country in his hands because heís a black guy and will be the President for us, but it may not necessarily be that way because he may be a sell-out.
B&B: The Hip Hop game is suffering as well, but you were able to pull a Roc-A-Wear ad back when Jay and Dame got along. Did you ever think that Jay would be married?
LG: Yes. Heís a really nice guy. Heís very goal oriented and really does care about his fans and people. I was hoping that he got a good woman and I think he did, so kudos to him.
B&B: Your entrepreneurial spirit got you from Boca Raton, Florida to spots on New Yorkís Urban Fashion Week, BETís Spring Bling and meeting up with Talib Kweli and Ne-Yo. Whatís your favorite Kweli verse?
LG: Iím not much into his versesÖ I am more into his personality. He has a lot of insight and heís very intelligent. His music does appeal to me, but not as much as other things that most people donít know about [Talib] Kweli [click to read]. When it comes to music, Iím a Dinah Washington, Nat King Cole, kind of girl. The people who I work with own a lot of the other catalogues, like Natalie Cole and Willie Roundtree. So, Iím very into that type of music and love it...
B&B: Are you still in Florida?
LG: No, Iím in New York, nowÖ
B&B: Whoís more attractive to you Ė an Usher type of guy or Plies?
LG: [Laughs] FunnyÖ I know them both and I think that neither are my type. I do like Plies' [click to read] bad boy swag and his country-bama self is really sexy. But that was more so back in the day, not now. Iíd like a guy with the swagger of Lil Wayne [click to read], but the body of a football player. [Wayne] has a lot of charisma and is very confident. Heís not the most attractive guy, but the way he walks is very confident and any guy who can pull that off and is not Shemar Moore looking-fine is a guy that I can appreciate.
B&B: How can you separate entertainment from reality with a loved one?
LG: I tend not to date guys who are outside of the industry. I haveÖ but they cannot deal with the photo-shoots or the events. I tend and do prefer to date those who are in the industry because we both have something in common. But when Iím home with the person who Iím with and itís just me and him, then youíd see that Iím an old-fashioned kind of girl who cooks, cleans and watches football with her man.
B&B: No camera for you and your manÖ?
LG: If I am dating someone whoís in the industry, then I do prefer him to have his own life and I would like to have my own. Iím not fully single, but Iím not fully in a relationship.
B&B: You have a very interesting quote where spit some fly-ness about your dreams. What is one dream that youíve been blessed to make come true?
LG: Right now, in terms of my modeling, I never expected to be published or to see myself in an ad or have a billboard. That was a dream that came true and I am blessed. I was big nerd when I was younger. I was the girl in high school who no one liked. I never had guys fall in love with me; I wore blue plastic framed glasses with my hair in a ponytail. I was always the girl who people used to pick on. I was never stylish. I love my personality now. I give my all to my friends and Iím very kindhearted. Itís always about being thoughtful and in terms of that aspect of who I am Ė thatís me. I think about a lot of different things and how it can help someone else out.
B&B: Whatís a fantasy that youíve yet to make come true for someone dreaming about you?
LG: [Laughs] I donít know who dreams about me, but if they do, I guess they can send me a message to let me know whatís going on in your head. I donít know anyoneís fantasy about me. I donít think my man even has fantasies about me, because Iíve fulfilled them all.
B&B: If you T.I., Chris Brown, Cassie and Ciara asked you to compete in a celebrity strip poker challenge for charity Ė would you do it?
LG: Iím not a big fan of gambling, but if itíd be for charity, then Iíd do it...
B&B: Öand if you won the pot of a million dollarsÖ What charity would it go to?
LG: Anything having to do with children who are homeless. I love kids and anything that I can do to support that I would do it.
B&B: A song that a lot of girls like is ďDangerousĒ by Kardinal Offishal. Whatís so dangerous about Letoya Graham?
LG: [Laughs] Thatís a good questionÖ Whatís so dangerous about me? Iím not the average Joe, Iíd say... That means that Iím smarter than a lot of people think I am. So mentally, Iím a lot more dangerous than people would let on. The guy that I dated before knew me as being different. I was really independent and he fell for that and loved that I didnít need him for anything. Iím pretty sexual and I may not look it, but I do know what Iím doing behind closed doorsÖ so I guess Iím dangerous in that regards, too. Iíll try anything once and if itís good, Iíll go back and do it again.
Wanna tell Ms. Letoya Graham your fantasy? Feel free to hit her up on MySpace [click here].