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May 15, 2021

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Camas teen hopes model magazine will boost her music career

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This photo of 15-year-old Camas singer Katelynne Cox appears in the Most Beautiful Edition of Supermodels Unlimited magazine.
This photo of 15-year-old Camas singer Katelynne Cox appears in the Most Beautiful Edition of Supermodels Unlimited magazine. Photo Gallery

Camas teen Katelynne Cox grew up reading Supermodels Unlimited magazine and looking up to the models gracing its glossy pages. Now she’s one of them.

Cox, a 15-year-old sophomore at La Salle Catholic College Preparatory in Milwaukie, Ore., is featured in the magazine’s 2009 Most Beautiful Edition. Cox is highlighted in the issue’s music industry section alongside such names as Brooke Hogan, a singer and reality-television personality who’s the daughter of wrestler Hulk Hogan.

“It really was an honor. I’ve been looking at this magazine since I was little. It was a huge deal for me,” Cox said.

Her profile will continue to rise when she appears alone on the cover of the magazine’s February/March issue. She’ll also be featured in an eight-page prom attire spread inside.

Cox would love to do more modeling, but music is her true passion. She hopes appearing in the magazine will help propel her career.

For Supermodels Unlimited subscription information, click here.

“I think it’s going to help get me out there and get a bigger fan base besides just Washington,” she said.

That’s especially important as she prepares to release her second CD, a yet-untitled album that marks her first full-length effort. Her EP, “Unbelievable,” came out in 2008 on her independent label, KC Records, and only whetted the pop singer and songwriter’s appetite for recording.

The new album took her to Nashville, where she worked with Grammy-nominated songwriter Aaron Rice and Jordin Sparks collaborator Sam Mizell.

Song selections for the album, which Cox expects will be released this summer on KC Records, are still being finalized.

Not changing

But there is one track she knows will be included, “I’m Not Changing.” Cox penned the song to let other teens know that they’re not the only ones feeling pressure to conform.

“I really think this song is going to be really big for me because I can get things off my chest,” she said. “I can speak to others and say, ‘It’s OK. You’re not the only ones going through this. I am too, and we’re not going to change for (others’) approval.’”

People might be surprised to learn that a magazine cover girl with her own record label struggles for acceptance, but Cox says she’s always had a hard time making female friends and deals with bullies on an ongoing basis.

For Supermodels Unlimited subscription information, click here.

“I’m harassed at school, and some people might not like me, but I’m not changing who I am to conform to what you think is right or normal.”

Cox believes commitment to her music career sometimes creates a barrier between her and her peers.

“I think people have a hard time with me because they don’t think what I do, singing and performing, is normal. But it’s normal to me.”

Perhaps that’s because Cox has had time to get used to life in the spotlight. She’s been involved with beauty pageants since she was 7. She recently completed her reign as the 2009 National Junior Teen Victory Queen for the American Coed Pageants organization.

It was through that title that she gained the attention of Supermodels Unlimited, a fashion and beauty magazine that comes out every other month and is geared toward the modeling and talent industries. Cox’s mother, Wendy Sturm, contacted the magazine to tell them about the Teen Victory Queen honor, and Supermodels Unlimited saw in the young performer a good fit.

“She’s perfect for our demographic, showcasing girls who are beautiful inside and out,” said Supermodels Unlimited Editor in Chief Kim Lawrence. “She’s a really, really beautiful girl, but mainly we look for people who are good role models and do a lot in their community. She’s also really talented and has an amazing voice.”

Cover girl

Supermodels Unlimited flew Cox and Sturm to New York City in November to shoot the Most Beautiful photo for the December/January issue and inside images for the February/March issue. The mother and daughter returned in late December for the cover shoot.

“It was super cool. I love being in front of the camera and dressing up,” Cox said. “I love when people do my hair and makeup. I wish I had them there every day.”

Cox wears her own clothes in the Most Beautiful photo and in the cover shot, but for the prom feature she modeled about 10 different gowns. She didn’t get to keep any of them, but one in particular stood out. It was a long, blue dress with beading around the waist.

“I would love to wear it to my prom,” Cox said.

This year Cox hopes to be invited to prom by an upperclassman friend. It’s rites of passage such as school dances that help provide balance for the ambitious teen. She tends to be an overachiever, Sturm says, and recently had to step down from her varsity cheerleading post. With school and her career, not to mention soccer, it got to be too much, Sturm says.

Fortunately, Cox has in her music an avenue for expressing herself when life becomes overwhelming.

“The biggest thing for me is it’s a way for me to express myself and get through to other people,” she said.

Although she says she sometimes struggles to relate to others her age, songs on her upcoming album will tackle subject matter that is universal for teens.

“Make it Up as We Go,” for example, addresses the pressure young men and women feel to define their relationships. People are always asking whether a pair are boyfriend and girlfriend, and labels aren’t necessary, Cox says.

“It doesn’t need to be something. We make it up as we go,” Cox said.

One thing she isn’t winging is her future. Cox would like to be a professional singer, but engineering is her fallback.

“It’s the backup plan,” she said.

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