At first sight, Nicole Parker generates a variety of words for the casual observer. And while beautiful, sexy and alluring immediately come to mind, there are a few other descriptions that can be attached to the 18-year-old California resident.
Majoring in child development at Oxnard College, Parker is expanding her resume with preparation to work with young people with only two classes left to complete. And while the lure of learning the ins and outs of what makes humans tick from newborn to age 20 is a worthwhile endeavor, at this time the 5’6” Mexican and African-American head turner has her heart set on making a name for herself in the modeling world.
You may already be familiar with Parker through her recent online feature as a Show magazine "Web Gem." And if that doesn’t ring a bell, then the former Rio Mesa High School student’s appearance in Jay Sean’s “2012” video with Nicki Minaj and Audio Push’s “Up and Down” clip may do the trick. Throw in a music video for underground rapper/Tyga affiliate Gata as well as a music video type skit that aired during a Snoop Dogg tour and there's nowhere to go but up for Parker, who will not let anyone put her down nor tell her that she can't do whatever it is she wants to do.
No matter where you’ve seen her, the self-motivated Sagittarius is creating her own lane in a highly competitive field. Not bad for someone who officially started modeling last year after doing "little photo shoots here and there" and is set to grace the cover of Show early next year as well as appear in Black Lingerie magazine.
As she took time out to chat with HipHopDX’s Beauty & Brains on the phone, Parker’s focus was clearly felt as the conversation ranged from her desire to be on the cover of your favorite magazine to her personal motivation in pursuing child development to kicking butt with Denzel Washington on the big screen.
So without further ado, sit back and enjoy Nicole Parker.
Beauty & Brains: What motivated you to go into child development?
Nicole Parker: I have three little sisters. They’re my world. They got taken away from my mom about two years ago. They were in a foster home and she just recently got them back. It’s kind of like a personal thing. That’s something that I’m not in it for the money…I’m not in it because of anything like that, but because I went through that experience. So I kind of want to help out.
That’s why I decided to work with kids. And it just caught my interest because that’s something that I’ve been through personally. I feel like by experiencing that and then working in that field, it’s not like your just studying it, but you’ve actually went through that as well.
Beauty & Brains: How much experience have you gotten as far as working with and meeting people in that field?
Nicole Parker: At school, they have the day care center and stuff like that. I’ve gotten able to actually go in there and be around the kids for a while. But I come from a huge family. I have 26 younger cousins that are 10 and under. So I’m around a bunch of kids all the time. It’s kind of something that I already have experience in, I guess you can say.
Beauty & Brains: 26?
Nicole Parker: Yeah, 26. My mom has five brothers and sisters. One, including herself. She has four brothers and sisters. And one of my uncles has seven kids. Another one has three. The other one has another three. My aunt has five kids. My mom has five. So yeah it’s a big, big family.
Beauty & Brains: You mentioned that it’s a natural thing as far as wanting to get into modeling. Obviously, child development is something major going on with you, but what made you decide to put modeling and entertainment on the list of career choices?
Nicole Parker: Modeling has always been a dream of mine since I was little girl. I have always wanted to become a model. The supermodels, the hair, the make up, the taking pictures and stuff like that. I enjoy taking pictures. I enjoy doing all that stuff.
My family never really put me out there to where I had a choice of wanting to do it or not. It was kind of like "Wait until you’re 18. I’m just gonna go all out and do it on my own and then try and make it on my own." So that's what I did. Everything that I’ve done, basically, it’s just from me putting myself out there and trying to network and trying to get my face out there and trying to do music videos and stuff like that. I never really had my parents there that are gonna take me to auditions or that are gonna pay for me to go modeling school or do anything like that. I never got a chance to do none of that.
Beauty & Brains: What keeps you motivated?
Nicole Parker: Growing up, my parents, my mom and my dad, were both in and out of jail. Me and my older brother, we were raised by our grandparents on my mom’s side. A lot of my family, a lot of them didn’t graduate. A lot of them aren’t doing anything really. Really just working in a 9-5 and stuff like that.
