Sean Malcolm has mastered the balance and technique of seeing beyond the beauty and body of a woman. The Flatbush, Brooklyn native holds a key that thousands of men would love to borrow. Holding down KING Magazine since ’02 as Editor-in-Chief is definitely an accomplishment. Having worked with vixens such as Melyssa Ford, Esther Baxter and Buffy the Body, he admits that he’s seen it all and confesses that he is jaded by it. “Dealing with females was my forte,” says Sean. After my King experience with him, I can say I agree. -Mashonda
MASHONDA: How did you end up at KING?
SEAN: Early 2002. I looked at internships at all the magazines that I grew up with, including Vibe and XXL, but they weren’t responding to my emails. I ended up at a magazine stand and picked up the then, second issue of KING Magazine with Gabrielle Union on the cover. I emailed them my clips and portfolio and had an interview with Datwon Thomas and Patricia de Luca, who was the first managing editor. I didn’t have any published work, so I came to my interview with A-graded papers from college. When Datwon and I had our conversation, we realized that we had the same path. He had gone to Baruch College, and I was an undergrad there; he was involved with the radio station there as was I. He was already feeling me at that point. The rest was history.
How do you feel about butt enhancements?
I think it’s very unfortunate that young women have to go that route in order to be seen or to get attention. They may have daddy issues or big insecurities. I recently met a potential model, she showed me her website and I could clearly see the difference from her old pictures and what she looks like now. She obviously had done some shots. I asked, ‘Why did you do that to yourself?’ Her response was simply, ‘I’m trying to stand out from everyone else.’ With what she just did, she locked herself in with everyone else. On top of that, when you are doing booty shots, it’s very dangerous. It’s not like breast implants where it’s in a baggie, and it doesn’t leak; you’re putting silicone on top of muscle. It’s not safe and after a while it seeps down.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen?
The craziest thing that involved KING was during a cover shoot. A cover girl got silicone booty shots hours before the shoot. During the setup, she laid on her stomach the entire time. No one understood why until it was time for her to shoot. When it came time to take her pictures, she wasn’t flexing or doing back shots. You would see the blood and the silicone seeping out of her buttocks. I saw the untouched pictures, and it’s the craziest thing I’ve heard a woman go through to be on the cover of a magazine. If you saw those pictures, you would throw up.
What do you look for in your model castings? What has to be a certain way?
Well, it’s really whatever strikes my interest. It’s not even physically; you have to know how to take a picture. I mean we’re selling sex. We might not be selling as much sex as Hugh Hefner, but were selling sex. If you cannot take a good picture that gives off that sexy sultriness, I can’t really rock with you, no matter how bad your body is.
If you had a conversation with Hugh Hefner, what would be the first thing you’d say to him?
I would want to know the infrastructure of his empire. I could care less about the girls that he’s had sex with. That doesn’t mean anything to me. He had an idea, he had a concept, he started it and through his perseverance and hard work, he made it grow to the empire that it is right now. I would want to learn how he built that. Trust me, the girls aren’t going anywhere. The money, the longevity and the notoriety, that’s what I’m out for.
Being that you lead a men’s magazine, what kind of trouble comes your way in your relationships?
I’ve been lucky enough that when I have been in relationships while doing this job, I haven’t met insecure women that are jealous of big booties and big breasts. If they’ve been insecure about anything, it’s been that I’m too focused on my job, and I don’t give them that much time. My ex’s feel they were the mistress and my job was the girlfriend.
Does your girlfriend have to look like a KING model ?
I’m pretty jaded by that look. Don’t get me wrong, I still have to be attracted to you, but you don’t have to be a Coca-Cola shape. It’s really all about the vibe that I get with you and the conversation that I have with you. I’m really big on the energy. If the energy is not there, then it’s not going to work out. You can be the baddest girl.
What’s the fear of the Black body?
Black women are more curvaceous than the average white woman, and that’s why you see more white women trying to get more Black features. Big butts, big lips, big breasts, you name it. I feel that the fear of Black beauty is why they shun it so much. You have curvy white women like Pamela Anderson, Scarlett Johansson, and it will be celebrated and [called] beautiful. Where you’ll have a curvy black woman who has the same type of poise and she gets labeled as “slutty.” I have a very big problem with that. That is a con that you will be stuck in a box that you are trying to get out of. And the colored women like Halle Berry and Zoe Zaldana who are huge in Hollywood don’t have the traditional black female bodies. I feel that’s why they are accepted.
Describe your perfect date.
I don’t care much about location, I could care less about food. As long as it involves thought provoking conversation then I’m good. If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in this business is that communication is important. The baddest women, once they open their mouths you realize that they have nothing going on for themselves. I’ve learned to appreciate the personality more than the physical.
In January when my manager sent me the email that KING Magazine wanted to shoot me for the cover I didn’t know what to think. My team assured me that the editor only wanted to display me as a resilient, beautiful, so I accepted. I was so curious to meet the man that requested me, the one with the vision.
When Sean strolled in with his red and black plaid shirt I would’ve never thought it was him. He was so chill, so humble. Sean Malcolm was as professional and debonair as they come. A real gentleman. A King of KING.
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