“I have a 50-pound hiking backpack and my normal little backpack, and that’s it. That’s everything.” To call September 2017 Jessica Wall
a low–maintenance woman is an understatement. The eldest of six kids (“I’m great at sharing rooms with people,” she says), Jessica can also do a great deal of actual maintenance, thanks in part to her contractor dad. “I grew up working for him. I can paint a straight line with both hands,” she says. “I know how to drywall and mud, all that stuff.” Perhaps that’s why the all-American beauty—whose lush brows and aqua-green gaze bring to mind a young Brooke Shields—has a raw, unfussy appeal. She’s not afraid to get her hands dirty.
Jessica’s passion for paint goes far beyond the hardware store. “I’m in love with oil paints,” she says. “Art is an expression of emotion, and we all have a visceral connection to color. I think my hands covered in paint is one of my favorite things.” Another favorite? Learning. “Do you want to teach me how to box? Rock climb? Cook something? I’m a sponge.” Growing up, Jessica didn’t have big dreams of being a model, but her fifth-grade teacher’s wife was represented by Ford Models and recommended she visit their office. “I’m from the Midwest, so I was like, ‘Ford? The car company?’ I walked in, the agent took a picture of me, and five minutes later I had a contract.” The nomadic life of a model suits Jessica’s up-for-anything attitude. “I meet people walking down the street, on trains, in Ubers. If you come up to me, my reaction is ‘Tell me your story. Where are you from? Tell me everything.’ I want to connect with other human beings. Let’s enjoy life.”
Perhaps that’s why Jessica has never needed to use a dating app. For her, it’s pretty simple: “Say hi to me. Just start a conversation!” She’ll give anyone a fair shot—as long as you know how to kiss. “Nothing is happening past there. Can you talk? Do you understand hygiene? Can you kiss? Okay, let’s go.”
Phrases like salt of the earth come to mind when describing Jessica, but she doesn’t much concern herself with others’ opinions. “I don’t really gauge myself by what other people think of me. I don’t have time for fake stuff in my life. I’ve seen too much real life.”