Tia Shipman Won’t Let Being a Reality Star Discredit Her Hard Work

Tia Shipman is a supermodel, an actress and once she makes her debut on E!’s series, WAGs, she’ll be able to add “reality TV star” to her resumé. Tia will be joining the sport star wives and girlfriends’ club for their second season. But here’s the thing: nobody knows who her athlete boyfriend is – yet.

We tried to get her to spill the tea on who her mystery man is but we quickly set our sights on other topics – partly because she was staying tight lipped about it but partly because her latest career venture and how that will affect her life is a lot more interesting than her-and-her-mans, you know?

Before Tia landed her role on WAGs she was (and still is) a first class model. She walked for leading designers Vera Wang and Michael Costello and in her spare time, you know, when she wasn’t slaying a runway, she was starring on shows like Ugly Betty and The Bold & The Beautiful. So why make a leap to reality TV when most people use it as a platform to launch their acting and modeling careers?

We wanted to find out more about Tia’s reality TV experience, including how being a part of this platform that is often labeled “trash TV” has affected her career and her relationships. See what Tia had to say below.

You’re a model and an actor in your own right so how do you think being casted for WAGS and being linked to your mystery man has affected your career? 

I haven’t seen any career changes. I think my choice has affected some of my relationships with other actors and actresses who know me, only because reality TV is so different than what anyone would expect of me. I’m excited for what is to come. I don’t put myself in a box, I never have. I enjoy pushing the envelop. Someone once said, “you’ll never end up where you are suppose to go unless you get out of your comfort zone.”

People love to say that the Kardashians, for example, are “famous for being famous” and there are many stereotypes that come with being a reality TV star – you’re fake, you’re trashy, you have no talent, etc. These stereotypes often overshadow everything a reality TV star does – even those things that happen outside of the show. Do you think being on a such a show will discredit you as a model and an actor and these stereotypes will be latched onto you? 

I have a positive outlook on my choice to join WAGs. I’ve been a model for years and that will never change. There are many facets of Tia Shipman and WAGs is another layer. Besides, no one is perfect and I think it’s enlightening to see someone who is suppose to seem perfect in photograph show you they’re human, with flaws, just like everyone else.

What do you think about people who say that Kendall Jenner lands modeling jobs that she does because she’s on TV and who her family is? 

I think if we spend more time worrying about ourselves, then we would be better people. I am happy for others when they succeed and I think others should feel the same way. I think it’s never about how you get there but if you can stay and Kendall is very successful. I think she’s here to stay.

Modeling vs acting – which comes more naturally?

I have been modeling a little over 11 years – I was scouted as a child. So modeling comes more naturally but I enjoy them both.

How long have you been into acting and was this always something you wanted to get involved in? 

My first TV job was a commercial for Apple for their iPod. Then my next was a music video – John Legend’s “Save Room.” I love the camera whether still frames or moving picture.

How much of you, and who you are, do you think we’ll get to see on the show?

I haven’t seen any episodes yet. I will be watching with the audience. The show is not just about my life but it follows me and seven other WAGs. I did a pretty good job with not revealing too much while revealing a lot.

What episode do they reveal who your man is or does it happen straight off the bat?

LOL, you have to watch and see. It happens organically though — if it really ever happens at all.

How many years have you been dating the mystery man? 

We have been friends for years. But [dating] off and on for one year. We are more friends than anything.

In a TMZ interview, you said you went to middle school with him – what is it like dating your not even high-school sweetheart but your middle school sweetheart? 

We are friends first. I feel like we evolve on a daily basis and every day we learn something new about each other. Besides, we haven’t been dating since middle school, that would be a long time.

At what moment did you know you had caught feelings and how did you act on that?

When I found out I had deeper feelings for him I kept them to myself. I was worried about ruining the friendship.

How has this transition from friendship to being in a relationship been? Is it weird or was it a natural adjustment? 

Our relationship is different than most. We are very focused on our careers so we put those things first. We are friends and I think he’s a great individual. I have so much respect for him – he works extremely hard and often times motivates me to work harder. When you’ve been friends for so long things just fall into place when they are suppose to.

How do you think it’s different to have such a high profile relationship compared to just a regular relationship and how do you guys deal with those stresses? 

I think there is stress in every relationship. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and we respect each other. It’s great sometimes because we understand how stressful our careers are and what it’s like to be in the public eye. But honestly, somehow we are still private in public.

You’ve dated athletes before, right? Who have you dated in the past and is there something different about dating a guy who’s an athlete? 

I have dated athletes in the past. But I think the beauty of the past is that it usually stays there.

What is something you’d still like to dip your feet into career wise? 

I could see myself opening an online fashion boutique or hosting my own show.

You have so many followers on your Instagram and Twitter and I see you recently gave out your Snapchat – is this something that is it natural to you to do so much social media or is it hard and demanding? 

I am such an “in the moment” individual so it is a little difficult to drop out of a moment and post or pull my phone out. But I love the interaction with my followers so I make it happen.

What do you like and hate about social media? 

Everyone is constantly on their phones and we miss special moments with people that we can’t get back. It’s also a little fictitious and can give someone the wrong idea of one’s life or true self. I mean, with all the filters and retouching applications I’m surprised people are not more insecure than they were before.

What is your favorite social media platform and why? 

I love snapchat because I am obsessed with storytelling. Snapchat allows you to be current and post what you’re doing but it flows in a storytelling manner that keeps you entertained.

Describe your personal style?

I am a layers kind of girl. I guess because I am always cold. I love wearing long-sleeved shirts with an oversized sweater and a vest or jacket of some sort. Don’t get me wrong I love my dresses and capes but I am always so cold… I am rocking 90’s style but transitioning into the 60’s and 70’s. I have been watching this network on cable that enables you to watch all of the 60’s and 70’s shows and music videos.

Do you have an alter ego? 

My alter ego is Denise. I named her after my middle name. She is the one who auditions and does the work that gets me work. Denise also comes out when I get upset.

Who has been your favorite designer to walk for? 

I honestly do not have a favorite designer I have walked for. I just love walking. And whenever I could I did!

Are you very active in your own life? 

I do yoga! I want to start cycling, I hear it’s fun. The idea of moving fast and not really going anywhere is why I have not started. But I need to get out of my head and do it.

Who inspires you in life, in fashion, in your career? 

My niece Martinique and nephews Marquis, Marlin, Mario, and Marcellus inspire me in life. They are strong powerful children who continue to strive for their best no matter what life throws at them.

Sex and the City inspires me in fashion. I was a huge fan growing up and I still am. I see a piece of me in all four of them. Although Carrie is my favorite, my Pinterest is filled with her. She reminds me of Audrey Hepburn.

Tracee Ellis Ross inspires me in my career. I actually started acting because of the show “Girlfriends,” which Tracey starred in. She is ridiculously funny and present. I chose my first acting school based off the school Tracee studied at, William Esper Studio, in NYC. I wanted to be funny like her and own my inner me like she does in every piece she’s in


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