I spoke to the designer, [Quebecer] Caroline Bernier, on a Zoom call and when she explained the whole project to me, I said, “OK, where do I sign ? ” It’s incredible. We need shows like this, which are inspiring, in which we can recognize ourselves.
[In the show], it’s everyday people striving to become the best version of themselves in order to be the face of a brand. It’s a life-changing experience. Almost like a giant group therapy session.
It’s truly a show of pure joy. We need more content like this that shows everyone that no matter who you are, your nationality, your gender, your age, you can be beautiful inside and out.
I could see parallels between myself and almost all of the participants, whether it was in terms of bullying, body dysmorphia, drug or alcohol abuse, or mental health issues. I have had my own battles over the past 25 years. [In an Instagram post Monday, the singer highlighted his two years of sobriety.]
I would tell myself a lot of things. Love yourself a little more and live life your way. Don’t fight her. When my career started, it happened so quickly. I lost sight of reality for a little while. I didn’t take the time to absorb all of this, to settle down. Now, at 45, I do. But I have some catching up to do.
I have some solo music coming out next year. And, yes, there will be new Backstreet Boys material… someday. Currently, we are taking a break. We’ve worked so hard over the last four years [with the DNA world tour and the release of their Christmas album]. It’s a well-deserved break.
For me, fashion is another form of expression. I have always been a fashion fan for as long as I can remember. I always liked experimenting with it, trying new things.
I am going to start my own clothing company which will launch next year. These are rather athletic clothes. I also have this dream of being at New York Fashion Week, sitting at the front and seeing people walking the runway wearing my clothes. It’s a dream that I’ve had for 15 years. It’s never too late to start. I hope it happens.
It’s not clothing, but I would say putting polish on my nails and wearing makeup. It’s a way for me to express myself. I even have a beauty brand, Ava Dean, that was inspired by my daughters. It’s a complete cosmetics line, but at first it was just nail polish. I have worn nail polish for 25 years. We are seeing more men than ever wearing them. It’s now part of pop culture.
And as for makeup, I don’t wear eye shadow or blush, but foundation, yes. It makes me feel more confident in myself.
Created by Quebec producer Caroline Bernier, The Fashion Hero: A New Kind of Beautiful aims to redefine the fashion industry’s beauty criteria. The one who worked on major productions including Miss Universe and Victoria’s Secret, was very marked by a story experienced by her friend and photographer Adi Barkan. “During a casting call, there was a very thin, very white young woman who walked in. […] She had not eaten or drunk for several days. […] She was afraid of being fat. She not only fell unconscious in his arms, she died on the spot,” she says, with emotion. Shaken by this terrible event, Caroline Bernier felt the need to play a role in deconstructing beauty criteria. In The Fashion Hero: A New Kind of Beautiful, 22 contestants from around the world with very diverse physical characteristics compete to become the face of a brand. Some 300,000 people have applied to take part in the show, the third season of which will be filmed next winter in Croatia. The call for applications for season 4 is already underway.