I hate it because it can get oh-so-dark, but I love it too. And finally, it was ‘Come out to LA and audition.’ In the beginning of March, I got a call: ‘Next week, you’re going to Bora Bora.’ “If I frickin’ knew in a million years that this was going to happen, I’d have prepared way differently.So, I’m thinking of something like doing hair for a studio, or hair and makeup for theater, like ‘Wicked’ on Broadway.” While at cosmetology school, she was still applying to appear on television shows, including last year’s attempt to get on MTV’s “Are You The One? I was working out sometimes, but if I knew I’d be on national TV, I’d have been at the gym three times a day!She was a 4-year-old girl who decided she wanted to compete in pageants.Hurdles quickly presented themselves.“My mom said we don’t know anything about it, and I only had a flower-girl dress,” she recalled. If I knew I was ever going to win, I would’ve written a winning speech.I was very shy, but once you put me on stage, I just shined. “I was just so innocent, and pageant-y and ‘world peace.’ I was so naïve. “I felt free there, in New York City, like nobody cares who I am,” said Brunetti, who will turn 26 a few days before her “Dating Naked” episode airs Aug. “Here, I say a curse word, and it’s ‘Oh, look at Miss New Jersey,’ but that didn’t matter there.” While she made good connections in the broadcast world, she was 21, living away from home for the first time and “my mind wasn’t in the right place.
(“I was a little salty on how everything went down, so I called and asked him to meet up for dinner,” she said, noting that the face-to-face time courtesy of her travels paid big dividends in that family-mending respect.
“And here I am: the makeup artist, but what are they going to see on TV: oh, the fat one, the fat one, the fat one."She's heard it all before. I’ve really learned to push down those insecurities, especially now, with the videos and stories about ‘plus-sized models.’ I think it’s just beautiful. I hope I can help break down those barriers about body size and image.” Knowing the cable-TV viewing world — and people who’ve long known her in this small town — will soon see her strip out of a bikini and bare her entire 5-foot-5 frame is a daunting prospect, of course.
Her mother and 22-year-old sister have been more than supportive, but she hasn’t told her grandparents about the show yet since “they’re pretty old school.” (They’ll find out soon enough.) The anxiety is tempered by the belief that American notions of nudity are puritanical.
“Finally, she said, All right, if you really want to, let’s do it. Over and over and over and over again, I would watch myself on the TV screen.” As the granddaughter of Brigantine’s former city manager meant there was always something of a spotlight on her family in the small town, she said. Girls have been competing and training for four or five years, and I come in as a rookie and just win?
I won, and ever since then, I’ve been a pageant girl.“I liked the hair and makeup and just being on stage. Brunetti said she wanted to attend Atlantic City High School, like many of her childhood friends, but went to Holy Spirit High prep instead. ’ bashing from a lot of girls, and the fact that my friends were boys had people saying ‘she must be a ho,’” Brunetti recalled. Of course [some got catty about it.]” After taking classes at Atlantic Cape Community College, she won a scholarship to the New York Film Academy, where she studied film, acting and television journalism.From there, it was an eight-hour flight to Tahiti, then a puddle jumper and a boat to Bora Bora. She’d also face body-image issues that she’d harbored for years. Being in Bora Bora, I was seeing all these in-shape, fit girls.