Even after leaving the modeling world behind to pursue a new career in hosting, TV personality Lisa Selesner — Lisa S for short — expressed her regrets about not having enhanced her assets in her younger days.
However, the supermodel wife of Hong Kong movie star Daniel Wu was quick to clarify that it would have been "strictly business".
"I hate to say this because I don't want girls to take this the wrong way by any means, but when I look at it from a business point of view, I do kind of regret not having my breasts done," said Selesner.
"Because when I look back on all the opportunities in the modeling world that I missed because I'm so incredibly flat, I realize I could have made a lot of money," she explained, but not before adding that she's already "at an age where I'm really comfortable with my body".
But surprisingly, Selesner, who is in her early thirties, also said that she is "not averse to doing it in the next ten years."
"I'm glad I didn't in the end, but I understand why girls do it…. The next time you see me, I might be like, 'I'm 65 and I finally did it!'" she joked.
In town to promote SupermodelMe Season 3 where she plays host to 12 aspiring model contestants, the 1.79m top model also corrected popular belief by speaking of "how unglamorous" their jobs actually are.
"I think a lot of girls think — when they get into this business — that it's gonna be all Victoria's Secret fashion shows, where you hang around in a robe and get massages all day long before your show."
"It's not like that," said the veteran, who still lends her exotic looks to couture catwalks and advertising campaigns. "It's a lot of sitting on floors, waiting for six hours for something to happen, eating really bad food, having people yell at you and all that."
And of course she would know. Selesner, who started modeling since she was talent-scouted at the tender age of 14, struggled for a good ten years before she found success.
At her poorest, she even had to live off boiled potatoes and steal salt from restaurants to make ends meet.
Still, the Channel V VJ, who found her knack for hosting three years ago, stressed "it's key to not take this business too seriously".
"I take it seriously in the sense that I'm professional… but at the end of the day, we're not curing cancer. We're not the real heroes of the world. We're doing something that is very superficial at the end of the day — we're selling clothing, or products."
And her advice to the hopeful Asian and pan Asian models?
"This business is surface. So you better be tough enough to deal with it."
"Money brought me to Hong Kong"
Born in Monaco and raised in New York, Selesner embarked on a modeling journey that spanned the world before she found her place in Hong Kong.
She bypassed Singapore because as much as she loves our sunny island where she first came to work in 1999, Selesner told this reporter what many locals could empathise with — the money is just not as good.
"I love Singapore and I love the market here but the payment is not great for models," she said. "I worked every day for two, three times a day. I was literally running from job to job to job… I got my pay check and cried," recalled Selesner, who said that her salary then could not even pay for her school books.
"When you're working a lot, I didn't pay attention a lot to how much I was getting paid. At least I wasn't at that time. I changed a lot about that — down to the cent, I know how much I'm making now," she laughed.
"Hong Kong society's about making money," added Selesner. "Here, people look for other things to fulfill your life because you've got such a beautiful outdoor thing going on."
Distance and kids
When asked how the TV host and her 38-year-old American-Chinese husband, Wu, — who have only quarreled "maybe five times" into ten years and counting — keep their relationship going despite being physically apart most of the time, Selesner replied "a lot of skype" or BBM (BlackBerry Messenger), once a day.
"Also, we've both been in this business so long that most of our relationships have been like this anyway, so this is really all I know.
"That might actually be why we don't fight that much," she shared. "You're not here to face twenty four hours a day, although I wouldn't mind, we get along even that way but maybe that's one of the secrets. For us, it doesn't diminish how much we care about each other.
But that would have to change when the loving couple starts a family in future, which could be anytime soon, she said.
"He (Wu)'s really broody, clucky. He really wants to have kids… when you see him around any of our friends' kids, he's the first one to go and pick up the child… since we've started dating, it's always been on the cards that he wants to have a family," Selesner shared.
"We've been together for ten years now but we haven't seen each other a lot, I think it's time for us to move on to the next level. He's such a fatherly type of guy that I want him to have that experience of having the kid."
And what happens next when the little one comes along?
"I think that Daniel will probably not work as much. That's been our plan all along, and I'm probably not gonna be working as much… we're both ready for that."
"Either that or I'll just leave him at home with the kid and I'll go work," she laughed.
SuperModelMe Season 3 premieres globally on channel KIX on March 13 on KIX (Starhub Channel 518) and KIX HD (SingTel MIO TV Channel 54).