Looking at Nicole Ferreira, you would quickly determine that she is a very beautiful woman. Aside from her beautiful looks, Nicole has her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology; and her Masters Degree in Social Work. If that’s not enough, Nicole was a former fitness and bikini competitor. She’s the kind of girl who sets her mind to something and when she achieves it, she moves on to the next. Always stretching her comfort zone and constantly finding ways to improve herself, Nicole Ferreira is one woman who will always stick out in your mind.
When did you decide to become a model?
Nicole Ferreira: I decided to become a model in 2002, after I was asked to do a test shoot for newsstand magazines American Curves and Musclemag. At the time, I was competing in the Fitness America Pageant (this was the fitness competition that appeared on ESPN for 1/2 episodes in the 1990’s.) I was standing in line at registration and a photographer that worked for the magazines approached me, and asked me to do a test shoot. That photo shoot turned into my first eight page layout, and transformed into the modeling I continue to do today. I was 30 years-old when I started modeling, which is quite “non-traditional” and it had been a dream of mine since a child. I mistakenly came across a Playboy magazine when I was a tween lol. I thought the photos of the women were so beautiful. Also, in high school my boyfriend at the time (who now is my hubby) had photos of fitness models in his locker and I loved those images. I said, “I want to be a model like that some day,” and I did.
What was modeling like for you when you first started out?
Nicole Ferreira: When I first started, it was a dream come true. The modeling came to me, because I was competing in a renowned Fitness Pageant where magazines and photographers were looking for potential models. I was lucky to have been selected, and that photographer also owned his own newsstand magazines, and I became a monthly feature in his magazines, along with being the main writer. This photographer still shot on film, and there was no Photoshop. How the photo went into the camera was how it came out. I was trained well. In 2005, I had enough confidence to attend a Playboy casting call in NYC, and to my delight I was selected/hired to shoot with them. That evolved into four publications in Playboy Special Edition magazines: Vixens (twice), Sexy Girls Next Door and Hot Shots. That brought me up to the year 2007, and that’s when I had my son, and I took a few years off. I got back into modeling in 2010, and decided not to travel anymore due to my desire to be home with my beloved family. I’m so pleased that I continue to get published and featured in some major magazines like newsstand magazines Planet Muscle and Bizsu, along with a recent feature on Playboy Bulgaria online in May/June 2014 (at 42-years-old). I continue to get published monthly in a variety of independently owned magazines. I find it more challenging to stay in print consistently.
Did you want to achieve anything in particular when you decided to become a model?
Nicole Ferreira: Becoming a model came so quickly, and unexpected, that I really didn’t formulate any specific goals. Starting off with an eight page layout in a newsstand magazine was pretty terrific to me, so I was just ecstatic to continue to work with this photographer and be in print monthly. Going to the newsstand every month, and getting myself in a magazine, sometimes more than one at a time was surreal. After about two years, I thought about Playboy. As I look back, Playboy was definitely a top modeling goal of mine and I was so happy to be a part of that. I hope to be featured with another international Playboy in the future.
You have your Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and your Master’s Degree in Social Work. How did you get interested in both of those subjects?
Nicole Ferreira: Thank you for noticing. I became interested in psychology in high school. I was, and still am, intrigued by people’s thoughts, motivations, and feelings. I find parapsychology even more interesting. After I graduated with my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, I wanted a job that was secure and well-paying. In this field, you need at least a master’s level degree. I opted for the MSW(Master’s in Social Work) as this was a two-year program that you could be a therapist, third-party bill on your own, and become an administrator immediately. I concentrated on Clinical social work, which is basically a mental health therapist. I was the Clinical Director of an outpatient Mental Health Clinic prior to modeling full-time. I worked in the mental health field for eight years prior to modeling, and I found that I had lost me and only lived for work. That’s why I started competing Fitness Pageants as I had lost the artistic side of me, which was a significant part of me as a child and teen, modeling found me, and I left the mental health field and pursued modeling, with the support of my husband.
You’re a very well-balanced, well-rounded person. What/Who do you attribute to you being this way?
Nicole Ferreira: Thank you for the nice complement. I attribute that to a combination of things. As a small child, my parents always told me I was to go to college and get a degree. So that was not even a question in my life. I, however, have this strong artistic side that started as a child. I was always performing, singing, and dancing in a variety of ways. I was part of a music group at a local musical lessons studio, so I was singing on stage. I performed on TV singing as a child. I was dancing on stage. I was a competitive cheerleader; I was in the musicals in high school with lead roles, so I felt like a little “star” growing up. When I went to college and started working, I tried to reincorporate that into my life by working out and entering fitness competitions. I’ve always had my priorities straight: family first, education, and having fun; and pursuing our dreams. Having a mental health degree keeps you in check lol.
Most of the general population has no idea what it’s like to be a model, or how the modeling industry works. Can you share from your experiences what it’s like to be one and work in the industry?
Nicole Ferreira: Yes, I agree. There are many stereotypes of what a model is. In my experience, I believe you have to decide what your “goal” is with modeling. For me, it was never about making money or making it my source of income. Thus, I didn’t have to travel all over the place on a whims notice, or move to California, where there’s a concentration of modeling jobs all in one general location. I decided I didn’t want agency representation, because I wanted to be in control of who I shoot with and when. I’m only 5’2” and have a more curvaceous physique so fashion and runway modeling is out. Because of these aforementioned reasons, I only model for fun and artistic expression. Nevertheless, you still experience a host of “characters” on your way. Being told no, becomes almost as often as being told yes. Getting a “thick skin” in regards to the general public (social media) opinions becomes comical.
What motivates you to get out of bed every single day?
Nicole Ferreira: My son motivates me to get out of bed every single day. Having a child is truly a miracle. This type of is profound. I enjoy being home with him, teaching him, and being part of his every new experience.
We’ve all come across harsh criticism and negativity in our lives. How do you deal with it all?
Nicole Ferreira: I’m lucky to be married to someone who is truly my best friend. Surrounding myself with people who are like-minded is paramount. People will always have an ugly side to them. I disengage from people who are negative and bitter. No one needs that toxicity in their life. I seek out inspirational music, reading, and people. One of my favorite quotes is “when you judge another, you don’t define them, you define yourself.”
What’s your definition of success?
Nicole Ferreira: My definition of success is finding love, happiness, and health.
What can people expect to see from you in the future?
Check out www.nicoleferreira.com for more info.