Since the first season of Vh1?s Lala’s Full Court Life, Po Johnson has proven to be far more than just another reality star. When it comes to boundaries, she has none. Broadcasting her personal struggles with her father to undergoing plastic surgery, Po shares with Vixen that it’s important for her to inspire other women. “I publicize it all, because I know there is someone out there going through what I’m going through. I hope to inspire that person and have them face whatever is going on.” Sassy, sexy and every girls favorite wing (wo)man, it’s easy to follow the eccentric star on her journey to the top. As she preps for the new season of LaLa, and a new year ahead, Po Jo is taking everything to the next level. In a nestled midtown salon in NYC along with Po’s glam squad, celebrity stylist Troy Styles and makeup artist Shenelle Mays, we caught up with the reality star and the Eye For Design team, to discuss her brand new look, the decision to go under the knife, and she even spills the beans on her budding career and fresh love interest. I’m excited to watch this new look you’re going for! What’s going to change? I always have this platinum blonde hair because I just love blonde. But this color is softer and much more toned down. I’m used to not [like] being warm, because I’m very hard and aggressive, so this is exciting because it’s just so calm.
Photos by: Nichloas A. Nichols
That’s right, because when you first came on the scene you were really hard core and had this punk rock edge—but now you’re style has matured a lot. This has all been a really big learning process, but it’s also really cool because everybody gets to see me grow into whatever it is that I’m going to grow into; I get to watch it too. It’s a natural progression and it’s nothing forced about whatever it is that I’m turning into. I’m a crazy person, however there is a difference when there is an audience watching. And sometimes I have to learn that what I think is super cool and right just ain’t the best look. So when there’s a team involved you start to reevaluate things. So you’ve teamed up with Eye For Design Hair—are you prepping this look for the New Year and this season of LaLa Full Court? This look is because everything is about to go to the next level in regards to my career. There’s this season 4 of Lala that we’re about to start shooting, I got a new deal on the table that I do believe I’m going to sign and I have this huge deal with this DJ, that I can’t talk about yet. So I think each season from the Wedding special to the one we’re about to film now, each one of us, myself, Lala and Po, we’ve grown in front of you; career-wise, style-wise, and personality. I’ve went from having a blonde shag to getting a long blonde weave to getting a nose job. I don’t want to stay the same and keep showing people the same things. If anything I think it’s important that I share growth.
You do open up very publicly especially in private manners regarding your dad and the nose job. Was that difficult? I can’t front, opening up about my dad was harder than the nose job. That was a situation I was dealing with all of my life, and I wanted to inspire someone and show people that I’m going through this, then maybe it’s okay that others are. A lot of times we as black women ignore our daddy issues and say “fuck him.” But we really need our dads. I wanted someone to be inspired and reach out to their own fathers. Definitely. As you said a lot of what you show is something a lot of young women are going through. How did your father’s absence affect your self-esteem? I’ve never been the type of person to hide something. If I was feeling something or wanted to do something I want everybody to know because I want everyone’s opinion. I’m always that researcher asking everyone, because I never see anything wrong with how I felt. If I want a nose job, I don’t see anything wrong with that. Of course opinions may come and let’s just be all the way honest, the black community often frowns upon it.
What were some of your insecurities you battled with? One of my biggest insecurities growing up was my crooked teeth, which I got braces for, and my nose. I’ve always wanted to get my nose fixed, so when I had to the opportunity to do it, I wasn’t going to let anybody tell me otherwise. Not even my mother. She was one of the main advocates of saying, “you don’t need that, you’re beautiful.” I was like mom, come on. How do you feel about young girls getting butt implants and that type of surgery? I think that if it’s a decision that’s going to help you feel better about yourself moving forward, I think that you should do it—as long as you’re safe. There are a lot of procedures that women are getting that may not be the safest. And I would just hope and advocate for every woman to be smart doing so. I do believe that it can get a bit obnoxious, but do what works for you.
On a lighter note! You hashtag #Po Jo Loves You a lot in your tweets. Is this a new brand that you’re building? I started saying that because everyone I work with musically, and this producer specifically, calls me Po Jo. The whole idea behind it for me is just that I love to love. There are very few times where I feel ill-will towards anyone, and I think love, this is going to sound very cliche, overcomes all. Po Jo Loves You is just something I say to people that has turned into a brand. There are a couple of fashion things I have going on. I’m going to release my Po Jo loves you sweaters in a couple of months. And it’s just my gift to everyone from me saying, “I love you.”
So with the new season of Lala, what are some things we should expect to see from you? You guys are going to see a lot of my music stuff become official, a lot of career endeavors are happening. I have a new love interest. Finally! Are you in love? Finally, right! [laughs] You’ll have to find out. But also at the end of the season, God willing, I’ll be going on tour. Do you have any New Years resolution? I want to start paying my cell phone bill on time. And a big one is the tour that is about to happen. I also want to take my philanthropy to another level. I’ve been working with a few organizations, which I really hope to put them on my back; make whatever audience I do have become more aware. My biggest New Years resolution is to be considered an amateur boxer though! I train with Hollywood Hino and he’s always trying to get me to do golden gloves, so I want to become amateur.
You gotta watch for that new nose through girl! I know! That’s the problem, I don’t want to get punched in the nose. It’s absolutely not allowed right now. What products do you use to keep your hair and skin healthy looking? I do keep coconut oil in my hair. With blonde, you have to keep it moisturized and add some type of sheen to it. I work out a lot so I’ll wear a silk bandana unless I’m getting laid. I’m not the girl who has sex with a bandana on; I gotta give you a whole moment. And I live by Kiehls for my face, their midnight oil. I use Olay in the morning and scrub my whole body in Apricot scrub. This is going to sound extremely ghetto, but I put baby oil gel on my legs and then put tights on at night to keep my legs smooth. #WCW is popular. Who’s a girl crush of yours? You know what? It used to be Rihanna every single Wednesday, but it’s truly my girlfriend. I gotta be honest, I’m super obsessed with that girl. She’s super hot and she’s very intriguing and I’m always learning something new. You guys will see who she is this season.
Do we know her? No, she’s not a celeb or anything like that. I thought being on TV I would bag some celebrities but I haven’t. Nobody wants to mess around with Po Jo. Will we be getting more music from you soon? Absolutely! So many features and I seriously can’t believe what’s going on. The new single is coming out in February and it’s incredible, it’s called “Monsters.” So I’m excited! Flip the pages to check out more of Po