Big ups and thanks to the hardworking bloggers at Jezebel — for it was there that I got to see almost all of the new issue of Vogue Italy. And it’s gorgeous. The photography is amazing, the women look stunning, and I am totes going to buy this magazine as a keepsake for myself.
The showstopper for me was Miss Toccara Jones, who — to quote the homegirl Fresh over at C&D — brought her Poccaras out to play. Don’t hurt em, girl!
Breasteses aside, the photo shoot of Toccara absolutely floored me. I always thought she was gorgeous on ANTM (although I must admit inwardly cringing during that Takes the Cake show she hosted on BET). I hear Toccarra’s working on an exercise DVD (soon to be available on her official website), and in the meantime she’s got tees for sale). I’d definitely check out her workout DVD. I can only say this only now that she’s apparently over her Celebrity Fit Club diva fit (NOT a good look).
It’s obvious that whatever Toccara’s doing is working for her. That’s a body that a bella like me can aspire to in the here and now — not a distant (and emotionally impossible) ideal. I say work. It. Toccara! I love the image of her “lifting” the car — very strong, very sexy, very powerful, and VERY opposite of the waifish, wan models we so typically see on Vogue USA. If Anna Wintour isn’t taking notes yet, she should be.
Toccara is Ava Gardner, Sophia Loren, Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe gorgeous in some of those photos. Her makeup is giving me major beauty inspiration. It thrilled me to the bone to see a curvy chick featured among the rail thin models. And it also made me happy to see a few afrobellas sprinkled in between Vogue Italia’s more unbeweaveable ‘do’s — Hollis, you are gorgeous. Represent!
Watching women like Toccara become fitter while still maintaining their curves is inspiring to a bella who is trying to improve her health and shed some weight by way of diet and exercise. For me, looking at photoshopped images of Mariah, Janet, or insert-hypersexed-scantily-clad-pop star here has never worked as inspiration. Instead, I look to celebs who I can identify with, who I know must work consistently hard and sweat to achieve their goals. That’s why I admire the efforts of Missy Elliott — who lost 71 pounds in an effort to escape the high blood pressure that runs in her family — and Queen Latifah, who is working to lose 5 to 10 percent of her body weight with Jenny Craig. Like them, I am proud of my curves, but I’m also trying to lose some weight for health reasons.
Another of my fitness inspirations is Jennifer Hudson, who became my friend in the head pretty much the moment this aired.
The Jennifer Hudson of today is glam to the nth degree, and with the Hollywood contracts has come a complete makeover from her hair on down. J Hud has owned up to the fact that she’s working hard to shed pounds — That’s Fit revealed that she “wakes up at 4:00AM to run for an hour, followed by an hour long workout in the gym with her trainer.” Wow. That’s dedication, commitment, and time that I wish I had. Despite her efforts, JHud still appears to be um, photoshopped within an inch of her life on the cover of her latest single. But in her new video, Spotlight, she struts her stuff and looks both real and stunning, IMO. I like the song! What do you think, bellas? The video’s so minty fresh that I couldn’t find an embeddable clip to share here… so instead, here’s one of my favorite JHud clips EVAH — her Letterman performance of I Am Changing. And she is!
She looks amazing, and I love when she sings that song in Dreamgirls. I am always enthralled when she sings live — how effortlessly that marvelous voice just pours out of her. Keep on keeping on, Jennifer!
For more health and fitness inspiration, check out Revenge of the Curves — the latest blog from the prolific Nichelle of Anovelista and 55 Secret Street.
Do you have any real-life I-could-do-that fitness role models? Or fitness tips? Share!