Little is known about Yoanna House’s life prior to her popularity explosion via reality TV. It’s not that the Jacksonville, Florida native seeks the eccentric star’s seclusion. She’s simply too new on the scene to have been the subject of a probing inquiry into her past. But if there’s anything we take pleasure in, it’s probing hot women.
Born April 9, 1980, Yoanna grew up as a regular girl in a multi-ethnic house (her mother is Mexican). She was always pretty, but it was her grandmother who would plant the idea of a modeling career in her head. “I was always in her closet,” House recalls. “We would watch TV… read magazines… go to the mall. She taught me about couture and how important it was. A lot of my appreciation came from her.”
The bug was in her, and wouldn’t leave her alone. Yoanna couldn’t even complete three years of college due to an eagerness to get her career started.
At 23, Yoanna found herself babysitting and dipping her pinky toe in the fashion world by working as an assistant to a clothing designer. The reality TV boom was in full swing, and UPN was holding auditions to a sequel to one of its more popular shows, America’s Next Top Model.
It was the break that Yoanna needed. But she wasn’t 100% confident about it. The size of the competition — thousands of beautiful girls applied — scared her. Furthermore, her body wasn’t up to industry standards.
Yoanna went on a two-year diet and exercise blitzkrieg. Through a combination of yoga, pilates and healthy eating, she managed to shed a whopping 60 lbs. in two years. For the fashion savvy, that’s a drop from a size 10 to a 2. She looked stunning, and was ready to compete.
Yoanna was selected to be among the 12 final aspiring models who would spend six weeks in a Manhattan loft undergoing a series of bizarre tests. There were photo shoots, walking lessons and intense coaching on achieving “the look.” And yes, there was cattiness. There was backstabbing, manipulation and deceit among the contestants — and one rival accused Yoanna of being bulimic.
Living on the set of America’s Next Top Model became so stressful, Yoanna was a broken nail away from leaving. But she stayed strong and focused at the long-term returns: a trip to a villa in Verona and a chance to appear in Jane magazine.
Yoanna took blistering criticisms with grace and put the judges’ (Tyra Banks among them) suggestions to practice right away. In the finale, her futuristic shoot was a triumph, and she was named winner of the competition.
Having won the crown of America’s Next Top Model, Yoanna landed a contract with a modeling agency and became the face for Sephora, a cosmetics company. Since her victory, she has endorsed cereal and appeared on On Air With Ryan Seacrest, the Late Show with David Letterman, and was a guest on Live with Regis and Kelly.
Whether or not she’s got a man remains in doubt. If she is single, that won’t last for long, we’re sure.