MIAMI — “I don’t date, I’m too awesome to commit to someone.” Tina White giggles when I ask if she’s seeing someone. “Also, it’s just tacky,” she adds, with her infectious, bubbly flair.
Tina White is the latest addition to the South Beach social roster to hit the nightclub scene. But, unlike her counterparts, socialites who tend to park themselves at a table in a nightclub, sipping vodka Redbulls with an air of arrogance and a holier then thou attitude, Tina is anything but dull and pretentious. She initially struck my interest after I kept hearing her distinct, yet rather fitting name, over the past couple of weeks. I was curious to finally meet the girl who was having multiple parties held in her honor in clubs like Rokbar and Coco De Ville.
Her choice in attire alone would set her apart from others. Dressed in cowboy boots, mini jean skirt and a white undershirt, she toys with her appearance, staying in character on this exceptionally brutal Miami summer day. It’s refreshing to have someone like White join nightclub scene. The usual night crawling patrons of South Beach tend to take themselves too seriously at times, as if being out and about and taking multiple Patron shots are a chore. White plays up the fact that she, herself, at times can be tacky as well.
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ms. Tina White on one particularly unbearable hot and humid mid-afternoon June day, the kind of day that Miami summers are notorious for. I arrive early, and in typical South Beach time, White arrives 15 minutes late. She’s quick to apologize and then goes on to say how she had a ridiculously late night the night before — such a late night that White confessed she had contemplated rescheduling our initial meeting.
White takes a deep breath in and settles into one of the wicker chairs in The Standard Hotel lobby. As she begins to play with her long blond hair, I glance around the almost vacant lobby, and see that the few people scattered about on lap tops, or reading the news paper have all taken notice of Ms. Tina White’s entrance. She’s hard to miss after the way she strutted into the somber lobby.
White starts off the conversation by informing me that she just recently got back from two weeks in Bali and is already planning her “Welcome Back” party at Rokbar.
“Must be nice,” I add and politely inquire exactly how she’s able to bankroll this rather luxurious lifestyle. White states that her profession is solely “being awesome. Being your friend, and maybe making you blond.” I cock my head to the side as I listen to her explanation of her self-employment, and wonder if she puts that on her W-9 forms. White’s quick to catch on that “being awesome” doesn’t really answer my question or pay for a first class ticket to Bali and clears it up that she earned her money the old fashion American way: by way of a lawsuit.
White goes on to tell me that she thanks her carefree nomadic lifestyle to a tragic slip and fall at The Cheesecake Factory. It’s hard to keep a straight face when she talks. Her valley girl dialect, and demeanor makes her all the more interesting and exactly what got people talking in the first place.
“What? They have a really good salad there!” She smirks with her big green eyes defending her choice in cuisine. White’s outlandish, attention getting outfit can’t detract from her delicate facial features. She plays on the fact that she’s the ultimate blonde and has no shame saying she admires Paris Hilton. But unlike her idol, White does not have the traditional pedigree of a socialite party girl, as her money came quickly. Despite that minor difference, she’s quickly on her way to branding herself, taking a page straight from the foolproof formula of being the ultimate socialite. With such an entrepreneurial spirit and a lot of buzz going around about her, investors are naturally taking notice on her budding popularity. White has a perfume coming out hopefully by the end of summer appropriately called Scentimasea. The next step of the natural progression in the evolution of a socialite is to release a club song. Not surprisingly, White already is planning studio time to record and then release the ultimate club anthem. I assume the only thing that won’t follow, in contrast to other successful peers before her, is the sex tape.
White’s a character she created to be carefree, and over the top. In this day and age of over night celebrity, it’s evident that White’s in on the joke the whole time and seeing just how far she can take it.
“Things just happen to me cause I’m happy.” White says coyly as she reacts to the sudden influx of the success of her popularity and increasing career opportunities. It’s this particular attitude that has become the “Tina White” mentality in which she hopes others can adopt.
White was born and raised on South Beach and is quick to tell me that she’ll always represent the Beach, no matter where she goes. She currently resides in the Flamingo apartment complex, in the center tower. A perfect fit for White since that particular complex is known as a non-stop party for singles, the equivalent of a college dormitory that caters to the single scene on South Beach, with a bar located inside the lagoon-like pool. The Flamingo is the perfect place for White to live, as she had told me earlier that she vows to perpetually stay single. White reveals that she was born on Valentine’s Day, and that she “loves everyone and everything’ and intends to remain twenty-two years old until she’s ready to hang up her blond wig and boots.
“So Tina White ages?” I ask, slightly confused, making sure I heard her correctly about never growing another year older or wiser.
“Only indirectly,” she somewhat clarifies. It’s details like these that only adds to White’s cartoonish image, and puts her in “The Simpson’s” category of never getting older. A joke amongst South Beach residents is that a majority of them suffer from The Peter Pan Syndrome, where no one ever grows up in this youth obsessed society.
In contrast to her appearance, White’s background is rather tame. She’s a hundred percent American and used to be an Evangelist Christian, but as she puts it, “that didn’t work out for me.” Now she finds herself religiously hosting “moving” parties held in her honor, which aren’t just limited to South Beach anymore. Like her relationship status, she’s never committed to a particular club. Friends and fans have to follow her on Facebook and twitter to find out the next venue she’ll be at.
Hint: White now has her sights set on a Downtown club/lounge “Vagabond’ which is notorious for being a hipster safe haven. She’s aiming to host Saturday night parties there, appropriately called “Tine White Pageant.”
“Glitz , glamour, the works,” she adds.
The goals for her are simple: Her party nights are to encourage others to “Let go, have fun, and leave your egos at the door.” It’s the concept behind “Tina can be anyone.”
In a place where people tend to take themselves too seriously when they go out, Tina is selling a good time: she shows up to the festivities armed with blond wigs and boas to throw around like Mardi Gras beads on anybody who happens to sit down at her booth. In order to befriend Tina, all that is required is for that person ‘to be nice.’ Listening to her, I wouldn’t be surprised if she considered her good deeds as philanthropic work.
White’s cartoonish image of over the top American Pride and blond ambition only adds to her appeal, making it almost trendy to be trashy in a completely humble and appealing way. She’s a more than welcome addition to the nightlife scene.
As the interview winds down, I notice out of the corner of my eye a gentleman making his way over to us, not surprising since he’s been eying White for the past 45 minutes. He promptly sits next to White and spills over into her chair. “Is this some sort of casting call?” he asks, only addressing White, oblivious to the fact that he’s interrupting.
White casually shakes her head no, and begins playing with her hair, without ever making eye contact to the slender gentlemen. He’s presumably in his mid-forties and dressed in a white tank top and bright board shorts. He introduces himself as Mark, and tells her that he is an artist on the Beach. After a slightly cold reception from us, Mark takes off, but not before handing out his business cards. As he makes his way through the lobby door, White’s friend, who accompanied her on the interview, asks Mark how he would describe Tina. Mark turns around, looks at White one more time, and quickly replies, “inspirational.”
A rather unique and perfect description for the blond party princess making her distinct mark on the Beach.