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Jade Turpin, actress, model , and former track star sat down with RnB a few weeks ago to discuss being the winning contestant on We TV’s A Match Made In Heaven, Shawn Bullard, the girls in the house, opening up about her past and a new project she is excited about! For as beautiful as she is, she is also amazingly strong, deep and driven for her young years.
Q) As a viewer, I labeled each girl by episode three. For you I said “class, with sass.” You held yourself poised and confident and had no problem standing up for yourself when needed. In your commentaries and clips from around the house you are frank and sometimes funny—is this pretty much who the real Jade is?
A) I’m the nicest bitch you can ever meet. Excuse my language, but I am. I can get along with everyone, and I can be very cordial with people that I don’t like. I’m like” let’s have fun, party, have a great time”, you can even cry on my shoulder– but don’t press my buttons, cause I can go there. I can totally go there. Don’t try me. I thought the show did a really good job portraying that, but it did make me look a little reserved. I wasn’t that quiet; I was always making people laugh or doing something in the house.
Q) Were you attracted to Shaun when he first walked up or did he grow on you as you got to know him?
A) I haven’t told anyone this, but when we met Shawn in the garden, I thought he was cute, but I remember thinking he was bigger–like fat! I don’t think I even told him this! I think it was how his suit was laying on him. When he walked up I thought, “Shit, he’s cute, but what’s his body look like?” And then when I hugged him, I was like, “oh, it’s all muscle. We’re good.”
Q) On the show you were open about past experiences, Nes eventually came clean about who she was and the honesty was respected. Jen on the other hand seemed to be two people, exact polar opposites of each other and she came off as a hypocrite. Was that true for you guys in the house?
A) She came across very judgmental on everyone’s actions. It seemed like she was trying to be somebody she wasn’t and like it was because of television. We are young, we all have lives, and for us living in LA, our nightlife is healthy. She was the biggest hypocrite, she wanted to preach verses from the Bible and then turn up gyrating around like a stripper. We wouldn’t have cared if she weren’t preaching at us. I want to say, “Girl, be you!” I have a strong relationship with the Lord, but I’m not going to take my beliefs and make you eat it and freaking swallow it.
Q) What about his mother? How did you feel when you realized she would be living in the house with you and the girls?
A) When Miss Maggie got there I was the first person to say, “Shit just got real.” I wasn’t too much worried about myself, because I am going to always stay true to who I am. I pulled her aside when she got to the house, and I told her the only thing I am going to be is myself. The only thing I am going to do differently is watch my language. I will do that, because I don’t cuss in front of my mom, but everything else you will see me do—you’ll see me drink, you’ll see me cuss, you’ll see me– I’m grown. There is no filter—I’m grown. As long as I am not being disrespectful. When she came around I actually couldn’t wait for her to weed out the bullshit, the girls who were putting on acts. When she got there women were in the kitchen that I hadn’t seen in the kitchen from when it started. I was like “Girl, I’ve never seen you clean, you’ve never cooked, but you’re in the kitchen cleaning and cooking when Momma Mags is here?” She’s from Philly, she can read. She can read through the nonsense. From day one I had already made the announcement, “We are all grown and we do not have any maids here. I will not be cleaning up after you. You are grown, and if you can’t do your own dishes, then don’t use them.” But they all got to acting right when Momma Mags got there.
Q) Who would you say was your biggest competition and why?
A) I would say I thought Phoenix would have been a good top three. She was older and she was more mature out of the women in the house, so if I had to say someone was competition in the house, I guess it would have to be someone like that.
Q) I noticed you were usually supportive and offering hugs to the girls eliminated. We see so much of women tearing each other down, what advise can you give young women on being more supportive and appreciative of one another?
A) I just feel like as women we should be more uplifting to each other, because we already have to deal with so much… men… you know –the music videos, the new songs that are out that are tearing us down, why would we want to add to that by putting other women down? It doesn’t make sense. You don’t have to like every individual, but it doesn’t hurt to take the high road. It takes a lot more energy to hate. I also feel like it starts within yourself, when you harbor onto those ugly feelings, whether or not it was somebody else that put that into you, when you hold onto to that, there is no way anything positive can come from you, there is no way you can be positive for someone else. Whatever is buried deep inside of you or whatever hurts you at night —if you keep that inside of you, keep a mental note of that– talk to someone, it can be so much easier—you have to let go of that pain or hurt that is deep inside of you for yourself, and it makes it easier to be there for someone else too.
Q) There was only one person I saw that pushed everyone’s buttons, and eventually you had to put her in line. Mecca. I felt everyone had held off on putting Mecca in her place and you did it well, how did that feel, to be the person to get to stand up to her?
