Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 14th 2014 Contents The event showcased sexy
and confident models of
Caribbean Plus Size Fashion
Week, both local and interna-
tional fashion models com-
peted in the competition,
they wore fashion pieces
from different local, regional
and international designers. I
had the pleasure of interview-
ing this 'newbie' to this plus
size modeling fashion world,
read what she has to say:-
KM:Tell us who you are, how
was your experience from the
show (are you a contracted
LH: Hi, before I respond I just
want to thank you for this op-
portunity to be interviewed.
Not many columnists place any
focus on this very established
corner of the fashion industry.
My name is La Tosha Emmanuelle Clarisse Hart and I
recently won the Plus Model of The World Contest.
Well I was actually born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA but I
was raised in the beautiful San Fernando, Pleasantville
to be exact. I love good food and good music; I've done
some vocal training as I love singing and I possess an
Associate of Science Degree in Culinary Arts. I also
love dabbling in makeup and spreading the message
of body love and positivity. I'm an unsigned model;
this CFPW was my entrance into the world of model-
ling. It was such a rush and such a whirlwind of an
experience. I'm sure you know a lot of work goes
into these shows from learning to walk and pose
and quick change all the way to the lighting and
runway setup and photography; it really isn't as
simple as it seems. The CFPW committee and
models worked really hard for months to put to-
gether these shows and the shows were really
lovely. We hope to have a lot more people in attendance next
KM:As the winner of your title, you've inspired a lot of women to feel good
about their bodies. How do you feel?
LH: I feel awesome and extremely blessed (and still a little shell-shocked).
I'm so very new at all of this so just being a part of this Caribbean Fashion Plus
Week 2014 and working with Carivog was an experience of a lifetime. To win
on top of that was just amahhhhzing, LOL!!!!!
KM:Do you think the high fashion industry has changed its views on fuller
LH: I think some fashion houses have more than accepted fuller figures. But
the high fashion houses are really phoning it in, like maybe using a little bigger
than model size celebrity woman in a show. Seeing the likes of Denise Bidot
and Tara Lynn walk in NYFW 2014, and entire plus size castings rather than
one random fuller figured woman was so groundbreaking and gave new life to
those who are fighting for our voices to be heard and bodies to be dressed just
as well as straight sized ladies. High fashion should take notes.
LH: Do you think there is still a way to go before the industry sees healthier,
fuller figures as beautiful?
KM:Yes! Each group uses the other as an excuse as to why plus models are
lacking in the spotlight and why we are often not seen as beautiful. The fash-
ion industry says straight, hanger-like women show their designs better, the
public isn't ready for plus sized ladies and no retailers are willing to carry their
plus sized designs. The retailers say plus sized women don't spend money on
fashion and that designers aren't meeting consumer demand. We have proven
in the very recent past that once designed well, fuller figured women can show
pieces just as well and we do spend a lot of coin on fashionable clothing. The
battle between designers and retailers is the next frontier, but thankfully we
are seeing many fashion forward designers making collections solely for the
curvaceous woman because they see beauty in us and not the backhanded
opinion "you're pretty for a thickie". I just want to add that I am not bashing
straight-sized women in the least; I am all about body positivity at any size.
LH: Do you consider yourself a role model? Who's your role model?
KM:Hmmmm, that's a tough one for me. I'm sure some may find me to be a
role model but I wouldn't necessarily put myself
in that box. Often times the vast majority of
people don't understand that as much as some-
one might be a public figure, that person is still
just a human being just like any of us, prone to
mistakes and maybe some regrets. I try to live
right in the eyes of God and do my absolute best
and those times where I stumble and fall, pick my-
self up and try again. My role models are my par-
ents, raising five children was not easy but they
made it look like a cakewalk. They are very encour-
aging and supporting but resolute in their beliefs of
lifestyle and education; not too proud to admit
where they may have been wrong. They aren't per-
fect but it's the imperfections that taught me hu-
manity. I definitely would not be here if not for my
LH: Are you body confident? Do you have any tips
for women who might not feel as comfortable in
their own skin?
KM:Like some, most days I am confident. There are
days when I look at myself and say "Oooh I wish my
tummy was as flat as before or my legs were a little
smaller." But I've come to realise I can't make any
progress about myself if I keep self-denigrating. Loving
all of me as I am was the first step to making anything
happen in my life. If I hadn't self-affirmed that I am
beautiful inside and out, and that I can do anything I put
my mind to, I would not be speaking to you today. My
tips would be to love self-first and make a list of
changes you'd like to see in yourself, but really evaluate
which ones you are doing to better self and which ones
you are doing off of the opinions of others. The latter is
just as much none of their business as it is any of yours.
LH: If someone insults you, call you FATSO or rolly polly,
how would you feel or what will you say to them?
KM:Before I would have been so offended by any of
those "jibes" but now it perturbs me more that someone
would try to insult me by describing me. I'm fat; fat is a de-
scriptive word just like skinny is. I've learned, especially
within this last year and some, that insulting my physical
appearance shows vast insecurities on the insulter's part
and also exactly how low of an IQ he/she possesses if de-
scribing my looks is the only "weapon" in his/her arsenal.
KM:How did your life change after winning Plus Model of
LH: I've realised that my face is out there (a very grounding
moment), I've been recognised in public a couple of times,
something that is shocking to me. I haven't received any nega-
tivity so far but growing up with four siblings has thickened
my skin so I'm prepared for it if it comes a-knocking. I will say
that the win has really helped me on this journey I'm on. I've had
some low lows and deciding to pick myself up out of that, start all the way
over and accomplishing a milestone such as this, it truly is a blessing.
KM:Do you love plus size modelling? What do you expect from the industry
when it comes to plus modelling?
LH: I have to say it's an unexpected love. My parents have always told their
children how beautiful/handsome they are so I knew this from early on but
modelling? Who? Me? I remember my form 3 Chemistry teacher told me I was
so beautiful and that I should go up for Miss Universe (I was a whole lot
smaller then, lol). I blushed and shoved that thought in the recesses of my
mind. Now that I've succeeded at something many a person has been saying I
should do for so long, I'm not too big to say I was wrong. I just didn't think I
was model material. But again it's all about self-image and putting your mind
KM:Who are your favourite plus size models and why?
LH: Denise Bidot because she is so gorgeous and fearless and has worked so
hard in the plus size modelling arena for so long and to make it to NYFW after
all these years. Fluvia Lacerda, Nadia Aboulhosn, Renee Ambrose-Edwards and
Ophilia Alleyne, again gorgeous and curves for days! Renee and Ophilia I've ac-
tually met for CFPW. Renee actually walked in a fashion show hosted by DPE
Model Management which I attended earlier this year, Plus and Pearls: Gems
of the Eras. Having met those two, they just exuded so much enthusiasm for
life and confidence galore. They have such personality and beauty and brains. I
don't think they're even aware of the impact they've had on me. But they did
and Ophilia really encouraged me to continue modelling and for that I'm so
KM:Whats next for La Tosha Hart, the Plus Model of the World?
LH: I went to a post-mortem meeting for the event today and found out
with winning the competition I hold the title for the year until the next compe-
tition. I have to find out exactly what that entails for certain. I would like to
pursue it on a professional level. Right now I'm working on my portfolio and
more training in walking and posing.
10 Friday,November 14, 2014 • Issue 163
She's tall, loves to
cook and sing, very in-
telligent, blonde, con-
fident and the first
ever Plus Model of the
World, La Tosha Hart
is her name. Plus
Model of the World
Contest was held on
Saturday 25th October
, 2014 at Cascadia
Hotel, St. Anns.
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