The Face Diva
Introducing Legndary Jaimee Balenciaga - The Face Diva.....Learn my history and make it your own. Create like a Goddess, command like a Queen, work like a Mother! There will never be another!
My first ball I ever went to was at the end of 1995 at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark NJ…..
I will never forget the day I met Bernie Jourdan and he wanted me to become a Jourdan. I had no idea where I was at or what I was watching. All I remember is everyone telling me I had face. It then took about another 6-8 months for me to go to another ball. At that point I saw the competition and thought to myself ”I can do that!” that’s when Jaimee Jourdan was born. My first ball I walked was the Fire Ball in Newark NJ. I will never forget how wild the crowd went when I came out. I lost by one vote that night and then someone told me it was because I was painted like a drag queen. I was still a little confused. But very determined I kept going. I continued to walk balls but unpainted and still did not receive any life. At the time I was finding myself as well. I was then taught how to sell my face by Legendary Raymond, Ebony, and Bernie Jourdan. It wasn’t until 1997 when they had women’s face in all white with dramatic paint is when I got my break. It was at the legendary Marc Ballroom and Legendary Reality Jourdan painted my face. I will never forget looking in the mirror and thinking wow thats me? It gave me the confidence I needed and it was almost like someone else walking. It was an outer body experience. From watching legendary fem queens such as Danielle Revlon, Octavia St Laurent and Alyssa St. Clair, I sold my face like no other woman had. That’s when I emerged into a whole another person. Danielle Revlon was on the panel that night and stood on her feet for me. I had arrived. After that I wanted to walk every ball and which I proceeded to or almost every ball. I started winning several balls but yet no one knew my name. Legendary Eriq Christian Bizarre use to call me Vanessa (lol). I recall at one ball I went up to him and said hey thats not my name and replied “I’m sorry doll baby”. We had a brief discussion and we exchanged numbers and eventually emails. Eriq played a major part in bringing my confidence level up. He would send me little emails saying how well I did and if I lost to pay it and keep going and make the girls know it. I started getting more and more known all over. I was the girl to beat!
I had so much confidence by this time and been around the girls for a while I even played with women’s performance at the house of Khan Ball in DC 1999. I had won women’s face of the year about 5 years in a row by 2001 and Eric named me legendary. I became very dedicated to my house and the scene so much so Legendary Bernie Jourdan gave me the opportunity to become mother of the house of Jourdan in Dec 2001. Although I shared the position, I was honored and of course took the opportunity. By spring of 2002 I was ready to be a full time mother and hold my own. I ran my course with the House of Jourdan an was given an opportunity for the then ready to debut House of Balenciaga. I did not join when they first debuted that spring at the Milan Ball in Atlanta, April 2002. I still walked as a Jourdan and explored to another category – Women’s foot and eyewear. I was the first female figure to wear Giuseppe Zanotti pumps at a ball. I was ready to move forward and did so by revealing myself that summer July 2002 at the Revlon Ball as the NJ Mother – Jaimee Balenciaga. The Face Diva had emerged.
I started walking other categories more often. With my fire engine red hair, I took myself to the next level,and won Women’s Face for $250 and FF Foot and Eyewear for $250 that following year at the Legends Ball. I showed the girls I was really here to stay and I wasn’t going anywhere. I became a chameleon. I had a new look at every other ball. That year at the NY Awards Ball I had won Women’s face 7 years in a row and I was the first woman to win Mother of the Year, while bringing home 5 awards in total. I continued to walk face, foot and eyewear, and in 2006 I walked Women’s Sex Siren (Evisu Ball, NYC) and Best Dressed (Icon Ball, Atlanta). This was a first time for both and won at each function. I even played with beginners runway at a mini ball at Esquiletas in NYC. I was becoming an all around woman. By now, I was known from state to state, still winning categories and breaking new ground.
I started to get bored, become stagnate, and started to think there was no where else for me to to go. In 2007 I was introduced to the Women, Butch and Transmen (FTM) scene which was and still is in its baby stage. I was intrigued on how they were trying to imitate what the major ballroom scene was doing, while creating their own. I thought it was a wonderful thing that was going on. The women and butches only have about 3-5 categories at a ball and now that transmen had emerged we needed and wanted more. I helped teach the women, butch, and transmen how to walk balls and ways to create a house. I took everything I learned and relayed it to them. I finally found a way to give back! The new scene is still going strong and we are trying to create ways to bridge the gaps between both scenes, since we all have one common ground – walking balls. While doing this venture I still continued to walk balls and continue my legacy.
I made a drastic change in March of 2008 by cutting my hair. I revealed my new look at the Capital Awards Ball in DC . I walked and won FF Face for $500. Although I do not walk as much as I did, I continue to strive and educate the new generation in what it means to be part of the ballroom scene. I have beaten FQ, Drag Queens, and Butch Queens. I don’t believe I have ever walked against any butches. I have done what no other women has done in the ballroom scene, which is consistency. I decided to even take my knowledge and confidence that I gained in the ballroom scene and take it even a step further by creating my own talk show. The talk is called The Bitter Sweet Show and it focuses on the LGBTQ community. I have learned by growing up (I say “growing up” because I have been in the scene for about 13 years) in the ballroom scene that life is not always sweet and if you can make it through the bitter, you will succeed in anything you put your heart to. So many people have negative things to say about the ballroom scene but I am a true believer of the positive things it can do for you. Especially being around people of different cultures, social backgrounds, and sexuality. I have put The Bitter Sweet Show together myself with the help of a great support team to give the community something of our own. I will continue to still build my craft and create my legacy, while teaching others. The Legendary Jaimee Balenciaga……The Face Diva, will be remembered for generations to come.
I have a couple of dozen house kids
I have 14 gay kids
My father Icon James Icon
My mother Legendary Ayana Khan
My Husband Icon Jamal Milan and Legendary Mann Prodigy (yes I have 2 lol)
I also appeared in the documentary How Do I Look
You can find my talk show at Youtube.com/BitterSweetShow