Belfast Telegraph

Friday 18 April 2014

'Why I'd love to be as successful as Jordan'

Glamour model Laura Lacole

What does a father think when his daughter wants to pose for 'lads mags'? Chrissie Russell finds out

Laura Lacole (18), Glamour model

I've no idea what I would be doing if I wasn't doing this; I had nothing planned when I left school. It all started around this time last year. I was involved with Prodrift Ireland, going to their car racing shows and they asked me to model for them, doing camera work for TV and taking pictures with the public at events.

Work took off straight away and I did Modified Motors magazine after that and some more shows.

Recently, I went to London and worked with Jens Wikholm, one of the best photographers in Britain, who owns Popstar Photos and usually works with models like Jordan. It was a great experience doing the shoot because usually he doesn't picture anyone who hasn't done a front cover.

It was the first time that I did 'implied topless' — where I was topless but not showing anything. Jens' feedback was really positive; he told me I looked lovely. A lot of photographers have also told me that my look is really unique and I don't look like anyone else they've photographed.

I'd like to do more glamour modelling in England, where there are more opportunities with magazines like Nuts and FHM.

When I was in London I had a lot of interest from different agents and interest in me doing Page Three, but I'm not keen on doing topless just yet, I'm weighing up my options.

Basically, glamour modelling is just looking attractive. Modelling never crossed my mind at school. I wanted to go to university originally to do something to do with physics. There's no one that I really aspire to be like.

Obviously, I'd love to have the success of Jordan but as far as wanting to be someone, my idols are (physicists) Hugh Everett, Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein. I like learning about physics — quantum and philosophy — but I decided that it was something I'd rather do for my own enjoyment instead of studying it.

There's always the same stereotype assumed when people hear you're a glamour model — that you're only good looking and haven't got any brains and can't make a career out of anything else. When people first meet me they don't expect me to have so much depth. They also assume I'll be into girly stuff, but once they get to know me they realise I'm quite laddish.If the modelling doesn't work out for me it won't bother me, I'd rather become a professional driver and do drifting anyway. I love cars and I love the adrenalin rush when I get in the passenger seat with the professional drivers at Prodrift events.

I changed my name to Lacole because I thought Laura Smyth sounded really plain and I know other people who have work names. It's a bit like how Jordan is also Katie Price, it's a way of separating personalities. There's Laura Smyth the science nerd, and Laura Lacole who performs on stage and goes round Europe.

I recently spent four days dancing on stage at the Fuel Girls show in Paris — they're like the Pussycat Dolls but more rocky and bad-ass with their own tour — and have appeared on Eurosport. Not long ago I partied in Bologna with F1 driver Valentino Rossi's dad!

I'm friends with MTV's Dirty Sanchez and DJ Alex Kidd — I never could have imagined the lifestyle I have now. I get five or six times the minimum wage when I work for Prodrift. If I'm doing a photo shoot for a magazine, then it's a couple of hundred pounds.

I think it's so funny that some people still think glamour modelling objectifies women. These days, you can do what you want. I think it's more about girl power. People say it's just for the fellas but if anyone is winning I think it's the girls, they're the ones in control."

Gordon Smyth (49), Taxi driver, Belfast

The first I knew of Laura's job was when I tried to get in touch with her and her mum said she was away working in Dublin. When I heard what she was doing I was on the internet straight away to find out what it was all about. It was slightly worrying, but what put my mind at rest was that the people she works with and her friends seem very reliable — I know they'll look after her.

When I see her pictures it's a bit strange because, even though I know it's my daughter, it's like reading about someone else. It's hard to be protective when she's away so much of the time and when she goes away to Europe obviously I worry, especially when she's having too good a time to send a text and let me know she's alright.

I'm glad she's doing publicity, it'll be nice to see her in the newspaper and I'm glad she's enjoying herself so much. She was a sickly child and missed a lot of school so it's good that now she's more or less recovered and getting out there and enjoying herself.

Laura was always very outgoing as a child, her older sister was very shy but she was always more of an extrovert.

I thought she was doing well at science at school so I did think she would go on and study physics but I'm happy enough with what she's doing now. She's still very young so she can pursue another career if she wants to or study later on.

If she wants to go topless and was happy about doing it then I'd be happy for her. I wouldn't encourage her to do it, but I'd support her if it was her choice, although I don't think she'd want to embarrass her granny!

My mates think it's great that she's doing so well for herself. Laura's mum and I separated about 10 years ago but we've remained friends and I know she supports her too, even though she worries about the future.

I know there can be people who you need to watch out for in the business, but Laura is sensible and to be honest, I'm more worried about her careering round in cars at 100mph than I am concerned at her doing a photo shoot."

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