As her newly released TV ad (shot in LA by Hype Williams) for motor company Toyota captivates prime-time viewers around the globe, Miss Jamaica Universe Yendi Phillipps slips back into Caribbean girl mode for the December cover of SkyWritings (the national airline’s in-flight magazine). Even as she reflects on the blessings of the past year and look ahead to new challenges, Yendi stresses her down-to-earth simplicity and humility, telling the magazine that she tries not to take herself too seriously.
Asked about being ‘the people’s queen,” the beauty confesses, “I don’t know if it makes me feel intimidated or if it just makes me feel accomplished. I feel like I have worked really hard, and I don’t think having done what I have done people need to see me as a role model or are forced to see me as that. But I believe if there are people who choose to make my opinion matter then that’s okay. I don’t think I am someone whose opinion should matter. I don’t think it has to matter. I do, however, think that I have to be mindful of that no matter what I do I will be an ambassador for Jamaica.”
On Christmas in the Phillipps’ household: “I prefer to just be at home with my family. We sit down, have drinks and chat foolishness into the wee hours of the morning.”
On taking control in 2011: “I think the ultimate thing for me is film. I want to pursue international modeling opportunities more. I went to South Africa for six months which was phenomenal, but I want to do more of the US market. I want to do modeling, TV and, more than anything, film.”
On her winning approach to life: “As quickly as you rise is as quickly as you fall. And I think it is important to not forget where you came from. I think anyone that comes to a place has come thus far as they are, so why change it now. I think it’s important for me to stay grounded and use my spirituality as that anchor.”