A B.C. mother with ties to the Comox Valley is in the running to be the next Maxim Cover Girl.
Jessica Jewels is in the semifinal round of the online contest that will award one Canadian model a spread in Maxim Magazine and a $10,000 cash prize.
Jewels lives in the Interior now, but grew up in the Comox Valley, having graduated from Vanier in 1997.
“After that I kind of travelled the world,” said Jessica, who grew up as a Caldwell and changed her surname to Billy in the mid 1990s, when her mother remarried. “I had a wrestling scholarship – I used to wrestle (at Vanier). I was a national wrestler – we had one of the largest teams in B.C. at the time.”
She has since settled in the Kelowna area and is a fitness instructor and a nutrition advisor.
She said she returns to the Comox Valley on a regular basis, to visit family and friends.
“I have a lot of family still [in the Comox Valley] – my sister, niece and nephew, aunts, uncles, cousins, so still a lot [of connections],” she said.
The Maxim Cover Girl semifinals include 12 groups with nine participants each. Jewels is sitting in first place in her group with only two days remaining in the online vote.
Only the first place finisher moves on to the final group of 12 women, with a shot to take the prize.
Jewels, a three-time national bodybuilding competitor, said her two children are her main motivation in continually trying to better herself.
“I think the biggest thing for me in making a shift in my life was when I told my daughter to love her body but I couldn’t say the same thing to myself when I looked in the mirror.”
Since then, Jewels has made it her goal to inspire and support other women, and especially other moms.
“I know the importance of feeling good in your skin, but also wanting to be a role model for your kids,” said Jewels. “[Moms] don’t always have the opportunity to do that because we’re tired, we’re overwhelmed and we’re stressed.”
Voting for the semifinals ends June 13 at 8 p.m.
To view the other models in the semifinal and vote for Jewels, click here.