I am so excited to share my very first Settlefree Dating/Life Feature with you all! Latasha Stevens AKA “Ta Ta Stylez” is definitely living a settlefree life and I am so proud of this young lady and now dear friend. She is beautiful, talented, stylish, influential and no none-sense! When I made the decision to live a settlefree life, I knew things would start to change for me. Some things have been good and somethings not so great but they have all been lessons! Lessons that I had to learn. Lessons that God allowed me to be His personal student for. #Settlefree is a movement that I strongly believe in. As I continue to share my message and influence others to do the same and live life settlefree, I want make it my business to feature other amazing women and men who have taking life by the horns and have chosen to just ride it out and they are NOT settling for less!! I bring to you Latasha Stevens Better known as Ta Ta Stylez!
Tell us about you, who is Latasha Stevens? Or do you prefer Ta Ta Stylez?
I am 28 years old, born and raised on the North side of Milwaukee, WI but currently have been in Atlanta GA for almost 4 years. I grew up in a single family household with my mom and 6 other siblings. I saw my mom struggle to take care of all of us by herself and experiencing that struggle pretty much made me into the person I am today. I grew up and matured very quickly because I knew i had to help take care of my family. I got my first real job at 13, always made sure I excelled academically, I cooked, cleaned and helped to take care of my younger siblings. Instead of using our circumstances as an excuse to go down the wrong path I used it as fuel to help motivate me to become better and succeed in everything I do. I discovered my strengths, gifts and purpose in the struggle I experienced. I am fearless, independent, responsible, wise, self sufficient , goal oriented, self motivated, a hustler, and purpose driven because of it.
I actually do prefer TaTa, which was a nickname given to me by some friends growing up. As I got older I added Stylez behind it because I realized that everything I did had a different style compared to everyone else. From the way I dressed, the way I switched up my hair/makeup, to the way I cooked and carried myself. My style in the way I used my gifts and creativity allows me to connect with people on a deeper level and in all aspects. My Style is my ministry!
I think that’s awesome that you have taken your experiences and used them as a way to push through life’s ups and downs. So You are an actress, you’re a fitness guru, you’re a writer and you’re an influencer. You run the popular blog called “Confessions of a Pretty Girl.” (COAPG) What inspired this blog and what are you hoping people get from it? Is it only for “pretty girls?”
I was inspired to create COAPG because I was tired of people having this misconception about who I really am. Growing up I always dealt with the same cycle of bad friendships and romantic relationships. I knew that I was a great person that possessed a lot of qualities that I thought a friend or boyfriend would look for in a person. I was considerate, caring, smart, ambitious, giving and would always go out of my way to make other people happy. I started to realize that those qualities would constantly go unnoticed. I was taken advantage of, envied and negatively talked about by so called friends. Men would always have this misconception about me because of my physical beauty. The conception that I was easy to get in bed, that I was all beauty and no brains, and that I wasn’t worth the time of really getting to know because I was simple only good to look at and touch. At some point I started to believe these things and it affected my self-esteem, worth, and happiness. I lost myself in the idea of pleasing everyone and living up to their standards of who they wanted me to be. A few years ago I came to the realization that I couldn’t continue to live my life hiding behind my true self. That is where COAPG was birthed. I was sick of worrying about what others thought of me, lying, and hiding behind the truths of who Latasha Stevens really is. I wanted to be transparent, honest and open with the world by sharing my testimonies and gifts. COAPG blog and community was created to celebrate all of our attributes that makes us beautiful both inside and out. It provides a platform for not only myself, but for other girls and young women as a creative, empowering and judge-free space that allows us to turn our confessions into testimonies in hopes to inspire other women. Pretty doesn’t only represent physical beauty, P-R-E-T-T-Y represents our inner soul, uniqueness, personality, and God given gifts that shines light on our purpose.
You’re in a very competitive industry when it comes to relationship and dating bloggers, what makes you unique and different from the competition?
What makes COAPG unique and different from the rest is the variety, rawness and learning tools. Within my writing I’m honest about some of the mistakes I have made and what I have learned from them. Not only do I discuss the topic of dating but also, family, identity, faith, and friendships. I also created different pages focusing around Fitness, Fashion, and a Forum that allows individuals to submit their confessions openly or anonymously to inspire others or get advice. COAPG is a platform that allows me to freely share all of my talents and gifts to the world in hopes to give, teach, motivate and build with others.
