I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — reality TV is one of my many guilty pleasures. From BET’s College Hill, to VH1’s Charm School, I TIVO every promising show– keeping up with the ones that have the most drama, and the one’s that have natural contestants/cast members.

While I’ve never been a faithful viewer of America’s Next Top Model, I caught every episode of Cycle 9. I love drama, and the beautiful Bianca most certainly brought it! She was the girl everyone loved to hate, and her makeover went down in ANTM history. Tyra’s peeps cut off Bianca’s chemically damaged tresses, and she was made to rock a fierce TWA. For those of you that need a refresher, check out the video clip below:

As you know, deciding to go natural is a HUGE decision and involves not only a physical transition, but a mental one as well. Think about it, if you were forced to chop off your hair two years, or even two months before you were mentally prepared, where would you be today? I recently caught up with Bianca, and was able to ask her my burning questions.

CN: You had a really emotional makeover on the show. You were literally forced to Big Chop — forced to go natural. How did you feel initially? How did you feel as the show progressed?
Bianca: Omg! I was shocked and scared. I didn’t know how everyone would react to me when I got home. Where I’m from, long hair is a sign of beauty. As the show progressed I got used to it and embraced it. There were times where I felt like a guy but it was all mental. I would look at my pictures and be in awe of how I looked because of my hair cut.

CN: Although you were gorgeous with straight hair, you looked absolutely FIERCE with the cut. Are you still natural today?
Bianca: After the show, I chopped off my hair again, and stayed natural for a year. I recently made the decision to get a kiddie perm because my hair is so thick… I mean super thick, LOL.

CN: What were the biggest challenges you faced while rocking your natural hair? Would you try it again in the future?
Bianca: For me, the biggest challenges were mental. I had to understand that hair doesn’t make the woman. I had to develop another idea of what beauty really is. Oh, and I had to get a lot of earrings, LOL — to camouflage my big head!

I’d love to go natural again and get locs. I think they are absolutely beautiful and elegant on a woman… I talk about getting them all the time.

CN: Your skin is ridic! What’s your regimen?
Bianca: Everywhere I go people compliment me on my skin. I don’t use any products and my diet isn’t the best, so I have to thank my parents and God for this blessing, LOL. I did, however, realize I would get blemishes if I didn’t carefully remove my makeup after a shoot. I would typically just swipe the wipes across my face without paying much attention. Now, I take my time and make sure I get deep in, and carefully remove every bit. Makeup removal can be kinda tricky but if you have patience, it should be easy.

CN: What are you currently working on?
Bianca: I’ve been staying very busy traveling the globe. You can check out my new nationwide commercials for CiCi’s Pizza. And you can always catch me on the Tyra show doing correspondence work. My biggest project is an appearance as a judge in the upcoming Miss Bahamas pageant, being that I come from a West Indian background. I’m so excited to be apart, and show my support.

Thanks so much for keeping up with me guys!

Bianca’s pic for CurlyNikki.com!

To keep up with Bianca, follow her on Twitter, or check out her Myspace!

Although I was never relaxed and didn’t BC, I still went through a 2 year long mental and physical transition. I was very self-conscious and felt awkward and un-pretty.
I can totally relate to Bianca’s comment about the long hair identity — my once armpit length hair was only hitting my chin, and I was not feeling it. I had always been that ‘skinny black girl with long hair’, and my new, shrinky kinks and curls were definitely not fitting into my self-concept. As I slowly learned to style and care for my natural hair, I became a bit more comfortable in my own skin.

It was hard enough going natural on my own terms — if I had been forced to BC or forced to stop straightening, it would’ve been an even rockier journey. The motivation to explore my new curly-qs and to learn to care for them, would’ve been absent.

Think back to when you were still relaxed…not even considering going natural. How would you react or adjust to a coerced BC?