BY Brandon Voss
March 15 2010 2:35 PM ET
A breakout star from season 1 of the VH1 reality show I Want to Work for Diddy, Laverne Cox returns to the network in Transform Me, a makeover series based on an original concept she pitched with her production company, Complete World Domination. Transform Me, which premieres March 15, follows Cox and fellow transgender fashionistas Jamie Clayton and Nina Poon across the country as they offer their makeover subjects much more than meets the eye. Cox, who transcends the unattractive tribulations that have dogged trans actresses of color, explains why she’s never tried to pass as anything but cute.
The Advocate: When it comes to giving makeovers, what advantages do trans women have over biological females?
Laverne Cox: Not all transgender women are into style and beauty, but the three of us — Nina, Jamie, and I — are all immersed in clothes and fashion. But it’s really more about having a vision about who you are and projecting that vision outward. We always knew who we were on the inside, but as transgender women, that wasn’t always reflected on the outside. I don’t want to say that we have an edge, but because we’ve been so meticulous about making our outsides match our insides, we feel we do have a different perspective.
Each man on the Queer Eye makeover team brought his own individual expertise to the mix. As for your Transform Me costars, Jamie is a successful makeup artist and Nina is a fashion expert and model. What do you bring to the makeover table?
I deal with what’s going on on the inside. It’s always been my belief that if we let ourselves go or if we’re stuck in a rut aesthetically, there’s something psychological or emotional that’s keeping us from making a change. If you don’t deal with the root of the problem, changing somebody’s hair and makeup doesn’t make a difference. Much of my own transformation has been about more than the outside; it’s been about letting go of the old, bad notions I had about myself.
Did you and the other two ladies get along or were there any catfights off-camera?
It’s amazing how many people ask that! People always assume a cast of women is fighting — and they’re hoping for it. No, we all love each other and have known each other for years. We’re so happy and grateful to have this opportunity to not only impact the lives of each woman we make over but also hopefully impact lives across the country.
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