I love it! Those learning tools are essential because while people may admire from afar, there’s nothing like them being able to apply tools you suggest that clearly drive results! Who do you admire? We all have people we look up to who are you a huge fan of and why?
I really admire people like Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey! It’s something about seeing a Black woman be in the position of so much power and purpose. They created a lane for themselves without letting anyone hold them back. I truly look up to these women because behind their pretty face is a story they are not afraid to share. Not to mention they are divas who can slay at anything they wear or do!
Yessss! Definitely two of my favorites! I love them both and they both happen to be Aquariuses born in January like me. Yay! LOL I had the honor of being cast with you in the hit stage production Lipstick Monologues by storyteller Ardre Orie, but I must say your character was definitely one of the standouts. Is acting your main passion? How do you tap into character?
Acting is actually one of my passions. Growing up as a kid I was always the entertainment of the family. I remember when my mom and aunt would have me and my cousins reenact the song by the Isley Brothers ‘Contagious’ and I would obviously be the one out doing everyone! (lol) I had my first acting gig at the age of 12 as the lead character in a play that I helped write called ‘Tameka’s Choice’. Acting was always something that came natural for me. I began to take it more serious after taking an acting class my senior year in college. After moving to Atl almost 4 years ago I started doing background work on tv shows/movies, starring in stage productions, web series, and independent films. I learned how to tap into each character by studying that character enough to become the character in that moment. I don’t hold back.
Have you found friends you were once very close to suddenly start to vanish as you climb to success? It does happen a lot in this business. Has it happened to you? If so how do you handle it?
When I decided to take a leap and move to Atlanta almost 4 years ago I had quite a few friends switch up on me. Instead of being showered with support, well wishes and love I was considered to be the one ‘acting brand new’ or thinking that I’m better than others. It was almost like they found every excuse to turn the situation around on me to make me feel bad about moving. So to answer your question…Yes! I saw some friends I once had vanish once I decided to live out my dreams and leave my hometown. Don’t get me wrong, I do still have supportive friends that I keep in contact with but at the same time part of me was hurt by the lack of support from some friends I once had but the other part of me didn’t care because to me it was like they had shown their true colors and was never really my friend in the beginning. Today, I forgive them but our relationship has not been the same.
In a few short words, tell us what you have deemed to be most challenging for you during this entire process of pursuing your dreams as an actress, and now blogger and influencer?
The most challenging part I discovered during this process was trusting God’s process. There were moments where I would cry myself to sleep questioning why God put me through certain situations. I felt alone out here in Atl and missed my family deeply. I didn’t understand how I was going to pursue my dreams starting over in a new city where I didn’t know anyone.
I’m a relationship coach so I often ask anyone I interview about their love life. So does Tata got a man? If so, how do you balance career and love? If not are you on the market, or happily single?
Ms. TaTa is single, and have been for about 4 years now. At this point in my life I am very much so open to dating and building a friendship first that may possibly lead to something more serious. Pursuing my dreams and career has always been one of my primary focus. Dating can be a little bit of a challenge for people who are ambitious and always on the go and I must admit, the struggle is real! (lol) Going into my next relationship I have to be with someone who is just as ambitious and goal oriented as myself because it will be a lot easier for us to understand each other’s drive.
The guys are going to go crazy knowing that you are single. I speak about settlefree dating meaning I encourage women to make wiser dating choices and no longer settle for less, what is your definition of settlefree dating?
Settlefree dating for me means not accepting anything less than what you truly deserve. We know our worth, we have standards, morals and self respect. Anyone that can’t respect a woman who is coming correct and secure within herself and what she believes in, simply don’t make the cut.
Now I know you can act and you definitely have the looks but I want to ask further about your blog COAPG. Do you find that many casting directors approach you pretending to want you for a role because there is a hidden agenda because you are a pretty girl?
