From Port Perry to Playmate of the Year: Jayde Nicole is Keeping it Canadian
by Kaveh Mohebbi
A busy line up builds in the heart of downtown Toronto on a sunny Tuesday afternoon, as eager fans await the arrival of recently awarded Playboy Playmate of the Year, Jayde Nicole. Jayde, a native of the small township of Port Perry in Scugog Ontario, arrives just after 4 p.m. and signs autographs of the June 2008 issue of Playboy Magazine, featuring her on the cover. Jayde’s modeling career has taken off with flying colour in the last year, and in true Canadian fashion, Jayde is hoping her recent victory will give her the opportunity to give back to Canada as well as make an impact on the modeling world.
As 22 year old Jayde Nicole walks through the front doors of Café Demetre, with an entourage of friends, her publicist and a camera crew, one cannot look past the degree of grace and class the 2008 Playboy Playmate of the Year carries with herself. For there is more than meets the eye as Playboy’s current major sex icon, brings the POTY honour back to Canada for the first time in 26 years. Not since Shannon Tweed’s award in 1982 has a Canadian Playmate won. “People come up to me in the grocery stores in Port Perry and say, ‘We’re so proud of you! Glad you brought it back for Canada! Way to represent!’ Being Canadian, definitely makes this even more special for me” exclaims the starlet as she takes a bite out of her Peanut Butter and Chocolate ice cream.
In little over a year, Jayde has taken some astounding leaps, aside from modeling; this young entrepreneur has started her own modeling agency. “The first thing I look at is attitude, the models have to be polite, outgoing, warm and friendly. I’ve met aspiring models in the past who, at times, can come off as rude and snobby.” Hoping to take modeling into a new direction, Jayde Nicole dreams of taking modeling away from the pretensions of superficiality and put greater emphasis on the model’s persona.
With regards to her fans, she claims, “I want my models to be polite, and warm to their fans. A really pretty girl who is rude, is not as pretty anymore. Even if you watch shows like America’s Next Top Model, you learn that success is half based on your looks and half based on your personality, hopefully I can have an effect on that movement.” Her agency’s X-Factor relies predominately in the diversity in her models and an emphasis on naturalistic beauty. “All my girls are different, I’m not just looking for blondes or brunettes…one requirement I have for all my models is that they must be natural and not ‘stick thin’, natural women are just so beautiful.”
With dreams of ending the misconceptions that come with being a Playboy model, Jayde asserts, “I want Playboy models to be seen as they truly are: beautiful, but also intelligent and classy.” She found the courage and strength to pursue such ambitions within her family. “One of the biggest compliments was when my grandmother took a look at my first Playboy pictures and said, ‘You know what? This is actually very beautiful and tasteful, this is art.’ It meant so much to me.”
But perhaps the greatest boost of confidence came with winning over Port Perry Mayor, Marilyn Pearce. “When she first heard of a Port Perry native in Playboy Magazine, she didn’t want to have anything to do with it. But when she eventually looked at the pictures, she realized it was tasteful and classy and now she supports me in my fundraising and charities.”
Jayde Nicole’s charity work includes an annual charity car wash for Sick Kids Hospital, the Red Campaign to help the fight against AIDS in Africa and raise AIDS awareness, and helping raise money for Animal Rescue Charity. Aside from all the charity work and starting her own modeling agency Jayde has taken it upon herself to start writing a Health and Fitness book. “The book is not about being skinny or ‘model thin’, so much as it’s about staying healthy and feeling good about yourself.” The book will include exercise tips and dieting advice given by some of the top models in the industry.
Upon assessing this young starlet’s determination, it becomes quite clear that she is not one to shy away from challenges. When asked about her first time posing nude for Playboy she stated, “I was only a little nervous at first, but everyone who works for Playboy Magazine is such a professional, they all made me feel so comfortable. Once the robe came off I wasn’t nervous, it was one of my favourite shoots.”
Jayde initially enrolled in George Brown College for Hotel Management but left soon after to pursue her career with Playboy and has never regretted her decision. Truly, the young model has exemplified the benefits that come with persistence, hard work and determination. “I’ve learned more from working at Playboy than I could have learned in school, I couldn’t have gotten this kind of life experience any other way.”
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