Penticton aviation student, Brandi Hansen, edged out thousands of contestants to become a semi-finalist in the 2019 Maxim Cover Girl Canada contest.
Hansen was in second-place in her semi-finalist group when voting ended on June 13, edging her out of a spot in the final 12 contestants. It was a challenging crowd of professional models and social media influencers, however Hansen is just happy to know her message got out.
“Every single Maxim you walk past in the store, what is it? It’s a pretty girl on the front with a bedroom backdrop in lingerie. Surprise me, guys. Do something innovative,” she said.
She chose not to let her skin get the attention of voters, rather it’s her unconventional message: you don’t have to wear next-to-nothing to be recognized as attractive and successful.
Hansen said she’s received comments from parents and others encouraging and thanking her for her efforts.
“I call it “role-modelling” because I think it’s important for both women and men to realize that it’s not about who looks the sexiest, who’s got the least amount of clothes on. You don’t have to follow the crowd to create your own path.”
Hansen, 42, decided to enter the competition and sent the men’s magazine photos of herself hiking, climbing glaciers and flying planes instead of the expected skimpy bikini photos.
“I thought, I’m going to go against the grain with this because I want to break that (pattern of) whoever has the least amount of clothes on is going to win,” she says.
“Forget it, man. I’m going to teach my daughter that you can pioneer your own path and still accomplish and achieve your goals.”
The Penticton-based mother, pilot and outdoor enthusiast lived in Kitimat, and in Terrace, where she owned a hair cutting business in Terrace, was an active search and rescue member, and often fished in the Skeena and Kalum rivers.
Hansen was first chosen amongst thousands of submissions. She flew past the first and second elimination round, securing enough public votes to place first and qualify for the semi-finals.
If she won, Hansen intended to donate the full $10,000 prize to create four $2,000 scholarships for young women in aviation, with hopes it will help “smash the glass ceiling” in the profession. The remaining $2,000 was to go to B.C. Search and Rescue.
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