This month we feature one of the most experienced bikini models in the history, of like, ever! Nicole Ferreira has made over 100 appearances in magazines like Playboy, American Curves, FitBeauties, and so many more! She’s a brains and beauty type of woman! She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Master’s Degree in Social Work and worked as the clinical Director of an outpatient mental health agency prior to her modelling career taking off. All this and she’s the yummy mummy of a mathematically gifted 6 year-old boy, who’s already a member of MENSA. With so much experience, she gave us a truly unique perspective on the modelling industry in this fantastic interview. Enjoy!
Where are you from/live now?
I’m from a small New England town in Massachusetts. I was born here, and still live here now.
So you love Massachusetts, it seems!
I love the east coast. I’ve travelled throughout the USA, and home is my favorite place 🙂
What’s your family background?
I’m an American girl. My family has lived in the USA for 3 generations. However, my family did migrate from France originally over 100 years ago. My last name is a portuguese last name, and is my married name.
You’ve been featured in magazines over 100 times which is remarkable! Which have been the most influential on your career?
The most most influential magazine publications in my career are American Curves and Playboy Special Editions.
How did you get involved with American Curves?
In 2002, at the National Fitness and Bikini America Pageant in Redondo Beach, California, I was asked to shoot for American Curves, an international newsstand magazine. That led to all of my other publications. I’ve been published in American Curves 9 times, and then I became a monthly feature in newsstand magazine FitBeauties.
Tell us about your Playboy experiences!
In 2005, I attended a Playboy casting call in New York City. I was selected, and that turned into 4 separate publications: Playboy’s Sexy Girls Next Door, Playboy’s Vixens (twice) and Playboy’s Hot Shots.
What about the other magazines?
After having my son in 2007, I wanted to be published again in newsstand magazines. It’s a thrill going to the store and buying yourself of the newsstand! I’ve been lucky enough to have been published in Planet Muscle 4 times, the new men’s magazine Biszu, and the UK’s Tease and Cake. Additionally, I’m published monthly in a variety of independently owned magazines, all totaling well over 100 times.
How has the competition and opportunities for models changed over the years?
In my opinion, the biggest change I’ve witnessed in modeling over the years is the change from traditional photography with film to digital photography. Initially, the first 2 years I modeled, I shot with a photographer that only used film. This was an excellent way to learn to pose. There was absolutely no photoshop. The way that the image went into the camera was the way the image went out of the camera. With digital cameras, however, relying on photoshop seems to be the norm. I personalIy don’t like that. I work with a local photographer now, Ladylux Productions, and although she uses digital, she allows me to go through the photos during the shoot, and critique them, and we retake shots, to make them perfect. So the images are as perfect as possible. Also, there are many more on-line magazines now compared to newsstand magazines. I’m a print model, so this is great as there’s something new to be featured in every month. It also opens up opportunities for more models, and more customers. I’m not a huge fan of social network sites, but it works, and it’s become something that you almost have to do nowadays.
What do you think of model reality shows?
Ah, the reality show. I think this is a unique venue to “become famous” in a quick manner. It’s truly the “rags to riches” opportunity. I’m a fan of a few reality shows including American Pickers, Pawn Stars and The Long Island Medium. I’ve never watched a model reality show. Just from the commercials, it seems to focus on unnecessary drama and the lack of mental health of many of the participants. Nevertheless, it may provide a quick boost into the spotlight (and an even quicker fall) if that’s what you want. I would not want that for myself. I love print modeling, and that’s what I do.
What advice would you give to newer models?
Well, that depends on who’s asking me. My first response is to get an education, no matter who you are, and pursue your dreams. Even if you never use your college degree in a formal way, the life experience and education you receive is paramount to anything else. Secondly, depending on the goals of the model and her “look” my advice would differ. If you’re tall, thin and very young, it might be best to get picked up by an agency, to pursue commercial and runway type modeling. If you’re more like me, petite and curvy, you’re best suited for swimsuit, fitness or glamour modeling.
Should models be doing it for the money?
If money is your goal, then get a job that pays well, consistently. Most of the time, the modeling itself doesn’t pay, but the opportunities that come from it probably will. You’ll have to travel, and perhaps move to LA, California or New York City to get paid on a consistent basis. I do this because I love it. It’s a passion. An obsession. I don’t care about money. I just care about creating the art.
How do you stay so fit?
Haha 🙂 Well, I started working out with weights at 17 years old, and haven’t stopped. That’s it! I tell women all the time, work out with weights: squats; leg curls; lunges; bench press, rows, etc… Women make the mistake of not using the classic bodybuilding exercises to stay in shape. It’s the key to fat loss and creating curves. I recently did a photo shoot and wrote an article about how pin-up icon Marilyn Monroe worked out with weights and drank protein shakes! Clearly, this type of exercise regimen is timeless. I workout 4-5 times per week, mixing weights with cardio. Even at 41 years-old, I’m still published in fitness, newsstand magazine Planet Muscle; which proves that weight training is the fountain of youth 🙂
What kind of food do you eat to stay in shape?
I try to eat a clean diet of protein, vegetables, fruits and grains. I do cheat, but I try to keep my calories low with cheat meals.
Name anyone, alive or dead, who you would love to meet.
This is a hard question, as it’s hard to select just one person. If I have to select one, it would be the Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu, who’s supposedly responsible for building the pyramid of Giza.
Are you fascinated by Egypt and its history?
I want to know how they built the pyramids, what kind of technology and mathematics did they have access to, and why such a quick decline of the society. I’d love to see and touch the pyramid in all it’s glory, and what it really looked like, all polished and new. I find the Egyptian culture overwhelmingly fascinating, especially since the great pyramid is still the oldest, largest standing structure on earth. I want to know!!!
Give us a fun fact about you.
I love all things that are considered odd: Aliens, ghosts, space, quantum theory…. I love to read books and watch documentaries on any of these topics. I’m a huge Einstein fan, and I keep up with the latest advancements in physics, of coarse delivered in an understandable way. I also love to learn about advancements in space research, on stars, planets, galaxies, etc. I’m very interested in the new multi-verse theory. I know, I sound like a geek, but this is what I enjoy 🙂
What is the most common question that people ask you?
“How old are you?” Ugh…. I hate stating my age, because I don’t feel or look like I’m 41…. I still think I’m 28 🙂 [Editor’s note: Amen to that!] Although, it can be quite motivating for others. Recently, Christy Brinkly who is 60 posed in a bikini and looks fabulous! That really gave me inspiration!
What should every man know about women?
That’s easy: Make her feel like number one, and she’ll recognize the gesture, and reciprocate.
Give a shout out to your fans…
I want to thank all of my fans. Knowing others are looking forward to my new photos feels great!
Favorite upcoming projects?
Watch for me on the cover of Alt Girls magazine February 2014, the cover of Modelsmania Men’s edition March 2014, and features in FXM, RHK, PLanet Muscle, Bachelor Pad, Tease and Cake, Models and MMA, Baba Lou’s Beauties, and many more! You can visit me at www.nicoleferreira.com or www.modelmayhem.com/16946.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
The same exact place I am now: happy, content, healthy, shooting and getting published!