America’s Next Top Model’s Nyle DiMarco: I’m extremely fortunate not to be able to hear the other models, I love my world quiet!
Nyle DiMarco is the blue-eyed deaf model who is defying all expectations on our screens at the moment as a contestant on the 22nd (and likely final ☹) season of America's Next Top Model. Boasting over 291,000 followers on Instagram and an enviable ability to wear double denim really well, we have a feeling that this ridiculously handsome person is going to do rather well in the competition. Luckily for us, Nyle was able to take a little break from smizing this week to read our lips and tells us a little more about his damn fine self…
Hey Nyle! How are you?
Hello! I’m doing great!
Talk us through an average day in the life of you?
My average day would be having an espresso in the morning before I head out to the gym. After the gym, I may be having meetings, doing photoshoots, and/or giving an inspiration presentation at a deaf school.
As you well know, you are currently starring in the 22nd cycle of America’s Next Top Model and are one of six contestants remaining in the competition! Congrats! What can you tell us about the upcoming episode on Friday? It’s set in Vegas, right?
Thank you! This is very exciting! This upcoming episode is going to be nothing but tension. Devin and Mikey from DMA group is seemingly going to break-up according to the sneak peek trailer and the six of us are now trying to focus on winning while Vegas life is thrown at us! We do not want to be friends anymore, but rivals!
That sounds tense! What made you decide to enter ANTM this year?
Well, right before ANTM, I was offered a recurring role for the TV show Switched at Birth. I had to pick one because both of the shows were happening at the same time. I couldn’t choose though so decided to let my dog Foxy decide. She picked ANTM!
You are the show's first ever deaf contestant. Did you feel a sense of responsibility to the community when you found out that you were going to appear on the show?
Yes, as a minority I felt wholly responsible to represent my deaf community well. Often in the past, when we have had a deaf person in the spotlight we have been portrayed badly. It was up to me to change that. Fortunately it was not difficult because I grew up in a deaf community and know deaf culture by heart.
I’m sure a lot of people would assume that being deaf would put you at a disadvantage in a competition like this… Has that really been the case though?
I do not think I was ever at a disadvantage in the competition. Basically, photoshoots do not require spoken language to communicate, let alone to take great photos. It’s all about the body language between the photographer and the model. I believe Yu Tsai and I have proven that.
Fortunately, Tyra seems pretty into you as well, Nyle! You’ve been asked to take your shirt off quite a few times so far this season, haven’t you?
Heh! I have been asked to take my shirt off quite a few times. I believe that was her way of telling me to embrace my sexiness and to really flaunt it. Before that I would cover myself up a lot.
I suppose one major positive about being deaf in a competition like this is that you don’t have to hear your noisy roommates!!! What is it like living in that model house? It looks pretty mental!
I tell myself every day that I’m extremely fortunate not to be able to hear the other models in the house. I love my world quiet. Despite there were a lot of drama, the house was beautiful and I loved, loved living there. The mountain view was amazing! The mornings could never have been better...
Tyra recently tweeted that cycle 22 seems like the right season to say goodbye to ANTM! Did you know that she would be making the announcement whilst this season was airing?!
There were rumours here and there and I had a feeling that they would either announce that they would pick it up for another cycle or cancel it for good. It was inevitable, it had to end.
The news must make this experience feel even more special for you, right?
Definitely, definitely. A lot more special. I’m fortunate to be a part of the ANTM family.
At this point in the interview it would be rude not to ask you for your model measurements?
I’m 6’2, weighing at 185 lbs.
Shirt: M or L
Also, what do you think is your sexiest feature? We couldn’t help but notice that your eyes are ridiculously blue like a husky dogs eyes!
My eyes would be my sexiest feature. I’m fortunate to have blue eyes!
As someone who identifies as “sexually fluid”, what qualities do you find most attractive in a potential lover?
The qualities I look for would be adventurous and communicative.
And is there a “lover” to speak of in your life at the moment?
Not yet. I’ve been too busy building my career. I travel a lot too! It wouldn't be fair for the other half.
Even though you can’t say if you win this season of ANTM, do you plan to pursue a career in modelling?
Yes. I am definitely going to pursue a career in modeling. I’m hoping to get signed to agencies I want to work with. I’m also going to pursue acting and hopefully you’ll see more of me on the TV screen!
What would be your dream modelling job?
My dream modelling job would be working for Dolce & Gabbana!
Lastly, what’s the best piece of advice Tyra has given you?
Tyra has taught me (and us all, really) not to ever take no as an answer. When there is a no, there are a bunch more yes’s out there too and you should never back down until you achieve your goals!
Words: Portis Wasp
Photographer; Eric Pietrangolare (@RicPie)
Assistant: Lauren Winn
Grooming: Anika Kai
Stylist: Nathan Ayon