Kiyah Wright’s feeling pretty good these days.
The celebrity hairstylist, who stars alongside her three close friends—life coach Bershan Shaw, philanthropist Tiffany Jones and actress and photographer Chenoa Maxwell–in the OWN docu-series “Love in the City,” is fine with how she’s being portrayed on the new reality series.
"Most people who do shows they don't feel as good. There are a lot of things that go wrong, incidents they weren't happy with or they weren't proud with who they showed up as," Wright says.
On "Love in the City" Wright shows up only as she can. She's pretty much straight to the point about what she wants out of life, especially when it comes to starting a family. Wright, who turned 40 last year, is feeling the pressure of her ticking biological clock.
"I'm looking for a baby daddy and not a husband first. It's so whack, I've got it all twisted around…I have to be a mom. I have to be a mom," the two-time Emmy Award-winner confessed in one episode. We do see Wright, who moved to New York from Los Angeles during the first episodes, maintaining a long-distance relationship with her 27-year-old Armenian boyfriend.
XFINITY spoke with Wright who talked about how “Love in the City” came together, why chivalry isn’t dead and her quest to be the Paul Mitchell of textured hair care.
“Love in the City” airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. EST on OWN. Watch it here.
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Do you have any concerns about how you’re being perceived on the show?
I didn't feel in anyway violated at all. I really do speak from the truth. I'm not a girl who has a lot of filters. I kind of tell it like it is. Whether it's good or bad, it's coming from a good place. I was a part of influencing who got to be on the show. Another friend of ours is married to the producer asked me who else should be included. I was like, of course, Chenoa, and I told her about Bershan. She thought of Tiffany, who I've been friends with for a long time. I knew these were the girls I wanted to be around. These are the girls I don't have to worry about filters and I can be myself.
One truth you revealed right away is that your desire to have a child trumps your desire to be married.
For me, of course, I would want to have the father be in the kid's life. I wouldn't want to raise a son without a dad and be like I can do this alone. But, be clear that I do want children. It really is my first choice to be with a partner and we can raise a child together and have a happy life. Who needs another broken up black family? Who needs it? We don't need that. But if that partnership doesn't happen, I really don't want to play around. I don't really want to adopt. If I meet a guy and it works and he seems like he'll make a great dad, I'm Ok with it, let's go. I'm going to aim for it to work out. But if it doesn't, I'm not going to be with somebody for the sake of anything, I'm going to be like, let's move on. I know what my goal is and now my goal is having a family.
Are you still considering your 27-year-old boyfriend?
You know what the good thing about him is? He's just a really good guy. He's younger, but he is mature and responsible. He's not from this country, he's Russian and Armenian and is chivalrous. And they're different in many ways. They believe in taking care of their wives, their mothers, their girlfriends. American men are just different. They've forgotten a lot about chivalry. I need a man to chivalrous and take me out and be considerate, send me flowers, say congratulations and be supportive. I need that.
I’ve heard some men say that today’s woman doesn’t want that and that she wants to wear the pants, so to speak.
Oh no, no, I don't want to wear the pants. I've been wearing the pants my whole goddamn life. I'm tired. I want to be swooned and picked up and have my back and feet rubbed. I want you to love me and love on me. I've had to compromise a lot of that trying to be strong and trying to be on my game career wise. I've had to push a lot of things to the side for this career that I chose.
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You've done well with that and for the record, you look a lot younger than 40. It seems that age is just a number.
Thank you, but you know when you're trying to get a man, honey… It's something about young that really does work. There really is. It may seem like that it doesn't matter but it does. Age does matter. I haven't really experienced it yet but a part of it is that you really do feel it in your body. That's like the first, first thing. You feel the uncomfortableness in your body, for sure. And then you start to realize who the boys are looking at. The men my age who are single they are kind of want to go younger. And the women are going younger, too. If we're single and 40, we're going young. I cannot stop the young bucks from trying talk to me. They love me. I'm a young man magnet. I'm like please, get out of here. It's awesome, it's cool, it's fun. But you know what? It is rewarding but it's too much of a gamble because you don't know which way it'll turn. You don't know if he's going to be successful or if he's going to end up being a loser. You have to teach him so much along the way unless you get a really mature younger man.
I'm a relationship girl. I like to be in relationships but I'm not desperate over it. And some women are. It's like they really need it. And I've never been that girl.
What do you hope to gain from moving to New York from LA?
I have no expectations. I like a little bit of the unexpected. I just expect this next chapter to consist of family, children, a partner and just some happiness. I've worked really hard and everyone who knows me knows that. I've done it and I have proven that I work hard and I come with my A-game, I'm responsible with my life, I'm considerate. So now I'm open to the possibilities of whatever New York has to give me.
Speaking of your hard work, tell me about your hair care business.
I’ve worked with everybody from Ciara, Gabrielle Union, Kerry Washington, Jill Scott, Nia Long and Amma Asante, who wrote and directed that new movie, “Belle.” Imaging is my thing and I love to work with new artists and talent. I’m building a Muze Hair empire. I love to be inspired, I love the salon. I love the everyday women, that’s really my niche. But I also have this celebrity career lifestyle because I’m also building my brand, Muze Hair Brand. That’s a product line for curly, kinky, textured, wavy hair and anything in between. That line will consist of hair products, hair solutions, tips, videos, hot tools, extensions and wigs. So that’s my goal: To be the Paul Mitchell of textured hair care. That’s all I’m dreaming to be. Muze Hair is everything to me. We don’t have a Paul Mitchell for textured hair care and I can’t seem to understand why not. Why don’t we have a Paul Mtichell, a John Frieda, a Mario Tricoci, a Frederic Fekkai, a Warren Tricomi—why don’t we have that? In our whole genre of hair care we don’t have that. That’s nuts to me.
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Read XFINITY’s interview with “Love in the City” castmate Chenoa Maxwell here.