They did say third time is the charm --- Plus Size Model Carol Perla is finally an Erzullie Icon! Check out her reactions, reflections and why the fiercest things do come at the right time.
#1 Congratulations! You are now an Erzullie Icon! How does it feel?
It is one of the best feelings! I've been guest modeling for Erzullie for 5 years now and I'm always excited to be part of any gig. I am grateful and deeply honored. I am bursting with excitement.
I was like: "Whoohooo!" It was the best news in a long while. I was happy I celebrated by eating out with one of my workmates. It was one of the best news I've had in a while - my gran died a the week before and needless to say, my family and I are still a little sad about her passing, and this win came at really apt time.
It just felt like I can't miss this anymore, there shouldn't be no more excuses no more f-ups. "Just go out there and do it" kind of moment. I just told myself it's now or never - never being the more negotiable part though! Hahahaha!
#2 Did you expect to be taken in as one? Why or why not?
I guess this year was the hardest. Because I had to do #ootd shots and a video! Haha I've worked for TV but I am totally self-conscious about making a video trying to say my piece why I deserve to be an Icon! It's like doing an interview in front of a live audience! But I survived, yey!
I've always thought I can win this if I put enough work into it. Of course I was aware that anything could happen, I might qualify in the first rounds, but it always gets tougher and tougher each time! So there's just no telling what will happen.
I think this time around, I was more bent on getting the spot. I felt that no way's anyone gonna stop me this time around. Not a fellow competitor, or hell or high water. I felt like Katniss in the Hunger Games, I was hungry to survive and see this thing through, and I am so glad I did put in the work. Now let me get a glass of wine and do my victory dance - DJ, cue Cake By The Ocean please?
#3 You were part of the TOP 2 for #TNEI2016. Did you think that only Chezka Santos would be accepted? Why or why not?
I think Chezka is amazing. She's beautiful and has a kind heart. I love her! I've been friends with her for over a year now, and hanging out with her is so cool. She's got the best voice too.
In a way, no - I didn't. It might sound cocky, but when I set myself to join TNEI for the third time, I told myself I will go and get it this time around - I mentally prepared myself for the third time, and just gave my best shot. I said to myself that this is it, I can't miss this anymore. I won't give this up that easily.
#4 If only Chezka Santos did get accepted for #TNEI2016, what would be your thoughts? Why so?
Well, she would've been a good addition, she's going to enjoy being part of the Erzullie family, and I would've been a real good sport about it too. Although, yeah I would have been a little sad - well who's glad to lose anyway? Haha! But I would accept the decision, whatever it may be.
#5 Would you try again for Erzullie Iconship? Why or why not?
I'd say I would, except probably if I'm 40 and I still didn't get it, I might take a hint and let it go ahahaha! I just didn't want to wake up and be too old to do things I wanted to do and not give it a real chance, you know? Nothing is ever easy anyway, and modeling isn't a walk in the park as what most people think.
#6 Now that you are an Icon, what are your initial thoughts about your upcoming responsibilities? Why so?
Well, I am not too familiar with specific details, but mostly I know I have to go to the events - that's a given. About modeling collections, I understand they get to pick the ones for the collections. Honestly I'm not too worried, I trust that we get our schedules for different Erzullie events and shoots way ahead of time, and they're very considerate whether we make it or not.
#7 What do you think are the responsibilities of an Icon? Why so?
Being an icon means you are someone amazing, someone truly worth emulating. I think that you have a responsibility to conduct yourself in a manner acceptable to public. You have a duty to influence people for the good, and not just pursue goals for selfish ends. It's using your status to help others for the good.
Hmm. Naked Wednesdays! Just kidding! Maybe the biggest change that I've promised myself was that I will be working out more when I get to be an Icon. I mean granted that I started working out again in the last leg of the search, but I really want to break the notion that plus size women don't work out at all! I want to be healthier, and live long like my lola did, and that was pretty much the inspiration too, that propelled me to exercising regularly again. Big, fit, and fab -- that's my biggest committed change this time around.
#8 What is your unique trait as an Erzullie Icon? Why so?
I feel the most important part of being an icon is the kind of message you are sending to the people out there. Notice no Erzullie Icon rants so sloppily in ANY social media sites? If they do, they put a good spin on it and it looks still a tad tasteful. Women recruited to this place of honor don't rant shamelessly just because they had a bad day -- they shut up and let their work do the talking.
I like to be represented as the hot momma! Haha! Kidding. I want people to know that I can mix work and play and family at the same time. Because I want to break the notion that you compromise your personal interests to just be with one aspect of your life, like family.
It's probably my ability to still find laughter even if I'm going through rough spots. I'm usually a cheerful, upbeat person, and I'd have to be really depressed or hurt or tired before I start being too quiet. My friends and family notice right away when I am not very smiley-smiley. Haha.
Being an Erzulliesta means being hard as a diamond and soft as cashmere at the same time. It means rocking out and looking sharp you could cut glass but showing so much femininity at the same time.
Because Erzulliestas get the job done, hard as it may be, yet softens up at a mere smile and hug from a friend or family.
Well, I've done this the longest comparing it to the rest of the girls. But it doesn't mean they aren't at par with what the label needs, not at all! I've always maintained that there is always, always something new to learn. And probably the reason I've done modeling/acting/what have you for so long is that I still try to keep up with what's out there, even with the little things.
I am confident I was picked because I already have the modeling skills. But I believe too that I am always a work in progress. I will still be open to learning new things -- probably modeling with a harness on? Bring it on!
#9 What advice can you tell other plus size models vying for the spot? Why so?
They should prepare. Prepare to work hard for it. Prepare to be going through a grueling process, and prepare their hearts too if they don't make it. Doing this is NOT easy as it looks. Hell, I work as a hair and makeup artist and I still find it hard to start with the look that I want to go for for the shoot(s) and events. Because you have to put in the work to achieve results.
Erzullie is an invite-only fierce plus size fashion designer brand from the Philippines dedicated to serving the style of the empowered Erzulliesta. Get invited: www.erzullie.com