There must be something in the water in Nakusp.
Or maybe, more accurately, something in the ink.
Three Nakusp women are now vying to become the cover model for a U.S.-based tattoo magazine.
When Inked Magazine announced a competition to select a new cover model, Alicia Settle, Jessica Godtmark, and Kish Pedersen all signed up.
“I saw it, and I kind of hemmed and hawed,” says Settle, a work-at-home mom. “I thought it sounded cool and interesting, but it took me a little bit to get motivated.
“It seemed kind of crazy, but then I said, ‘why not? I’ll see how it goes.’”
The women aren’t competing directly against each other just yet. The entrants are collected into separate cohorts, and compete within those groups first.
Godtmark is currently second in her cohort, Pedersen fourth in her group, and Settle is sixth.
With about 45 women in each group, just making it this far is an accomplishment.
The three Nakusp women have already made it through three rounds, and are now collecting votes online to make it past the next screening, being held March 19.
While there can only be one winner, Settle says the three Nakusp women are sticking together.
“We’re actually very supportive of each other, ” she says. “I actually will go on their page and vote for them, and I think they do the same thing for me. It encourages each other to be a support and say ‘yeah, we got this.’”
“I’m actually pretty good friends with both of them,” Godtmark agrees. “Both are beautiful people and have really nice ink, so I can see them both going farther than me.”
Settle says it hasn’t been easy to show off her body to a global audience.
“It took a lot for me to step out of that comfort zone, and really put myself out there,” she says. “I’m not really that kind of person. But I’ve been amazed at the positive feedback I’ve gotten.”
Godtmark says as an outdoor enthusiast and sports buff it’s been easier to put herself out in public.
“I do a lot of fitness and working out. I’ve lost a lot of weight in the year and a half, about 40 pounds. And I’ve been taking a lot of progress shots and showing myself in my underwear,” she laughs.
All three women say tattoos are an important part of their lives.
Pedersen, 39, says she’s had tattoos since she was 13.
“I have my kids’ names, my back is about my mom who passed away, my arm is about my journey in life,” she says.
“To me it’s a reflection of my personality,” says Godtmark, who has several music-themed tattoos. “It makes my skin more interesting and kind of shows who I am.
“What you get on your skin says a lot about who you are as a person.”
“I love the look of it,” says Settle. “It really showcases what people like and enjoy in life and what’s meaningful to them. And to showcase that in a certain kind of art form.”
Pedersen says she’s in the competition because the $25,000 grand prize could really help her company.
“I would buy a man-lift for my painting business. I would make way more money with it, I’d paint the houses faster, and I wouldn’t have to deal with ladders and scaffolding as much.”
Godtmark, a local musician and waitress, has different plans.
“I would use it to pay off debt and go travelling,” she says. “Being on the cover would be cool too, because you get a trip to New York.”
Settle says she would use her winnings to help her family.
“I would put it towards paying off my house for myself and my kids, and probably take them on a holiday because they deserve to have amazing memories like that,” she says. “And then probably get more tattoos.
“Winning would be a dream come true.”
Voting is taking place over the course of several weeks, with each week’s round of voting eliminating more of the women in each cohort.
The final vote will be April 9, and the winner chosen amongst the competition.