A Beaverton model is counting on some support from the community as she vies for a $25,000 prize and photo shoot through Maxim magazine.
Melissa Heaton, 20, is one of the hundreds of young women in the running for Maxim’s Finest, an online contest that opened earlier this week.
“After spending two months in Cape Town (South Africa) for shoots earlier this year, I haven’t been doing a ton with modelling, which is why I thought that entering this competition would be such a great idea,” she said.
“I have been taking a break to save money, get fit and hopefully travel most of next year.”
Entrants for the contest have been divided equally into 100 groups, with the top 30 from each advancing to future rounds, which will whittle that list down to 20, then 10 and then five. The preliminary winners in each group will move on, while those finishing in second place will move over to a ‘wildcard round’ for more online voting.
The semifinals, which are slated to run from Oct. 19 to 25, will feature the 100 preliminary winners, as well as 10 additional entrants from the wildcard round.
From there, the top 10 participants will advance to the finals.
Heaton is featured in the tenth international group and ranked fourth as of Thursday (Aug. 31) afternoon with 13 days of voting still to come.
“I’m a small town girl with a big heart. I love country music and enjoy the simple things in life but I know how to embrace my wild side too,” her bio reads.
When asked why she should be selected to win the competition, her answer was quite simple.
“I think I should be voted for Maxim’s Finest because I would love to inspire others to chase after their dreams no matter how crazy it may seem to them and the people around them. I also want to be someone that young girls can relate and look up to for inspiration and advice,” Heaton said, noting that she already has plans for the grand prize.
“I would give money back to my amazing mom she has helped me and believed in me since day one. I would also donate money to the Canadian Women’s Foundation and other local charities. I would save whatever money I had left for my future modelling career.”
Heaton’s first experience with modelling came in 2014, when she met photographer Melanie Rebane, who encouraged the teen to take part in a feature for Ottawa Bride Magazine.
She officially launched her modelling career shortly after graduating from Brock High School in the summer of 2015 when she signed up for the Top Model Search Canada competition on a whim and finished as the runner-up and captured the title of Best Swimwear Model.
Her success in the competition – which featured more than 100 of the top modelling talents from across the country walking the runway and posing for photo shoots – opened the door to numerous opportunities.
She signed with a management company shortly after and has gone on to work with some of the industry’s most prominent photographers.
“The highlight of my career so far was probably my trip to South Africa,” she said.
“I learned a lot about myself and grew as a model and as a person in general. It was also my first huge modelling trip and the first time I had friends around me that understand me and what I do. It was a trip of a lifetime to be honest.”
To vote for Heaton in the Maxim’s Finest competition, click HERE.