By Nathan Hardin, salisburypost.com
The modeling world moves fast. So fast that 22-year-old Jacquelyn "Jacque" Thompson never imagined she would compete in the Miss Hawaiian Tropics 26th Annual U.S. Finals competition just one year after entering her first competition.
And Jacque, a native of Salisbury and current student at Catawba College, is still striving for more.
"I would love to have a future in modeling," Thompson said.
Before transferring to Catawba from East Carolina University, Jacque entered and won her first competition, naming her "Miss Emerald of the City 2008."
Jacque's road to modeling began after her roommate in college coerced her into becoming involved in G-Vegas Magazine, which is an entertainment magazine based out of Greenville.
G-Vegas Magazine, which specializes in pictures of students around the Greenville area, hosts the Emerald of the City competition. This win led Jacque to submit photos and be accepted as a Hawaiian Tropics spokesmodel.
Jacque said her transition into modeling was spurred by a love of theater arts.
"I've always been interested in theater arts," Jacque said. "I originally went to ECU to major in performing arts and professional acting."
Having switched to sports communications and broadcasting, Jacque is also interning with the Kannapolis Intimidators and learning more about marketing and promotions.
"It's such a great thing for her," said Pamela Thompson, Jacque's mother and professor of business at Catawba. "It's really opened a lot of doors for her."
One door that's opened is a new sponsorship by Ed Hardy/Christian Audigier Swimwear.
"They contacted me right before the U.S. Finals in Mississippi, because it was being televised," Jacque said. "Every competition I meet someone who gives me another opportunity."
As Jacque waits for her 2010 Ed Hardy/Christian Audigier swimwear line to arrive, she still has a lot on her plate this fall season.
"I'm going to Colorado Springs, Colo., Aug. 7 to 9," Jacque said. "They aren't state events, just regionals, and there can be between 30 and 40 girls."
Jacque won't just be vying for the $6,000 in prize money at the Colorado Springs competition. She'll also be doing promotions for the soldiers at Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg.
As part of her arrangement with the Hawaiian Tropics promotions, Jacque is scheduled to do a tandem jump at Fort Bragg. A tandem jump is sky diving with an instructor attached to the jumper for support.
"I'm terrified of heights," Jacque admitted. "I'm extremely scared of doing the tandem jump."
Throughout her journey into modeling, Jacque maintains that growing up in Salisbury has helped her in competitions.
"Growing up with the pretty girls of Salisbury and how everyone here's so nice, has really helped me, confidence wise," Jacque said.
Jacque recently returned from a competition in Snoqualmie, Wash., where she was a finalist.