Cover Girl Culture

Maria Shriver features Nicole’s work

Mar 2012  Tips for Transformation:

How to Help Girls See Through the Cover Girl Culture and Reclaim Their Self-Esteem

I grew up in rural Canada and, while at university with my sights set on becoming a veterinarian, I was swept up by Elite (model agency) and traveled the globe for 4 years.

My intention was to earn enough money modeling to complete university. Instead I became privy to a world few people had the chance to experience.

In high school, I remember lamenting the issue of brands being the dictator of someone’s status or girls believing they needed to be ‘thin enough’ to be accepted and ultimately loveable. I didn’t know how to help them break free of these false beliefs. Ironically, as a model, I became part of the problem and was paid handsomely to further enable these issues.

In my fourth year with Elite, I could no longer, in good conscience, be a part of its machinery. My exodus was prompted when I helped a fellow model reclaim her health and leave the industry for good. I never looked back, except to make my documentary Cover Girl Culture.

My film explores the impact media has on girls and women in our society but also addresses solutions. I invested several years of my life to research and produce Cover Girl Culture. I leveraged my background to secure interviews with editors of Teen Vogue and Elle magazine and created a film that reveals the pressure tweens and teens face from the fashion world and our celebrity-centered-culture.

The most disturbing problem I encountered was the sexualization of girls by the media. This was never an issue for my generation yet today it’s linked to low self-esteem, eating disorders, depression and risky sexual behaviors in girls at younger ages. Girls are losing sight of what is valuable in themselves and others. It is our duty to help them remember.   (for more of my story/work – click the link)


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