72ec1_sm.jpgOne look at the exotic exterior of La’Shontae and you’ll start thinking she’s a bunch of things she’s not: stuck-up video chick, spoiled brat and your soulmate. Though the only child’s stream of shiny hair and flawless trophy-golden skin give her a prima donna appearance, La’Shontae’s story is deep like The Shining.

Love actually is an Army brat. Born in Korea to a native mom and U.S. military dad, Tae was abandoned by her mother at age 5 after her parents divorced. Found by her maternal grandmother, she was reunited with her father before landing on American soil, then bounced around before claiming Dallas as home. One word out of Tae’s pretty mouth and you’ll notice two things: She’s a Texas girl, and very hood. “[Growing up], I wasn’t spoiled at all,” she says. “I hung with nothing but niggas, [who] made sure I was just as humble as they come. Being pretty didn’t mean nothing.”

As much as La’Shontae tries to ignore it, she’s physically stunning and is constantly reminded of that fact—mainly by casting agents, who have put her in videos for Disturbing Tha Peace’s “Growing Pains (Do It Again [Remix])” and Busta Rhymes’ “I Know What You Want.” However, while the vids were euphoric for Tae, real life struck in 2001. Having followed in her father’s combat boots (she’s an Army Reserves Staff Sergeant), La’Shontae got activated after 9/11. How does a woman with beauty that’s almost animated wind up in the army, you ask? “I graduated high school early. So, my Dad was like, ‘You need to get a job.’ And I’m like, ‘Job? I’m goin’ to college.’ Then he goes, ‘I would put your ass in the military, but with your attitude you ain’t gonna make it.’ I said, ‘I ain’t gonna make it?!’ The next day I [enlisted].”

72ec2_sm.jpgBut it was more than the military that kept the U.S.’s beauty of a recruit off the video scene for two years. La’Shontae admits to being an Aries who loves hard. Men were a weakness of hers. “I was engaged a couple times,” she admits nonchalantly. Damn, how many times? “Seriously, like I took the ring and everything? Three. Now, not seriously— like, [He said] ‘I’m gonna wife you ’cause you the best shit that ever happened to my life’ then I’m like ‘Naaaah, I changed my mind’?—about three more times.”

Lucky for us, her video sabbatical is over. Stationed in Atlanta, where she can easily scoop on-screen work, Tae’s aligned herself with casting heavyweights like Jay Glover,

G Flixx and LaShawnna Stanley and has since decorated Young Jeezy’s “And Then What,” 50’s “Candy Shop” and Fat Joe “Get It Poppin’.” But, as attractive and accomplished as La’Shontae is, she will not feel

fulfilled until she finds her soulmate.

“I’m a good woman. I learned from my mistakes,” she confesses. “What women don’t understand is that there’s nothing wrong with being self-sufficient, but when you’re with your man, you need to let a man be a man. You need to know your role. There’s nothing wrong with being independent and submissive.” Salute that soldier.