ESSENCE's Mikki Taylor Updates us on Life at "Charm School"

Now that more than half of the girls have been expelled, ESSENCE Beauty Director and Cover Editor and "Charm School" dean, Mikki Taylor, weighs in on last week's eliminations.

Cori Murray: Why did you join the cast of "Charm School"?

Mikki Taylor:There was a need for responsible television and an answer to a show like "Flavor of Love", where women were regarded as pets and toy things. I was appalled by the nicknames the women were given and that they embraced them. It was humorous but it wasn’t funny.

Cori: What’s your role on "Charm School"?

Mikki: I’m a dean of students, along with Keith Lewis (president of The Morgan Modeling & Talent Agency). We are a part of the elimination process every night.

Cori: With you and Keith as the experts, will there be any unexpected visitors?

Mikki: Yes, throughout the 10 episodes. Great, unexpected visitors. Like no-they-didn’t kind of visitors. (smiles)

Cori: What kind of challenges are the women put through?

Mikki: I can’t give specifics, but there are challenges per episode because life is a challenge—the goal is to master it. In order to master life you have to be well versed. You have to be the quick study, you have to know who you are, you have to bring confidence and assurance to the table as well as a sober mind to life. "Flavor of Love " was all too loose. Show me a loose person and that’s a person who’s all over the place with no focus.

Cori: In my interview with Mo’Nique, she says some of the contestants were bullies.

Mikki: From my old school days, I know bullies and I didn’t find one true bully in the group. There were women trying to protect their soft spots and keep themselves from getting hurt, but there were no bullies.

Cori: Why do you think "Charm School " will be perceived as controversial?

Mikki: When people learned we were doing the show with these women, they were like, Oh please, not them! These were women Black America had given up on, but more people cared than they will admit because "Flavor of Love " was so well watched. With the premise of "Charm School " and the paces the contestants will be put through, and I mean they are put-through-it, you’ll be gasping.

Cori: Honestly, I can’t picture anybody but Mo’Nique schooling those women.

Mikki: Me neither. Mo’Nique’s candid, straightforward, and gives tough love. She’s not hypocritical and doesnt look down on anybody. She get right down where you are coming from and is able to get in your face and say you’re wrong and why. It’ll be painful but you’re going to love it because at the end of the day you’re going to be proud of yourself and what you’ve done.

Cori: Does she have to get in anybody’s face?

Mikki: Yes (laughs). Count on it.

Cori: Was there a lot of bickering between the contestants?

Mikki: It wasn’t a pajama party…(laughs)

Starting April 15, "Charm School " airs every Sunday morning and evening on VH1.

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