Toccara Is Hot

A couple of days ago, flipping through different channels, with obviously nothing better to do, I stop at Bravo! (Watch What Happens!), and a marathon of the 3rd season of America's Next Top Model was viewing. I'm not a huge fan of the catty show, but I love models, so I watch it whenever it's on. The 3rd season is one of the favorites and it's probably one of the most watched since there was more ethnic diversity, which sounds pretty reasonable since Tyra Banks has an African American background, that's the least she could have done. I love watching the drama (isn't that where ratings come from? Isn't that the shenanigans that people want to see on T.V. anyways???) and the transformations the girls go throughout different photoshoots. That particular season was historical since they featured the first curvaceous and size "sexy" model named Toccara. There is something about that girl that attracts me tremendously, I'm not sure if it's her vivacious personality or sassy looks that calls my attention. I just feel she has that "it" factor that lead me to think she was going to be literally crown "America's Next Top Model" or "The Next Plus-Size Model", but I was wrong about the first one. 
As I kept watching, I perceived Toccara had to go through a lot more obstacles than the other girls. On the show she confessed that she had to excel in all the challenges they were throwing at her in order to be just in the same level as the other size 2 models. There was this challenge where they had to pose in front of this very luxurious red car dressed as a character and shoot again dressed as their alter ego or some sort like that. Most of the models went through it easily; posed, took a couple of shots and done. Toccara was a different story. The drama started in the dressing room, the stylist on duty kept complaining and bitching that there were no clothes that could fit her, which to me sounds utterly ridiculous, since they consciously knew a "plus-size" model was going to be doing that shoot, why couldn't they just get bigger clothes???, I didn't get it. Consequently, that lead to Toccara to raise her boiling points. The so-called stylist putted her in a get-up that looks more appropriate on a Home-Depot employee. She had a slouchy orange men's shirt, and some ill-fitting kaki pants, not hot. She went on, and took a couple of luke-warm shots next to the car, while holding the car keys, which at that moment made sense, they were trying to make her look like a chaffer or one of Queen Latiffa's movie roles where she plays a jail runaway and hijacks some rich woman's car, not tasteful. Toccara's face expressions did not showed any signs of fierceness, she looked pissed, almost about to cry. The photoshoot director did not look happy either, he kept continuously shouting commands at Toccara to change her poses and such. She was a trooper though, she stood her ground and rolled with the punches. Her next outfit looked more "Toccara". The look consisted of this shiny royal blue strapless gown with this blonde bob-like wig. The second looked seemed to fit more her character, it had this understated old-Hollywood glamour that radiates "Queen B". After the shoot, Toccara broke down and one of her fellow models pulled her aside to comfort her, she looked defeated and almost out of the show, luckily for her, the judges showed some mercy and Toccara stayed to live another day. 
ANTM does show some actuality, unlike those so called "reality" shows now-a-days, where almost everything is acted or scripted. I love how the show faces the girls with obstacles they might face in reality and Toccara was not an exception, the plus-size industry is not predominant but is emerging, I would love to see more size 10 women on editorials of French Vogue or even on the cover of Bazaar. I feel there is this hidden, behind closed-doors discriminative act that a lot of fashion insiders deny, but it's true. The fashion industry is not going to drastically change overnight but it can step by step. I loved the courage some Toccara when she mentioned she wanted to get more into high fashion, which might sound delusional at this moment but we might see a size 10 walking down a haute couture Chanel runway some day, you never know. 
It has been years since Toccara did that shoot, and I'm glad she has moved on her career to do bigger things. She has been in various covers such as Today's Black Women and Kinmagazine. She has also walked at multiple shows such as Celebrity Catwalk for Charity and she's a regular for BET's Rip The Runway fashion show, but to me, her most impressive body of work is her spread shot by Steven Meisel for Italian Vogue. The complete world went bananas for that issue, since it celebrated influential black models that have left their mark on the industry or that are currently making a lot of noise, below some pictures of the Italian Vogue spread and more. 

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