Sunday, December 19, 2004
I Love Eva the Diva
Yes, the time has come for me to wax philosophical about the lovely Eva the Diva, the newest Champion of America's Next Top Model's fierce competition. I was rooting for Eva early on in the series (along with Toccara, the plus-size model who was equally gorgeous and likable) because she was beautiful in an offbeat, intriguing, not-so-conventional way. No doubt that Eva's short curly hair, crazy-beautiful caramel-colored skin, and gorgeous hazel eyes that glinted just so make her irresistible to watch. But it was her attitude and straightforwardness that made me love Eva the Diva the most. She is a true Diva in the best way: fierce attitude, strength like steel, powerful energy. She has flaws, yes, but Eva is both honest about them and willing to re-examine the way she presents herself to the world in order to be a better human being. She is willing to say 'I fucked up' while at the same time allowing other people be who they want to be. (Remember her one-on-one moment with Norelle in Japan, when she apologized for wishing that Norelle had been eliminated?)
In contrast to Yaya, the other ANTM finalist, who was so snotty with her Harvard-educated ass (why is it that almost everyone I've known who's attended Harvard has this snobby attitude? Berkeleyites can be snobby too, don't get me wrong, but I think Harvard wins the elitism contest hands-down), Eva was warm, approachable and funny. I wanna hang out with Eva!
And during the last episode, as Eva and Yaya finally warmed up to each other and let their defenses down (so beautiful when women of color bond) I liked Eva even more, because she opened her mind to liking and appreciating this other woman who had been so cruel to her at times. (Remember when Yaya told Eva--who had approached her to try and mend differences--essentially, "You mean nothing to me?")
I literally jumped up and down for joy when Tyra Banks announced Eva as America's Next Top Model (she wins a Ford Models contract, a $100,000 Cover Girl contract, and a fashion spread in Elle magazine). Really, H. can testify. I was a crazy woman. Because, in the end I realized, I identified with Eva. Here was this tough little girl who had clearly been hurt and betrayed in the past, who walked in to those TV studios and had all-out attitude like, 'Here I am, I am the shit. You can take me or leave me, but if you leave me it's your loss.' And then grew and transformed into this lovely, dazzling creature with heart and vulnerability and spirit. That is what true and lasting beauty is all about: finding that tiny golden seed of beauty within you, beneath all the pain and suffering you've endured, and coaxing it out, watering it, bringing it out for all the world to see.
Posted by Rona Fernandez at 10:36 AM