Conway mom, wife takes on ‘Top Model’

“I’ve always known about the show and watched it with my girlfriends,” Serfaty said. “When I was 16, I was approached in a mall in Little Rock by some producers for the show, but I was too young. They told me to come back when I was 18. I was counting down the days.

“The audition was long and drawn out and just crazy. You’re up against thousands of girls, so it’s really intimidating.”

Serfaty went through the auditions in Houston, Texas, last year and made the final cut for Top Model’s 14th season. The show started filming in October and lasted for two months.

“My biggest challenge was missing my family,” Serfaty said. “I’d never been away from them. I married at 16. I’ve always had someone supporting me and being there for me, and I didn’t have that when I left. I grew up while I was gone because I had to cope by myself.

“My phone time was limited and very controlled. There were times when I wanted to come back home, during the down times. When I was busy, I didn’t have to focus on it.”

Serfaty left behind her 1-year-old son and husband to compete on Top Model.

“I had to miss a lot of stuff with my baby. I missed Thanksgiving and him just growing up. I feel like I missed so much. When I left the airport, he didn’t want to hug me good-bye. He didn’t understand he wouldn’t see me for two months.”

Serfaty has been modeling for four years, mostly with Dillard’s. Top Model is her break, and it’s an opportunity she relishes.

“After I got pregnant, I was told I would never go anywhere as a model,” Serfaty said. “I was told I would never get to travel or make it big. I feel like I’ve proved those people wrong. Young girls can do anything, and I truly believe that.”

Krista White, 26, of Pine Bluff is also a contestant this season. She is a retail manager.

Serfaty is the latest in a line of 501 citizens that have found success in reality TV. Danielle Evans of Little Rock won Top Model’s sixth season and University of Central Arkansas alumna Natalie White was crowned the winner of Survivor Samoa in December. And who could forget Kris Allen winning American Idol last summer? Serfaty shares a common tie with Allen: New Life Church in Conway.

“I was born in Baton Rouge,” Serfaty said. “We moved to Houston before coming to Conway to help start New Life with Pastor Rick (Bezet). I call Conway my home. Arkansas is just spitting out talent left and right.”