Valentine’s Day Treat: Lance Gross Talks Love, Getting Teased, Receiving Panties From Strangers

Ladies love Lance Gross (aka the man who won the title of VIBE Vixen’s Sexiest Man Alive in December), that’s why we caught up with him to chat about love. He dished about how he overcame ugly duckling syndrome, why he still believes in the power and sanctity of marriage and what he looks for in a woman. Did we mention that he’s still on the market? Happy Valentine’s Day sweethearts. ⎯Starrene Rhett

How does it feel to be ranked as VIBE Vixen’s number one finest man alive?

It’s definitely an honor. It caught me by surprise. I didn’t even expect to make the list so I appreciate whoever voted or however you guys came up with it. I’m honored.

You said you’re surprised to make the list but ladies are in love with you. Whenever we tweet about you the timeline goes nuts, so aren’t you used to having been considered the hot guy throughout your life?

No. I was actually picked on as a kid. I guess in high school it started to change for me. I guess being picked on made a lasting impression on me so I never⎯whenever somebody calls me handsome or anything like that I never take it for granted. I appreciate it every time I hear it so it’s never something that gets old.

Why did people pick on you?

Because I was dark-skinned, my last name, I always used to smile a lot⎯stuff like that. Really, the same things that they picked on me for are⎯I guess it kind of evolved into something that makes me popular.

That’s crazy. But at this point, you must have been in situations where girls who picked on you or turned you down saw you later on in life and they were like, “Wow,” and probably tried to get with you, right?

Definitely, that’s the best thing, though [laughs]. And I never hold grudges either so if it’s right then it’s right. I don’t look at them and laugh in their face like look at me now, it’s never like that but I might bring up the fact, remember when you used to pick on me but it’s cool.

What keeps you so humble?

My family and my friends. My parents always taught me never to take anything for granted because it can be taken away from you like that, especially when it comes to looks. I could get into a car crash tomorrow and disfigure my face. So I have to stay grounded.

What advice would you have now for someone who’s in the position you used to be in as far as getting teased?

You gotta do you. You have to develop a thick skin because that will take you through. Opinions are like assholes everyone’s got one so you can’t really⎯I know it’s hard. I was gonna say you can’t let people affect you but it’s all about developing that thick skin. For every person that doesn’t like you there’s gonna be somebody who does.

Back to your Stans, what’s one of the craziest things a woman has done to profess her love for you?

[Laughs] I’ve had people deliver panties to my hotel room. They left it at the concierge with a phone number. I’ve had crazy things happen to me but that’s something that I remember.