Danielle Scott hurries into La Colombe on Lafayette on a rainy, grey Tuesday afternoon. She folds her black umbrella that she took from her office and texts:

“Hello! I am here.”

After she is spotted, Scott heads over to the back corner table of the crowded café. She quickly grabs the stool and sits down. She smiles. She flips her wavy brunette hair to the right of her face. And as she apologizes for her slight tardiness, she adjusts her blue, pink floral dress and takes out a bottle of Poland Spring.

“I am no one to be nervous about,” Scott reassures.

When the 29-year-old is not writing for XOJane, Bustle, or Nerve, Scott is managing a creative company fulltime in Park Slope or crafting her soon-to-be-published nonfiction book about her insane dating experiences in New York City. But out of all her ridiculous stories she has lived to tell, there was one story the native New Yorker kept hidden until two years ago: her experience as one of the fashion, editorial contestant for The CW’s reality competition series, “Stylista”.

Even though Tyra Bank’s experimental reality show, an emulation of the movie “Devil Wears Prada”, was discontinued after one season in 2008, Scott’s scabs and wounds from her biting experience at “Stylista” were not so easily disposable.

In less than a month after she returned from filming “Stylista,” Scott had broken up with her boyfriend of four years, had quit her dead-end job as a retail manager, moved out of her parents’ house, and got counseling.

“I’m the type of person if I’m going to have a big change; I need a change of everything. And that is why it was all or nothing,” Scott said. “And it was easy.”

By the summer of 2008, she was out of a job, out of a relationship and out of a house. She was living on her friend’s couch, hanging out, partying, dating, and freelancing for magazines and Scott recalls that time to be liberating.

The months of filming at “Stylista” were definitely not Scott’s most memorable moments; however, she agreed that the experience did help her jump-start her life. Before “Stylista,” at the age of 22, she had left college, was back at her parent’s house, and didn’t know where her life was heading.

It was actually then when she was handed the opportunity to be in “Stylista.” Her boyfriend at that time was working in fashion and they were at a party during Fashion week. She recalled wearing a “$12 high-waisted black pencil skirt from H&M and a red top tucked it.” Scott said she believed it was her big, black-rimmed glasses that attracted the talent scout, Paul J. Medford, to her.

Back then, in 2008, the hipster-prescription-glasses look wasn’t a “thing on the street” yet.

“And he came up to me and I was like wow, this is a really cool experience. I just finished college. I didn’t know what I was going to do,” Scott said. “I think when you’re young and you have these opportunities, you have to just do them, ‘cause why not?”

Then after she made the call, Scott was on a flight to California sequestered in the hotel.

Scott said when looking back, she should’ve already been suspicious at the preliminary rounds. However the only time she felt like she was being squeezed into a typecast was when one of the casting directors, a beautiful, African-American, plus size woman named Monique came into her hotel room and said, “You have to represent all the women who look like us.”

But that was the only time she felt uneasy, which is weird now that she only thought about it then because during the auditions, she remembers it as one of the best moments of her life.

Despite the fact that the questions were getting really personal and Scott knew that the atmosphere of the dark, camera room was intentionally made to make the contestants uncomfortable, Scott was ready to blow the casting director’s mind.

“And I killed it. Seriously it went amazing. The more she asked me, the funnier I got… And people were like in stiches. And when I left, this gay guy stopped me, and said, ‘you made my day.’ It was amazing.”

 It wasn’t until the actual filming of “Stylista” began, when Scott stared to notice the craftsmanship of the show.

They were filming the first episode when Scott felt the first real pang of uneasiness. Joe Zee, the creative director of Elle magazine, was told in his earpiece to re-comment on Scott’s outfit, specifically including her plus-size figure.

However, it was the episode of Scott’s elimination when she smelled the malodorous reality of “Stylista.”

Scott never looked in the mirror and hated the way she looked. Even though she knew she did not fit the “standard” size of the girls that worked in the fashion industry, she was confident. But that wasn’t the role the producers had planned to dress Scott in.

The show writers and the producers were manipulating the episode into a story of how the “plus-side” contestant broke down after her experience in the fashion closet. But that wasn’t the full story.

While Scott was feeling terrible on the show because of gastric, stomach pains from a bad plate of sushi from the night before, the cameramen, story writers, and producers were taking every bits and pieces of Scott’s “bad” day to craft it into the story they had planned from episode one.

After she was eliminated, Scott wasn’t worried about her missed opportunity that “millions of girls would die for.” Instead she was scared of how her friends and family would watch the show and not recognize the girl on television. Her anxiety eventually led her to therapy.

Scott said it was ultimately “Stylista” that forced herself to accept herself quickly and to get comfortable in her own skin at a very young age.

“It is weird to say that I didn’t feel comfortable and yet I am saying they didn’t portray me accurately,” Scott said. “It was because I didn’t look in the mirror and say that I hated myself. There were just moments when I did and there were moments when I was just too dramatic about it.”

Scott was always happy and comfortable in her own skin. Like every girl in America, and like most of her fellow contestants in “Stylista,” she had days when she wanted to grab a salad and wasn’t satisfied with how she looked. However, she was not the girl that would cut a piece of fruit into tiny pieces just so she can look a certain way and be a certain size.

“I never grew up in the household where my mother ever made me feel bad about the way I looked and unfortunately a lot of women do.”

Scott said that after the reality show aired, her family and friends were amazing. Nobody said anything negative and instead, they showered her with encouragement and love.

“I am blessed to have an amazing family. Not everyone has that.”

It has been seven years since she stood in the dark room in front of the cameras, allowing the casting director to dress her into a role she did not fit into. Her style might have changed since she was 22-years-old, but she is still that girl that loves herself for who she is—whether she is a size 2 or a size 12.

“And if nothing came out of [the experience at Stylista], at least I have a story to tell,” Scott paused. “And that’s really what all writers need.”