MAROOCHYDORE teen Jessica Thomas could soon be a model for Girlfriend magazine, after she was selected above hundreds of competitors as a finalist in the Girlfriend Priceline Model Search.
The national Girlfriend roadshow visited Westfield Chermside on Saturday, where 10 Queensland finalists, including the Sunshine Coast Grammar student, were named. For Jessica, it was the culmination of years of hoping and dreaming that started when a model scout approached her at age 12 when she was in the USA on a family vacation.
Because of her age, her mum Lisa had been taken aback by the suggestion, but said it had given Jessica the confidence to dream of a career in fashion.
"As a mum everyone thinks their daughters are beautiful - I've got two and they're both stunning," Mrs Thomas said.
"Jess said, 'do you think I could really do it, mum?'," Mrs Thomas said.
"I said, if it's something you want to do (then yes)."
Jessica's parents felt 12 was much too young to become a model and told the model scout so. But just six months later, back home in Australia, Jessica was approached again.
Mrs Thomas said Jessica agreed to put her modelling ambitions on hold until she was mature enough to handle the ups and downs that would likely arise on the very competitive modelling scene, but now she was 14 it was full steam ahead.
Now in its 25th year, the Girlfriend Priceline Model Search has launched a number of young women into the international modelling scene including Samantha Harris, Abbey Lee Kershaw, Catherine McNeil, Alyssa Sutherland, Maddison Brown, Pania Rose and Ruby Rose.
Would you let your 14-year-old become a model?
This poll ended on 24 August 2015.
No, modelling is not a real career
Yes, good on her. She should go for it if she has talent
I don't get to decide, my 14-year-old does what she wants
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
The 2015 winner will sign a two year contract with Chic modelling agency, appear in Girlfriend, and have a trip to New York or London.
She will also receive a $5000 cash prize and a $1000 prize pack from Priceline Pharmacy.
Jessica said she was inspired by a number of models including Samantha Harris.
"I like people who don't stack on all the makeup or try too hard," she said.
"I don't like to always follow the crowd or what they're all doing with fashion," she said. Jessica wore a uniform to school but took any opportunity to "dress up and go out" whenever possible, she said.
While she loved designing her own outfits, she was happy to give up her own styling flare if it meant becoming a professional model and learning from the experts, she said.
Jessica said she hoped to be signed with Chic and "go international".
"There (were) a lot of very pretty girls who got selected in the other states so I'd like to imagine myself doing that ... but I don't want to rely on that as my whole future," she said.
If modelling agencies' interest in the Thomas girls is anything to go by, this vision may soon become a reality.
After Jessica was selected by the Girlfriend competition, she and her sister Tayla, 15, both entered Tamblyn Young Model Discovery at Kawana Shoppingworld and were chosen as finalists.
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