All Photos: Corey Wilson
Hair And Makeup: Heather Harris, email@example.com
19 years old // San Clemente, California
FROM AN OUTDOOR PICNIC TABLE AT A COFFEE SHOP IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, I WATCH BREE KLEINTOP DESCEND FROM THE DRIVER’S SEAT OF HER GRAY TOYOTA TUNDRA AND ONTO THE STREET. A car flies by and its brake lights flash red, the male driver craning his neck for a better view. Bree doesn’t notice. As she walks to meet me I’m reminded of a note I’d scribbled earlier, an excerpt from her Surf House cast profile, describing her as “a girl with gorgeous looks that attract nonstop attention from the guys.” And it strikes me: though nearly everything about that “reality” show was wrong, apparently they did get one thing right. —Zander Morton
BREE: When I tell people I’m from Virginia Beach, a lot of them have no idea Virginia even gets waves. I’ve had to work hard. I started competing at age 11 in the NSSA, and then I moved to California alone when I was 17 to pursue a career as a freesurfer, and to work with my sponsors as a model and lifestyle girl. Surfing will always be a huge focus in my life, but I realized at a young age I didn’t want to deal with the BS that goes along with surf contests — they’re just not for me.
It was a huge culture shock when I first stepped into the real modeling world. All the girls are really talented. I got to work with a Victoria’s Secret model recently and I learned so much — it was basically like going on a surf trip with Steph Gilmore to pumping waves in Indo.
Going into the Surf House thing in Hawaii last year, I thought it would be more documentary and less Jersey Shore. As it was happening, I started to see the drama they had drawn up. When it aired I didn’t support it at all, but a lot of good has come out of the whole thing, so I get it. I just didn’t like the way I was portrayed in it.
For a long time I’ve been represented as the pretty blonde surfer girl. But that’s not me. I wear all black and my favorite bands are Black Sabbath, the Sex Pistols, Black Flag and Danzig. Not a lot of people see me as that, but it’s who I really am. So that’s something I’ve been working on: breaking free of the blonde-girl-in-a-bikini role.