La Toya: Determined Survivor
La Toya warns all aspiring models to beware of sheisters in the industry. â€œI always had this problem where I wanted to be a model so badâ€”I would believe scouts, scams, or even people that walked up to me,â€? she recalls.
MODEL OF THE DAY
Where Sheâ€™s From: Aspiring model La Toya Monagas, 21-year-old Libra, was born premature, weighing only 3lbs and 2 oz in Elizabeth, New Jersey. â€œMy mother gave me the nickname I go by todayâ€”Lil Toy,â€? she tells The Black Star News. â€œMy family moved to Florida and I was raised in Carol City for 15 years. My mom always told me, â€˜If you want to soar like an eagle, donâ€™t flock with turkeys.â€™ My dad taught me that to get respect you need to give respect. And as Tyra Banks says â€˜You do not have to pay if someone wants your looks.â€™â€?
La Toya attended Hialeah High School and graduated in 2004. â€œI first started at Henry H. Filer Middle School by taking modeling classes at John Casablancas and then going on go-sees,â€? she adds. â€œThen when I saw they wanted more and more money, I didnâ€™t have it so I started venturing out on my own because money was and still is a serious issue and I was always finding the wrong people to work with.â€?
Where Sheâ€™s At: â€œMy career is now coming along slowly but surely now that I know how to avoid shady characters that just wanted money. As my mom tells me, â€˜good things come to people who wait.â€™ I donâ€™t want to get caught up with someone who thinks they are doing me a favor. Eventually, I see myself on TV doing it big like Halle Berry and in magazines working with all the top notch fashion designers.â€?
Where Sheâ€™s Heading: La Toya warns all aspiring models to beware of sheisters in the industry. â€œI always had this problem where I wanted to be a model so badâ€”I would believe scouts, scams, or even people that walked up to me,â€? she recalls. â€œThey would ask me for $100 here, $200 there, then $400 here, and I would save up my money and pay them so we could get down to business. A week later, either they wanted more money or they got the heck out of Dodge with my money and pictures. Beware. I saw this point in my life where I was going to give up but I had my mom and dad and family keeping me on my toesâ€”telling me donâ€™t let what happened put you down.â€?
â€œBeauty can only take you so farâ€”when combined with brainpower, you become indestructible,â€? she says. â€œWhen it comes to dressing, Iâ€™m more of an open-minded person. I can shop just about anywhereâ€”brand name items donâ€™t mean much to me. As long as I like the fit, smell and feel of something, then weâ€™re good.â€?
La Toyaâ€™s Words Of Wisdom: â€œNever let anyone or anything keep you from your dreams. Dreams are what keep us moving and motivated.â€?
La Toyaâ€™s Secrets Of Success: â€œWhen one door closes, another wick open. Keep striving and working hard. Let them doors close on youâ€”let that make you stronger to proceed to the next door.â€?
La Toyaâ€™s Favorite Three Movies: â€œNightmare On Elm Street; Hannibal; and The Lion King.â€?
La Toyaâ€™s Favorite Three Books: â€œThe Perfect Mother, by John Salem; Breeder, by Douglass Clegg; and, all the books by Stephen King.â€?
Leaders That Have Most Inspired La Toya: â€œRosa Parksâ€”she stood up for all womenâ€™s rights. Thatâ€™s why we have a voice now; Dr. Martin Luther Kingâ€”he had a dream; and Tyra Banksâ€”Sheâ€™s my main inspiration. Sheâ€™s showed women everywhere to be happy with themselves. Nobodyâ€™s perfect.â€?
The First Three Things La Toya Would Do As President: â€œBring the soldiers homeâ€”Iâ€™m tired of hearing weâ€™re losing them and sending more. Put more money into teachersâ€™ and childrenâ€™s education. Put money into recreation centers to get kids off the streets and to do something productive in their lives.â€?
La Toyâ€™s Favorite Cars: â€œKia Sorentoâ€”cute and small; Mitsubishi Endeavor; nice and big and can fit a whole lot of people and I can use the truck as my closet; and, Lincoln Navigator, for show. I would like to ride high.â€?
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