FRIDAY FEATURE – JOYCE GIRAUD

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When Bravo TV added Joyce Giraud to the cast of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, they also added a touch of class and grace to a characteristically catty crew. Joyce’s resume prior to the show would make mere mortal models green with envy. Outside of the world of beauty and acting, her charitable work with UNESCO brings education and empowerment to children around the world. And we are proud to call Joyce our cover model for the current issue of BeautyLook Magazine.

As the new kid on the block on Bravo TV’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, you’ve moved into a world of reality-show drama but seem to rise above it all.  How has the show affected your personal and professional lives?

I don’t let the show affect me too much. I’m not going to lie; while I was taping it was a bit difficult at certain times. However, one thing my mommy always taught me was that in life if you have a bad day at work, you leave the baggage outside of your home and pick it up the next day on your way to work. My home is my temple and I love the life my husband and I have created with our children, so I don’t let the negativity from the show into our private time at home.

Some of the cattiness from the ladies is so uncalled for. It’s almost like a sorority, and they are fighting to stand out without caring if they hurt someone on the way. At the end of the journey, regardless of how they edit or portray certain things, I’m happy because I remained true to myself.

Rumor has it you were first discovered by a talent scout while working for Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Is it realistic for models to pin their career hopes on being “discovered?”  And how did that first big break translate into future successes?

I was very lucky when I got “discovered,” but I believe that in life you can make your own destiny. You don’t have to wait to be “discovered.” If you have a dream… you go and fight for that dream. It might take you a long time but don’t give up. It’s better to die trying and fighting for what you want in life than to ever have to wonder, “what if?”

To me, the worst thing in life is uncertainty and to wonder what if is something you definitely don’t want to think about in your deathbed.  There is an amazing actress that I love – Hellen Mirren – and she once gave me advice while we were at a UNESCO gala. She said: it might take you a long time, but never ever give up on your dream.  I really took that to  heart and have never forgotten her kind and beautiful words.

Model, actress, producer, pageant organizer, philanthropist, wife and mother… what’s your secret for managing so many different roles?

I know it might sound like a lot to manage or handle but when you love what you do, it stops being work.  I enjoy each and every one of the things I do. I love acting and producing! I love my charity work, because we all have to give back and try our best to make a better future for our children. And my absolute favorite is my family! I adore my husband and our babies! They are our life and they give meaning to everything we do.

From a seasoned professional such as yourself, is there any advice you can share with aspiring pageant or modeling hopefuls?

The biggest advice I can share is to NEVER let it get to your head and change the essence of who you really are. I’ve seen it over and over, how some girls achieve a little success and suddenly think they are larger than life and let their success change them. Always remember who you are, because like I said with a title or fame comes great responsibility. The most important thing is they should never forget that they are blessed. Because for every one person that makes it, there are many many, more that are still dreaming of getting there.

I also recommend that girls study and have a back up plan. Beauty is only skin deep and beauty fades quickly, so don’t rely only on your looks.

Looking back at what continues to be a long and successful career, is there anything you would change, if you could?

I’ve made many mistakes along the way. But I wouldn’t change anything because from those mistakes I learned, and I became the woman I am today.

What’s next on the radar for Joyce Giraud?

Next on the radar is the Queen of the Universe pageant, which is happening in March, so I hope you can join us there.

I am also working on a nail-polish line and a couple of movies with my husband that we have in development. However, the biggest thing I’m working on is that hopefully next year I will be able to have my first school for underprivileged children.

Tell us about your Queen of the Universe pageant and what makes it unique:

Queen of the Universe is an international charity -based pageant that benefits UNESCO.  My mother in law has dedicated her life to working with UNESCO, and she’s built over 400 schools around the world.  She is such an inspiration and I can only hope to do a tiny portion of all the wonderful things she’s done.  I want to continue her legacy, and that’s how Queen of the Universe was born.

For me personally, pageants were an amazing platform that allowed me to meet great people, represent my lindo Puerto Rico, and most of all it gave me the opportunity to use the voice I was given as a title holder to do great things with different charities.

I always tell my girls in the pageant that with a title comes great responsibility, and its up to them whether they use the title to continue the typical stigma that beauty queens have no substance, or they change it around and use their titles to do great things.  When I created the pageant I changed everything that I didn’t like about other pageants.  In Queen of the Universe the girls can be single, married, divorced, have children or choose their gender preference.  I always wondered why a girl that had a baby at a young age could not represent her country or women throughout the world.  It’s almost like they are punished for making a “mistake”.  WHY? a baby is NEVER a mistake.  A baby is the biggest blessing in the world.

UNESCO plays a major role in your philanthropic life.  How did you get involved with the organization?  And what can our readers do to help the cause?

Like I said, my mother in law inspired me to start working with UNESCO and I hope to work with them for a very long time. I can’t fathom the fact that education is not a natural born right. I know in America we complain a lot about our educational system, but there are places in the world that have zero system, and there are other places in the world where education means two people under a little tree trying to read a book. This breaks my heart! How can we have a better future if our children don’t have the tools they need to succeed in life? I believe this is something we should all fight for.

For those readers who want to help, they can call my office at 323-848 -966 or they can send their donations to:

Infinity Media
3940 Laurel Canyon blvd
Suite 100
Studio City CA 91604

Donations can be made payable to UNESCO FOUNDATION FOR CHILDREN IN NEED

Any parting words for our readers, and your fans?

To the readers and fans, I just want to say THANK YOU! I LOVE getting your messages on The Twitter. I call it “The Twitter” and a lot of my friends make fun of me for that. It really brings a smile to my face when I read all your messages, so for that and for all your support I’m extremely grateful and humbled.

THANK YOU ALL! God bless you! XOXO