A Woman Scorned
That old saying about “the eye of the beholderâ€ has never been truer. In Chanta Pattonâ€”our September 2008 covergirlâ€”KING saw a voluptuous, physically flawless beauty with the perfect golden globes to rep our first-ever Screen Queen Awards. Y’all saw a no-named, surgically enhanced Ashanti wanna-be. Agree to disagree.
Still, we’re all about serving justice around these parts. So in honor of our instantly classic 50th issue, we gave the star of your least favorite 2008 KING cover a moment to address the naysayers (yes, you!), and even tear us a new one (ouch!). With a beachside snapshot steamy enough to burn the visual of her KING debut from disgruntled readers’ memories, were sure y’all won’t mind another take.
You caught a lot of hate when we posted the image of our September 2008 coverâ€”featuring youâ€”on KING-Mag.com. What was your opinion of the photos?
I was definitely shocked, because the person on the cover didn’t look anything like me. The shot was extremely over-Photoshopped, and they didn’t pick the picture that was the most flattering at all. It was bad photography. And that’s no fault of mine; that’s all the fault of KING. My shots from my own portfolio are self-explanatory. They definitely show that [I’m] a bad chick and deserving of a cover.
You actually did get a fake KING cover in your breakthrough video, Kardinal Offishall’s “Dangerous.â€ Which do you prefer?
The one in the video was much better. That one was naturally me. You could see my skin tone, my shape of my eyes. Everything was the same as in real life. People who see me from the magazine KING would never know that’s me on the coverâ€”which is a good thing!
Did you read any of the comments on the web about your shoot?
I never read anything that anybody writes about me. I heard it was bad things, but I have a really good support system, and my friends would never let me get on the [KING] website. I had no desire to, because I want to stay on my grind and reading stuff like that only just gets you into the wrong state of mind. So just keep it moving. I don’t get mad.
On KING-Mag.com, commenter Redz complained that your body wasn’t authentic.
Pretty much, what they think of me is none of my business. Tell me one model that’s walking around with their real, flabby boobs or small tittiesâ€”if they are, good for them. But I’m not about to walk around with a nappy head, no perm, flat-chested and looking crazy just to say “I’m all-natural.â€ [Laughs] I’ma do what makes Chanta happyâ€”that’s looking my best, making money from my looks, and getting what I want. As long as I’m staying hungry, I’m good.
BlkCeasar called you a “broke-down Ashanti.â€ Have you ever heard that comparison before?
Yeah. I don’t see it. I’m much lighter than she is, and my facial features seem to be a little bit different. I guess if you do my makeup a certain way, we sort of look alike. I don’t think Ashanti’s not attractive, I just don’t think we look alike. I’ve heard that even before this cover dropped. People will talk regardless. Anybody who knows what I look like knows I’m a gorgeous woman, inside and out. So I don’t let those comments affect me.
Keep it 100â€”you never want to spazz out on the critics?
No! People don’t know who I am. They don’t know I [was] an applied mathematics major on the dean’s list for four years, graduate of college. And how I tutor children K-8 in math, in the inner city of Los Angeles. They don’t know anything about me, so I keep in mind that this is not the end. Modeling is not ultimately what I want to do; I want to use this as a stepping-stone for acting.
Are you taking acting classes?
I’ve been taking classes for almost six months now. I’ve been doing a plays and I’m auditioning three to five times a week for print, commercials or actual acting parts or small roles in movies. And I’m working big film production directors that are interested in seeing more of me.
What about the KING stans looking to see more of you. Would you ever come back for another cover, as an actress?
Yeah, because I don’t think KING meant to sabotage me. It was definitely a learning experience. It humbled me, kept me hungry. If later on in life I blow up in a movie, I would want to come back. I’m not bitter at all.â€”John Kennedy
Photography by Paul Cobo