I want to just be the first to actually accomplish something and be somebody. I have three little sisters who are just seven, five and two. I want to set an example for them and show them regardless of where you come from and whatever you’re going through, you can always come up and you can set goals for yourself and you can be successful and you can always live up to your dreams. There’s nothing that you just can’t do.
I’ve come up from my parents being jail, having my little sisters in foster home. Not having really anybody there to support me…I want my sisters to know that you can do whatever you want to do and you can be whoever you want to be. So I just want to set an example and be successful.
Beauty & Brains: Is acting something you’re looking to dive in to?
Nicole Parker: Eventually, yes. As of right now, I’m more into the modeling and the music videos. I do eventually want to get into the acting because you can model for so long. It kind of just...You don’t have your looks forever, put it that way. Now that I’m young, I can go out and do all the photo shoots and music videos and stuff like that.
Beauty & Brains: Let’s have fun with this acting thing. What kind of movies do you like?
Nicole Parker: Well, I’m kind of into everything. Not really anything specific. I pretty much just watch everything. The comedies, the action, you know, everything. So I’m open to acting and if I were to get a certain part or whatever, I’m open to that.
Beauty & Brains: What was the last good movie you’ve seen?
Nicole Parker: The last good movie I seen? Hmmm. I just seen Paranormal Activity 2. It wasn’t as good as I thought it was gonna be. I would have to say...I can’t think of the name...with Chris Brown.
Beauty & Brains: Takers?
Nicole Parker: Yes. There you go. I think that was the last good movie I seen. It’s really good. I recommend for you see that one.
Beauty & Brains: If you had to map out your ideal scene. Let’s say you got cast in a movie. Who would you want to be your leading man and what kind of scene would you like to perform with that person?
Nicole Parker: I think Denzel Washington is a good actor. He’s really good at what he does. As far as the acting business, I think that would be somebody that I would really enjoy working with because he has already accomplished so much and he’s up there and he’s big in acting. I think that would be somebody that I would want to work with.
And I love all his action movies so I think I would want to do something with some kind of action in it. [Laughs]
Beauty& Brains: Is there an artist you would like to be in a video with?
Nicole Parker: I’ve always loved Usher. His music, his dancing. He’s just so talented all around. So that’s somebody that I would really enjoy working with. Or Trey Songz or Chris Brown. Just regular artists.
Beauty & Brains: Who’s in your CD player?
Nicole Parker: Usher. Definitely. My ringtones, my iPod, music on my phone. I love R&B. I’m an R&B person. So Donnell Jones, Musiq Soulchild, all that type of music. I love it and that’s what I listen to all day. I can head to the club and I don’t have to listen to Rap. I can just listen to the R&B and my girlfriends are like "What are you listening to?’ "
But I actually enjoy R&B. No matter what mood I’m in or whatever, I can listen to that and I’ll be fine.
Beauty & Brains: Where do you ultimately see yourself down the road?
Nicole Parker: I want to accomplish being on the cover of different magazines, a few different magazines. Right now, so far I got one down. I did a photo shoot for Maxim, the Spanish Maxim. There’s a possibility I might get the cover for that. So I’m hoping and praying I do.
Hopefully, I can work with some major artists. Nicki Minaj is big right now. Jay Sean, he’s with Cash Money [Records]. That was a really good experience and that’s something good that I can put on my resume. So down the line, I just want to accomplish working with good artists and not just for the money and experience. This is something I want to do personally so I want to achieve that and be happy with my work and what I do.
I’m just thankful for everybody who does support me and everybody who is in my corner and behind me with this whole thing. I’m thankful for everybody who is trying to help me get to my goals and everybody who supports me. I’m trying to give it all I got because it’s a dream and I believe that if I put my mind to it and I really focus and that’s what I want to do, I believe I can accomplish that.