Brooke Rice is looking to be a Maxim cover girl, and use the platform to promote food sustainability. (Courtesy Brooke Rice)
“If I win I would be blessed to be on the cover,” said Kahnawake’s Brooke Rice, as she vies for the top spot in Maxim Canada’s Cover Girl 2019 competition.
Rice started modelling at the age of 14 when her mom signed her up for a beauty pageant while they were shopping in a US mall. From there, she took on little modelling gigs wherever they would pop-up.
A few years ago, Rice did a photo shoot for the Quebecois retail fashion company Le Chateau. She has also been featured in a few music videos, and, closer to home, she modelled for Indigenous designer Niio Perkins, who submitted Rice’s pictures to the Indigenous Fashion Show in Toronto in 2017.
With all this experience in front of the camera, it is easy to imagine Rice as possibly overconfident or even boastful about her modelling work, but in fact, it is the complete opposite.
“I don’t really identify as a model,” said Rice. “I feel super uncomfortable in front of the camera. It’s fun to get all dolled up, but the industry is very superficial.”
Because of her reticence towards the fashion industry, Rice decided not to get an agent or any professional representation and has kept modelling more as a side gig.
So how did Maxim Canada come along?
“I saw an advertisement on Instagram. I found it cool and just signed up and submitted some pictures that I had on my account,” said Rice.
Currently, Rice is number five in her group of 12 semi-finalists. There are a total of 12 groups. During this round of voting, one girl will be selected out of each group, and ultimately one out those 12 finalists will be chosen to be Maxim Canada Cover Girl 2019 winner.
The winner will be featured in a Maxim Magazine spread and will receive a cash prize of $10,000.
Rice explained that if she won, she would possibly fund a dream project that would allow the community to be more self-sustaining food wise.
“A way to collectively change our ways of living to more sustainable practices that would further foster sustainable economic development in the community,” she said.
Rice considers herself a foodie and because of a few nutrition classes she took at Concordia, she has become passionate about food sustainability.
“It’s more intimate when you know where your food comes from,” Rice said. “It is this reciprocal experience from the land. You respect it more.”
The support that Rice has received during this competition from family and friends has been massive, she said.
“I was really overwhelmed with seeing the support that I got. I would see my friends on Facebook sharing it and people from all across Turtle Island,” she said. “My friends from the West Coast are also sharing it, and they are getting their grandmas and aunties to vote. Even up north in Nunavut, they are supporting!”
People can vote once a day for their pick here. The current round of votes ends on June 13 after which the final 12 will be selected.