(photos via: Lady Lux Productions/Hair and Make-Up: Chingching Ng)
When beauty and brains come together they make one hell of a combination. Take Nicole Ferreira for example, this sexy brunette has a Master's degree and has graced the pages of Playboy, American Curves, and countless other publications. Originally hailing from Fairhaven, Massachusetts, Nicole was discovered during a fitness competition and embarked on a modelng career that spanned several years with no signs of slowing down. We caught up with her and had to share some of her latest pics. She had plenty to talk about and her photos gave us PLENTY to look at! Be sure to keep up with her on her official website NicoleFerreira.com.
Join us after the jump for more!
Hometown: Fairhaven, Massachusetts
Birthdate: July 12th
Nationality: I'm Caucasian, with a mix of French and Polish.
Five words that best describe me are intelligent, driven, kind, happy and sexy.
How would you describe your personality?
I'd describe my personality as bubbly and sweet. I try to make others around me feel happy and content.
I would say my best asset is my brain :) Other people often compliment me on my face, eyes, and amazing body.
According to your bio, you got spotted in a fitness competition which led to an 8 page layout for American Curves. How did you get your start in fitness competitions? Are you still actively competing?
Yes, it is true that I was spotted at a fitness competition that led to my first 8 page layout in American Curves magazine. In 2002, I entered the Fitness America Pageant competition in Redondo Beach, California. When I was standing in line to register, a photographer (Rob Sims) who worked for American Curves and Musclemag magazines, asked me to do a test shoot. That first shoot was my first 8 page layout in American Curves magazine, which led to 8 more publications as well as 2 photo features in Musclemag magazine. I also became the writer and monthly featured model in FitModels magazine.
I got started in fitness competitions after seeing them on ESPN, and I said to myself "I can do that." So I did. AS a child and teen, I was involved with dance, cheerleading, singing and drama, so performing on stage for fitness competitions came naturally. Modeling was just a bonus that came from entering the National competition. I always loved modeling, so this was a dream come true.
Presently, I do not compete anymore, as I love modeling. I'm able to artistically express myself through modeling, and I stay in great shape as well.
First, thank you for the compliment. The project that stands out for me as my proudest modeling achievement is being published in Playboy magazines. IN 2005 I was modeling for a few years, and had the confidence to attend a Playboy Casting call. I submitted my photos on-line, and I was asked to attend the NYC casting call. To my happy surprise I was selected! That resulted in 4 Playboy magazine publications: Sexy Girls Next Door; Vixens (twice), and Hot Shots. I also was featured in an on-line Playboy gallery, had a Sirius Playboy radio interview, and a signing event in Boston.
My favorite part about modeling is the posing. I sort of lose myself in it, and it's a cathartic artistic expression.
Did you begin modeling before or after graduating with a Masters Degree in Social Work?
I began modeling after I graduated with my Master's Degree in Social work. I had been working in the field for about 8 years, and I felt like I lost touch with artistic side of me. Fitness Competitions brought me back to that "happy place" and modeling grew out of that. Having my Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and my master's Degree in Social work most definitely gave me the confidence and logic to deal with the industry.
Yes, that is horrific. My question is this: would a man suffer the same ludicrous discrimination? I don't think so... Anyway, yes, my modeling had an impact on my professional career... My boss back in 2002, who was a very nice lady, told me "don't show or tell anyone about you modeling for a fitness calendar". That really irritated me, and I was able to leave my job with the support of my husband, and pursue modeling full time. Presently, I continue to model, and I'm also a mom to a gifted child. I homeschool him, and I'm working with a psychologist to write a book on the lesson plans I've created for the talented and gifted. As long as I'm a "freelance social worker" where I'm my own boss, no one can tell me what I can or can't do!
It seems with social media the amount of girls wanting to model has grown significantly. Any advice for girls wanting to make the jump to becoming a real published model?
Thank you for asking this question, because I think this is really important. There's a big difference between posting photos on a social media website, and being a professional, published model. The style modeling I do is fitness and glamour. I'm 5"2, and weigh about 110-115 pounds so my look is best suited for the type of work I do. I'm a freelance model, and I choose what I want to shoot, where I want to shoot, and when I want to shoot. I don't model "for the money" because I don't like to travel or shoot with photographers to "just to get paid". That said, young girls need to consider what their goals are and what they are best suited for physically. If a woman is over 5"8, is very thin and beautiful, then perhaps she would be suited for fashion/runway style modeling, and should look into agency representation. If you have a fitness physique or are more on the curvaceous side, I recommend entering a bikini or modeling competition, and if you make it to the National level, modeling opportunities will open up to you, right at the event. If you love Playboy, then just go online to their website, and complete the application process, and maybe you'll be selected. I recommend women shoot with a photographer with an impressive resume, where they have a list of newsstand publications under their belt. Do not shoot with anyone who is unprofessional or unpublished. Once you've found that professional photog, then you can submit photos to publications.
Confidence is the one character trait that is absolutely necessary to be successful. Don't confuse confidence with narcissism, because the latter will get you no where.
Changing the subject, what's your favorite way to kick back and relax on a day off?
My favorite way to kick back on a day off, is to watch a movie with my family, attend a musical or concert, and take a bubble bath.
Ah, the gym.. Well, I have a gym in my home, because both hubby and I work out. Presently, I work out about 2-3 times/week, where I do a circuit workout with weights. I find that this style training maximizes my time, and using weights in a circuit routine gives you cardio benefits as well. The biggest mistake women make is that they only engage in cardio activity (running; walking; aerobics, etc) and they don't realize that you need weight resistance training to give you those curves you're looking for.
The most annoying thing I see at the gym when I did attend for 10 plus years, is NOT seeing any women train with weights. I was the only woman doing squats, dead lifts, bench press, etc... There's a huge misunderstanding women have that if you use weights you'll get over muscular. Ha! That's furthest from the truth. Do you know how difficult and time consuming it is to gain muscle, not to mention the necessary diet/nutrition to gain muscle mass? Ladies, quit the "all cardio" routine and pick up the weights!
I want to continue to be published! I've appeared in over 100 magazines, both newsstand and independently owned. My most recent newsstand publications have been in Planet Muscle, and there's a long list of independently owned magazines. I'm so thankful for this, and I just want to continue.
You can find me on my website www.nicoleferreira.com or my Model Mayhem page. I'm also the health and fitness columnist for FXM magazine. You can also find me on Magcloud where I'm selling sexy fitness posters. Lastly, you can find me on my photographer's Facebook page. I don't personally do the social media thing... As a model, I find it annoying, time consuming and obviously, unnecessary for my success. However, businesses should be on a social media website to get more customers and free advertising.
Any parting words?
Yes, "take a chance, while you still got the choice".....AC/DC...lol :)