The Five Questions We Ask Everyone: Shallon Lester
When I first heard about MTV’s new reality show, Downtown Girls, I initially thought – “Oh Great, another version of The Hills/The City.” I couldn’t have been any more off in my reality show predictions. Downtown Girls was TV show love at first sight. Featuring five friends that live in New York City, Downtown Girls seems to actually be in touch with reality for a change.
Instead of glitzy night club scenes with boring conversations, Downtown Girls actually shows the lives and friendships of Nikki, a boutique owner, Gurj, an Atlantic Records digital marketer, Klo, a bride-to-be, Victoria, an aspiring lawyer, and last but not least, Shallon, a Glamour.com blogger.
In a world of plastic reality show Barbie dolls (i.e: Heidi Montag), seeing young women working, living on their own, and trying to figure out their 20-something lives was refreshing. With each girl offering her unique individual style and perspective, it was impressive seeing MTV tackle real people, doing real everyday things for once.
Although Downtown Girls chronicles a group of friends, Shallon Lester steals the show with her outspoken and funny personality. With a larger-than-life persona that makes Shallon seem like everyone’s best friend, her energy is contagious. Who wouldn’t want to be her friend?
With one co-written book under her belt, Hot Mess, and a collection of memoirs chronicling her dating life coming out in 2011 called Exes and Ohs, expect to hear more from Shallon. So, consider this an inside look beyond the MTV cameras…
Five Questions We Ask Everyone:
1. What’s your favorite college memory /most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?
Riding a bull freshman year of college. I went to Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, which is way out in the country. Everyone takes rodeo—yes, it’s an actual class—and you learn how to rope and ride and brand. Our final was to ride a bull, and I went last because I was a coward. I’ve done a lot of risky and scary things in my life, but I’ve never been more frightened than when my instructor was tying my hand to the saddle and riling up the steer with a cattle prod. The chute opened and I lasted 2.7 seconds before it bucked me off and kicked me in midair, like a volleyball spike. I still have a lump on my lower back from it. Wicked.
2. What are five things you cannot live without?
Hockey, lip gloss, Tim McGraw’s greatest hits album, my mom, my Google alert on “Zac Efron shirtless.”
3. What is your motto/advice you live by?
If you trust your dreams more than you doubt them, you will get everything that you want. You don’t always have to know how you’re going to achieve it, you just have to believe that it will. It’s like Christmas morning; you don’t know the schematics of how Santa got into your house, but you knew he would.
4. What is your favorite song to belt out at the bar/car/karoke?
“Baby Got Back” by Sir-Mix-Alot. If you saw me in boy shorts you’d know why.
5. Ten years from now you will be …
Married to an NHL player, overseeing the movie adaptation of my latest novel, and explaining to my friends why being voted “Sexiest Woman Alive” by Playboy five years in a row isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Signing autographs is exhausting, you know.
Five Questions specifically for Shallon:
1. What is most essential to a good friendship?
Loyalty. My life is pretty weird, so I can’t have a friend who will jump ship the moment I do something offbeat. Because “strange” is pretty much my only setting.
2. You seem so confident in who you are. Was there a defining moment that made you say “You know what, I truly accept myself for who I am.” If so, what was it?
When I started writing the sex and dating column for my college newspaper at Cal Poly, girls would come up to me and say “OMG that happened to me too! I thought I was alone!” I realized that all of my experiences were pretty relatable, so why pretend to be someone I’m not?
3. After watching yourself on Downtown Girls, did any moments make you cringe or uncomfortable to see on camera?
Oh Jesus I looked so fat. I’m actually quite irresistible in person. And it’s never high on your list of goals to be caught crying over your ex on national television, but eh, at least my mascara didn’t run. The boy was a different story.
4. What was your worst break-up experience and how did you get through it?
About three years ago I fell deeply in love with a boy and was 100% sure that he was The One, and I knew he felt the same way. And he did…about someone else. A stripper, actually. He left me for her and I spiraled into a severe depression for seven months. I can’t tell you how many pro athletes I had to bone to pull myself out of it. But I finally did, and at the end of it, I’m wiser and stronger…and all he has is a scorching case of Chlamydia.
5. If you could go back and tell your 20-year-old self one piece of advice to hold onto for the future, what would it be?
At 20, I was so concerned about what people thought of me—boys, my sorority sisters, family—that I never asked “What do I think of myself?” When your goal is pleasing yourself first and foremost, having fun and attracting the right kind of people is inevitable.
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