Joey Mead King Reminisces the Best and Worst of the '90s in Tell-All Book

joey mead king
PHOTO Courtesy of Summit Books ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

( Countless op-eds have been written on why the 1990s was the best decade ever. The New York Times writer Kurt Andersen, for example, pointed out that "nostalgia for the era in which you were young is almost inevitable," citing how people born between 1970 and 1990 often wax poetic about happy memories in their youth. For Filipino supermodel Joey Mead King, the '90s marked some of the biggest milestones in her life: finding independence, starting a career in fashion, and making a name for herself as a television personality. These and more are found in her newly released memoir, Runaway Model. It is co-authored by Lara Parpan and is published by Summit Books.

joey mead
Joey Mead King was the first Filipina VJ for Channel V Asia.
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Summit Books/Joey Mead King

"I had diaries from 1988. So, I had to go back into these diaries of 1988, '89, and it was just fascinating to get back into the mind of an early 20-year-old and how fearless, how silly I was then. I actually appreciated it because everything seems so boundless to me at that time. I guess I missed that way of feeling and living because as time goes on we get a little jaded, we get cautious. There are more rules and boundaries in our lives, but there's none of that. So those were happy moments of being boundaryless and going out into the world with my Doc Martens and seizing the day come what may. That fearlessness of a young woman," Mead tells Summit Media in an online press conference.

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In the third chapter of Runaway Model, Mead looks back at this fearlessness in her at the age of 15 when she decided to stay in Manila and "[jump] on the chance to be 3,600 miles away from [her mother]." She eventually landed her first-ever TV commercial, booked lifestyle shoots for print ads, and posed for cover photos of glossy magazines. You probably saw her on television as a Channel V VJ if you're a '90s kid yourself.

joey mead king and francis magalona
Interviewing Francis Magalona back in the day
PHOTO BY Courtesy of Summit Books/Joey Mead King

"Everything was just so simplified. Angie and I have been watching Die Hard. I've been looking for like '90s sitcoms. I mean, I've watched Friends like twice already. This era, I really miss it. I would not mind getting into a time machine and getting back to the '90s. I would like to go back to '96, '97. I'm good with those years. If it's the 2000s, I'll go to 2006, that's when I met Angie. But the '90s, the best time. And then phones just started. It's just simpler times," recalls Mead when asked about what she misses most about the decade.

But it's not all sunshine and rainbows in her memoir. Mead also picks the scab of her past, including untold tales of neglect and abuse, rollercoasters of grief and loss, and being at the mercy of public scrutiny. “May you learn from the highs and lows of my life and be enlightened by this present moment,” she scribbles in the book’s afterword while "taking refuge in nature's healing" with her wife at their family farm.


Runaway Model (Summit Books, 2021) by Joey Mead King is available on Lazada and Shopee and at major bookstores nationwide for P495.

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