I actually wrote a blog post on this topic called ‘Pretty Fed Up’ where I talked about a situation I experienced with a role I actually turned down. I was beginning to notice that I was being type casted for the same roles of the submissive, side chick, overly sexual woman. I went on for this particular audition and he emailed me back stating that I was picked to be a part of the production with a copy of the script for my character. I wasn’t comfortable playing yet another overly sexual role so I kindly declined. After that situation happened he started reaching out to me on a personal level, following all my social media handles, like all of my pics, asking if he can come over have dinner, at that point I questioned his true intention behind the casting.
Do you think men only want to be with you because of your looks? If so how do you weed those kind out from the ones who are truly serious about you?
I do feel that some men only want to be with me because of my looks, but not all. I have had quite a few situations when a guy would only want me because I was eye candy whenever we were out in public. I actually wrote a blog post on this topic entitled ‘Act Like a Lady…Think Like a Dummy. Why Men Settle for a Trophy Wife’ I discussed situations in my past dealing with self centered men who were only worried about how good I looked on their arm versus how good we connected on mental or spiritual level. The wiser and more mature I become, I find myself weeding out those type of guys by paying attention to how they communicate or interact with me. There has to be a mental connection. I’m a very intellectual person so he has to show effort in wanting to genuinely get to know me in all aspects. I’m also a very observant person and I pay attention to body language and how they engage in conversation or physical activities.
Oh how I loveeee what you just said and I couldn’t agree more! Paying attention to those signs in the early stages is what settle free is all about! yesss Queen, weed those jokers out!! LOL What legacy would you like to leave behind? What would you like to be known for?
I want COAPG to become a movement! Girls and women of all ages across the world will walk fearlessly, proud, inspired and confident in what they believe in. I want to be known for my ministry of bringing women together that come from all walks of life. I want people to say..”Wow, she left us with open confessions about her life to live through and learn from”. I also want to be known for the pretty girl hustler who didn’t let anyone or any circumstance stand in the way of living out their dreams.
Being in the business of acting, how do you feel about a lot of celebrity public drama and feuds these days? It seems to be happening more now than ever? I’m sure you can agree, many “Celebs” have taken roles in highly dramatic reality shows which we can all see has helped them rapidly climb to success. Would you accept a role in a reality TV show in order to climb faster?
I agree with you Tinzley, a lot of celebrities have been biting the reality tv bate and putting themselves ‘out there’ in a negative way. I personally would accept a role on reality TV ONLY if the show depicts positivity and inspiration. I would want people to see the realness, grind and hard work I put in to fulfill my purpose, but never will I compromise my beliefs, dignity and self respect for a check. I feel that we don’t have too many shows out there that are positive so I would want to go outside of the norm.
So what’s next for you? Are you making many appearances in the near future? Because you are a writer, any plans to someday add book author to your portfolio?
I plan to take my COAPG brand to the next level. I have a future COAPG podcast in the works and will be selling cool statement tees and other merchandise on the site. I also plan to throw bi-monthly events that will bring Queens together to help learn, build relationships, laugh and have fun! I actual do plan to add book author to my portfolio in the near future, I’m still creating the chapters by learning, growing and glowing through life as a young adult. It’s all in God’s timing.
Wonderful, I will be getting me a tee for sure. I’m a pretty girl on a mission! LOL Any advice for others looking to break into the business?
My advice would be…don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and transparent with the world. There are other people who may have gone through the same things you went through and can become blessed and inspired by how you got to where you are at. Every has a story and it’s ok to be more relatable and reachable to your audience.
This is definitely some great advice! I agree with you Ta Ta, everyone has a story and holding back may block major opportunities. I think people just want to know you can relate to them as well! So, where can people find you if they want to stay connected?
Facebook Page: Confessions of a Pretty Girl-COAPG
YouTube: Confessions of a Pretty Girl
IG: @coaprettygirl @tatastylez
Great interview with a great person. Ta Ta touched on a lot of key things that has brought her this far in life.Settling is not one of them so remember to never settle for less than you deserve! Let me make something very clear to my readers, YOU CAN NOT LIVE A SETTLE FREE LIFE WHILE YOU ARE IN A TOXIC OR UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIP! Get out while you can!
Thank You So Much Ta Ta for this amazing interview and thanks to all my readers for stopping by!
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Keep on living life #Settlefree I’ll be looking!