There must be something to the earth-derived goodness of Madeline Cowe’s upbringing on a North Queensland farm that lends her the edge in the world of modelling. Hers is the ease of the outdoor-type, bronzed by sunshine, lit by a sense of adventure, and equipped with a curious mind that doesn’t shirk from challenges. All qualities that will come in handy, as she faces her next significant endeavour. Here, Maddie reflects on how she stepped from small-town-Tully, into the dichotomous stratosphere of modelling, where she was crowned as Miss World Australia 2016, to now, preparing as a Miss Universe Australia finalist.
DUO: How did you first enter the world of modelling?
I first got involved in modelling when I was picked as a contestant for Australia’s Next Top Model (ANTM) six years ago. Up until this point I had little to no experience in the modelling industry and because I grew up in a small town I never really thought that I would be able to pursue it as a career. Talk about being thrown in the deep end! ANTM opened my eyes up to this industry, and I have been a part of it ever since.
DUO: In 2016 you were crowned as Miss World Australia. Is there a reason you’re now pursuing Miss Universe Australia?
I have been modelling full-time now for two years, and I feel like there is more I can do. Miss Universe Australia gives a platform to empower and support women, affect change, and to be charitable; and all of this as part of global sisterhood. I would love to use this platform positively to encourage youth that no matter where you’re from, you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it. I’m from a small country town, and I grew up on a farm. There’s no limit to your dreams, so dream big.
DUO: Have you received mentorship on your road to success?
There have been many people that have helped me get to where I am now, but I would never have been able to do it without the support of my family – they have always been there for me and even though they knew nothing about the industry, always encouraged me when times were hard. I also have amazing agents who have supported me every step of the way, and I think it’s important that young girls wanting to get into the industry surround themselves with people that will protect, encourage, inspire and support them.
DUO: How has growing up on a farming operation influenced your development as a person?
I loved growing up on a property and wouldn’t change it for the world. Growing up in a rural area and now living in the city, I’m very fortunate to experience the best of both worlds. I come from a really close-knit family too, and I feel that’s allowed me to grow into a young woman that my parents are really proud of. Living in the city and working in the industry, I really can be myself because of my country roots – self-aware, grounded, thankful, leading with kindness…and not fall for nonsense.
DUO: The catch-cry of Miss Universe is ‘Confidently Beautiful.’ What does this mean to you?
To me, being confidently beautiful is someone that shines from the inside, out. Beauty comes from your kind heart, generosity and humility; whereas confidence comes from truly accepting who you are and to admit to your flaws. I believe any and every woman can be confidently beautiful despite society’s ideology of what ‘beauty’ is. When you realise the real value of YOU and what you can achieve, confidence and beauty will shine through.
DUO: What advice would you offer young women hoping to follow in your footsteps?
I would say that if it is something that you want enough, then you should go for it! The modelling industry can be robust at times, and it isn’t always an easy job. I think you have to be sure of yourself going in as there are so many knock-backs, and criticisms, but you can’t let it affect you or your sense of self. We can’t be all things to all people or clients, and the trick is not to take it personally (which is sometimes easier said than done!). Like anything in life the more experience you have, the better you will get at it. I feel very fortunate, and I don’t take it at all for granted.