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As much as we know about Naomi Campbell, from the diva status she has incurred over the years, to her penchant for violence in the past, if she were an everyday sista that lived around the corner from you, you would probably not have very many nice things to say about ‘ol girl. But there’s something so awesome about Naomi Campbell when she steps in front of a camera that makes you forget all about her past drama, at least for a second, and say, “Now THAT’S a bad chick!” And at 42? To look this fabulous, you have to give the woman props, whether you’re a fan of her or not.

The iconic model sat down with ELLE magazine’s Mickey Rapkin to talk about her new reality TV show, The Face, her admiration of Tyra Banks (any other opinions about her she’s learned to keep to herself), and her hope to move forward from the negative rep she has due to past anger issues.

The Face, which will premiere on Oxygen (the same channel which is working so hard for Shawty Lo and his 11 baby mothers), is set to jump in the fashion and modeling reality TV ring, bringing in some of fashion’s biggest names right now, including Campbell, model Coca Rocha, and Karolina Kurkova. While always looked at as a diva, Campbell wants people to know that the show is about mentoring up-and-coming models so that they can compete against one another for a modeling contract. Clearly these young women will be learning from the best. When asked why she wanted to take part in the program, Na Na had this to say:

“Because it was done for me! When I first got Yves Saint Laurent Couture, I didn’t know how to take off a cape. I would ask Katoucha and Dalma—the real divas of the runway—‘Can you show me?’ I’ve never been afraid to ask for help. I care for my girls. Every single one of them. I’m not here to put anyone down.”

Campbell also talked about the other modeling reality shows that are out, and when that conversation came up, she shut down any questions about Tyra Banks before they could be asked (the author pointed out that she never asked her anything about her formal rival). Coincidentally, she’s working with Nigel Barker on the show, who used to be a judge on America’s Next Top Model:

“I don’t watch the other reality model shows. I’ll never have anything to say. If you ask me about Tyra Banks. I’m proud of her as a woman of color. She’s given girls opportunity, and God bless her.”

And as for her cell-slinging past, Naomi acknowledges that she made a mistake and would like to move forward, however, she like most people, knows that it’s something that’s going to affect the way people look at her from now on, no matter what she tries to do to get past it.

“I’m never gonna get away from it. It’s part of my history. I was remorseful and regretful. I’ve served. I did that time. And I never want to be in that position again.”

You can actually check out the full interview where Campbell talks about the blood diamond scandal people tried to pull her in (she allegedly accepted diamonds from the former president of Liberia), as well as her bucket list, inspired by the likes of the late Alexander McQueen. Also, check out more fierce photos from her ELLE shoot on the next piz-age.

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