A) We had never had a big run in until that night, but I had addressed some things that bothered me to her woman to woman, without a crowd, but the blow up that night– I was like,” Girl, it’s just like four of us now, and your attitude is so ugly. Somebody needs to let you know, because obviously your mother is not. Your mom is sitting there allowing you to act like that, so let me be the one to tell you. “ That felt amazing, and it wasn’t like, “ Bitch, I just want to tell you off”, but just, “shut up, and I’m going to tell you everything that no one else has said , I’m going to say what everyone wants to say—including your mom! “ Her mother’s facial expressions, it was like she was scared of Mecca. I’m not sure if it was all aired, but at eliminations me and Mecca got into it. The question still stands, and if you interview her too– I want to know, so please let me know–“Mecca, what do you do? Mecca, what do you do for work? For income? I mean how are you supporting your life? I mean traveling and being a socialite–is not it.”
Q) From the beginning of the show, you were guarded, then later, after you ran the track with Shawn, you finally seemed to pull that guard down and open up about some deep issues you had with your father. It was a powerful moment. To me it looked like a big weight had finally been lifted from your shoulders. What was that like for you?
A) I totally felt like a weight was lifted. I told my mom this and few others about the weight being lifted. I always felt that way about my dad and the lack of him being able to be more vulnerable with me, be more emotional with me. I’ve always felt that way—always–but I never voiced it, so it actually felt good to find the strength. Shawn did help by getting that out of me, but I had to find the strength to physically say it. I had gotten over it , it’s the past, my dad has passed, I’ve become at peace with my relationship with my father, but I never physically said it out loud, the issues I did have. Not even with myself. It was a big moment. When you saw that weight being lifted, it was like wow, I have admitted it to someone.
Q) Your mom had a strong presence on the show, what can you say are some character traits that you are proud to have gotten from her?
A) By all means. My mom has always been a strong woman– tell it like it is, that big personality, upfront, this is what you get. I’ve always respected that with her, you will never see a representative, you will never see a phony—what you see is real. She will lay it on the table, you can either take her or leave her, but you will never see her flip flop. I was a little worried on the show when she came, I didn’t have time to prep them for my mom’s big personality, but I respect that she kept it all the way one hundred with everyone. Nes’s mom still stays in contact with her. People recognize real, and so no matter how loud or ghetto or whatever that is who my mom is, and you can count on her to be real. That is one trait that I love I got from my mom, I’m not wishy- washy, I keep it one hundred, I am my own true authentic self, I don’t flip flop. And if I am not compatible with someone, then no hard feelings, but I am not going to bend myself to what you want.
Q) You shared family information on the show, has that had any effect on relationships in your family?
A) When I said some of the things I said about my family, and they were things from my childhood- in that moment I got really scared. Because I am not only putting my business out there, I am putting my family’s business out there too– and on national television! But in that same breath I said, you know this is something I stand true to and this is how I feel, so I am willing to fight that battle. My mom, she was totally supportive whether it was about her or my dad. It is what it is. I am human. I have a past. We all have a past.
Q) I hope you don’t mind me asking, but what is your relationship with Shawn?
A) We are still together. Everyone keeps asking that same question and they ask the same way, “I hope you don’t mind me asking but…” It’s okay. Really. At this point we are taking it slow; it’s a lot, dating on a television show. With us, our feelings were real, but our feelings were also rushed. When you are there you are around that person almost 24 hours a day and then suddenly you are out. It just so happened with us that we truly got along. That doesn’t always happen, but with us it did.
Q) We see you change and grow during the show. You learn to loosen up, open up, and admit you can’t always be the strong one. How has the show changed you? Are you learning to let others in more?
A) The show did help me change in a way. I am being more aware of when I am putting my guard up to some people. But I am always going to be that guarded person. With me, I have so many layers I can open up to someone, and I only expose another layer as the relationship grows. And that is fine; you should have to earn that, to get below another layer of me. But now I am more aware of when I am doing it. I can say to myself in that moment, you really don’t need to be this guarded with this person. Shawn has helped me out tremendously with that. I have even called the producers of the show and just told them I wanted to thank them because Shawn and the experience of being on the show brought something out of me that for years I never admitted.
Q) What projects are you working on now? Where can we look to find you?
A) I have an audition I am excited about, and I’ m going to be in an independent film. I feel like there is so much! I am coming out with a swimsuit line! It is hard as far as timing and getting it up and running the way I want when I am the only one funding it all, but should be soon. Just Jade is the name of the line. I am a top heavy girl, in case you haven’t noticed, and I notice with myself and others, whenever we come out of the water we are always having to adjust ourselves to make sure no nip- slip and everything else is covered. It is a line that recognizes that problem for top-heavy women. I have never been able to find the right swimsuit line; from the cheap ones to the expensive ones no one has made swimwear that is sexy and stringy, but still supportive. We don’t always want to wear those big heavy wide straps for support and coverage. It is also not just for top heavy, but also for the average woman who is tired of constantly having to adjust herself in swimwear. I feel like there is so much I am working on… I am also looking into partnering with someone on a skincare line. Just Bare, it is organic, and they grow everything themselves, fruit, whatever is used. All of it. We will see on that. I have so much going on. Shawn helps me as far as balance! Sometimes we talk and he’s like,” you just told me about seven different things, let’s go back to just one.” We joke sometimes that we were bound to have met each other. I am from the Jersey/Philly area, so beyond the show we feel one way or another we would have eventually met.