2014 50 Most Beautiful

8. Vicky Vadlamani
Hometown: 
Princeton, N.J.
Age: 
29
Relationship Status: 
Live-in boyfriend
Party Affiliation: 
Democratic

Vicky Vadlamani grew up thinking of herself as a talented singer. But while trying out for the school chorus in the fifth grade, she had a rude awakening: She wasn’t. Unlike many hopeful songstresses, though, it’s officially documented in her medical files. 

During the audition, the music director began playing scales on the piano, asking the kids to match each note.

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“She looks at me funny the whole time,” Vadlamani recalls. “I think I'm killing it, absolutely killing it.”

After the audition, the pianist quickly scribbled a note to the school nurse, who sent the perplexed student home. Vadlamani had an emergency visit to the doctor and rounds of tests. 

“This haunts me wherever I go,” she says. “In my records, it says: ‘certified tone deaf.’ ” 

But it hasn’t stopped her from belting out tunes in the car with her boyfriend or attempting karaoke.

In fact, at the mic she prefers rapper Ja Rule (because he’s “got that raspy [voice] thing that I think I can match.”), Salt-N-Pepa and other ’90s rap classics.  

In terms of beauty tips, Vadlamani only has one underlying rule: everything in moderation.

Though the New Jersey native has two jobs — as a vice president at public affairs firm Mercury and as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University — she has learned the hard way not to stretch herself too thin.  

“I've tried doing like, the diet thing and the over-exercise thing. It just doesn't work., it's not realistic,” she says. “Eat what you feel like eating, drink what you want to drink, but don't go overboard.”

Now, Vadlamani has found a balance in her life, but she recalls a time when she let her ambition get ahead of her: One year, she ran seven marathons. 

“Don’t run seven marathons. It ruins your knees,” she says, pausing for a beat before adding, “and your social life.”

— Megan R. Wilson

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