Fame Whores, Begone: Coco Rocha is Looking for the Real Deal

Since stumbling upon professional modeling as a teen, Coco Rocha has strutted the catwalk for high-end designers like Marc Jacobs and Stella McCartney, has mugged for campaigns for high-end fashion houses like Versace, Chanel, and Dior, and has covered some of the industry’s most-heralded magazines like W, Harper’s Bazaar and even Vogue.

Now, almost a decade into her career, Rocha is ready to share her model expertise as a mentor on Oxygen’s new reality competition series, The Face. But she won’t take just any competitor under her wing.

“I don’t need a team of girls who just want to be on this show to be famous,” she told Celebuzz during the show’s premiere party at New York City hotspot Marquee on Tuesday night. “I don’t want reality TV stars. I want to find an actual model that really, passionately wants to learn something from me. I think I got that in my girls.”

Though she is flexible with her team of fashion-industry hopefuls, Rocha won’t stand for anything that stains her good name. “I am strict in certain ways. I don’t [want to] push things on my girls,” she explained. “If they say to me, ‘I’m not comfortable with this,’ or ‘I don’t want to do that,’ there [are] reasons why. And I leave it at that. I say straight [to] them, ‘If you do anything that makes me or my team look bad, you’re out.’”

When The Face premieres on Feb. 12, drama will ensue — not only amongst the contestants as they go head-to-head in photo shoot, runway show and commercial challenges, but also between the mentors: Rocha and fellow supermodels Naomi Campbell and Karolina Kurkova.

“It gets so passionate on this show,” Rocha said. “You’re going to see that we’re crying, we’re upset, we’re yelling. We are just so involved in our teams. [So] there’s the aspect of a competition and a winner, and then there’s the aspect of just watching the mentors…. There’s emotion involved because you want your team to win. You want to make sure that they do well. Alongside that, you want to make sure that they actually learn.”

And one nugget of knowledge that Rocha will be sure to share with the aspirants is her ongoing campaign against the prevalence of eating disorders in the industry.

“Thing is, if you talk about it, it’s better. So I have to promote that for the girls,” she explained. “The girls have to stop and say, ‘No, I’m not going to do that.’ And the same goes for whoever we are working with, [be it] clientele, designers, photographers, editors. If they are pushing anything, they need to say, ‘Hold on, I’m talking to a young teenager here.'”

“I think it’s just for everyone to be aware that we (models) need to say, ‘Hold on a minute,'” she continued. “And they need to [realize] they’re dealing with a young individual. It is really is so easy to fix. We just need to work on the cycle.”

The Face premieres on Oxygen at 9 PM / 8 PM Central on Feb. 12.

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