Chicagoan Chosen As One Of People Magazine's 'Real Beauties'

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Apr 25, 2013 4:40PM

2013_04_melissa_people_real_beauty.jpg Gwyneth Paltrow may be People's choice for "Most Beautiful Woman in the World" this year, but Chicago can lay claim to one of the winners of People's "Real Beauty At Every Age" contest. Chicago resident Melissa Fisher topped the list in the 30s category, and as a result got to fly out to New York and be photographed with the three other winners to be featured in the magazine.

You can watch a short behind the scenes interview including interviews with the four "real beauties," but we were able to snag a few minutes with Fisher for a short Q&A about her experience.

CHICAGOIST: So, what prompted you to even enter?

MELISSA FISHER: I didn't even really know about the contest originally—I was just looking up People.com getting my daily celebrity gossip fix and saw the contest—there were a ton of women entering, and I thought it would be fun to get a trip to NYC and be in a photoshoot. I figured I'd have as good of a chance as any of the other submissions so I just submitted my photo in thinking there was no way I'd win. I even thought "Wouldn't that be funny if I won? There's no way I'll win, but what the heck." and welp, here we are!

C: Did you get the feeling you were doing well in the voting, or did the letter saying you won come as a complete surprise.

MELISSA FISHER: For the voting—there was really no way to know if you were doing well or not in comparison to the others in the competition. It was totally secret. I know a ton of my family, friends, and co-workers were really supportive in getting the word out and asking people to vote, which was super nice of them and made me feel great. Even if I didn't win, at least I knew people supported me! It was cool to see so many people want me to win, though. So actually winning after that was just a nice perk.

C: How did you celebrate upon hearing the news?

MELISSA FISHER: I was at work, so when they called me I let out an inner squeal. I was super excited and surprised! But it was still supposed to remain a secret until the issue came out (this week) so I had to secretly celebrate until I could finally tell everyone!

C: How was the New York trip?

MELISSA FISHER: Fun! It was a great experience and I got to meet some really amazing people. The other winners, Beth, Mercedez, and Sunita were all fantastic and it was great to share the experience with them. Our stylist, photographers, video crew, hair/makeup team—they were all great and happy for us as well. I'm sure they're used to celebrities being photographed all the time and not getting as excited as we were to be there, but they were all very kind and took "behind the scenes" photos for us so we could remember it forever. The photoshoot took all day on Sunday, and I flew in Saturday afternoon, so I didn't get to see much of NYC. I definitely hit up Shake Shack though for a burger! Whenever I'm in NYC, I always gotta go to Shake Shack.

C: Any fun behind the scenes tales of you and the other "real beauties?"

MELISSA FISHER: Hmmm ... I think the entire experience was fun tale! We were really busy that day at the shoot, all of us were pulled in different directions for hair, makeup, styling, etc so no time for too many "behind the scenes tales"—I think just being there was fun in itself. Just sort of surreal.

C: Seriously though, what does this mean to you?

MELISSA FISHER: It means I have to thank my parents and genetics for making this possible. (Thanks Mom and Dad!) Haha, but seriously, I'm just happy that so many people came out of the woodwork and have been so supportive. It makes me feel pretty loved, so I think that's the nicest thing out of all it. And I'm in a worldwide magazine, that's pretty neat!

C: How do you plan to fight off the deluge of internet suitors that is sure to follow something like this?

MELISSA FISHER: Oh jeez, I don't know! If that were to happen, probably the same way I'd deal with suitors in real life, laugh nervously and shift uncomfortably in my chair.

C: What are your chances of snagging "most beautiful woman in the world" from Gwyneth next year?

MELISSA FISHER: Ha, I'd think my chances are just as good as any other woman! But I'll try my hardest to steal that title. Gwyneth, it's ON.