Southwest Florida women compete for $25,000 grand prize

NOTE: This article has been updated with more Inked Cover Girl contestants in Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Port Charlotte.

Rhianna Keesling decided to prove something this year Inked Cover Girl Contest – to herself and to the world.

Moms can be sexy too.

And they don’t have to strip down to their underwear to do it either — not that there’s anything wrong with that, she says.

“As a mum, I didn’t want to do all the bras and panties or lingerie – as I see with 90% of the girls entering (the Inked competition),” says Keesling, 29, of Arcadia , formerly of Punta Gorda. “I wanted to do things a little differently. …

“I wanted to show that moms can be confident and sexy and still be moms at the same time.”

Photographer Rhianna Keesling, 29, of Arcadia, enters the 2022 Inked <a class=Cover Girl contest. The winner takes home $25,000 and appears on the cover of Inked magazine.” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/DoHuNavjUD05QWeA1EmZgw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTEwNTg-/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/_KGJVtleaUOefqt4UKjS9g–~B/aD01NDcyO3c9MzY0ODthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/the-news-press/140205b0a1df7cdf1c7c09ceaf453ca6″/>

Photographer Rhianna Keesling, 29, of Arcadia, enters the 2022 Inked Cover Girl contest. The winner takes home $25,000 and appears on the cover of Inked magazine.

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After all, the wedding photographer has to think of her four children, ages 2 to 10.

“My eldest, he’s almost 11,” she said. “And if anything came of it, I was like, ‘I don’t want him to see parts of his mother that he doesn’t want to see (Laughs)!”

Keesling is one of thousands of tattooed women who enter the annual competition. The winner takes home $25,000 and appears on the cover of Inked magazine.

Voting in this round continues until Wednesday, February 2.

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Tattoo artist Savannah Leslie, 33, from Cape Coral is entering the 2022 Inked Cover Girl contest. The winner takes home $25,000 and appears on the cover of Inked magazine.

Tattoo artist Savannah Leslie, 33, from Cape Coral is entering the 2022 Inked Cover Girl contest. The winner takes home $25,000 and appears on the cover of Inked magazine.

Keesling and at least six other Southwest Florida women are hoping to qualify for the next ballot. And they’re probably not the only ones.

It is not known how many locals compete each year. The contest website does not group contestants by region or show their cities and states of residence, and an “Inked” representative confirmed that contest organizers are unable to do so either.

Cape Coral tattoo artist Savanna Leslie33 years old, from True Alchemy Tattoo Studio already knows what she would do with that $25,000: create a non-profit organization to tattoo women who have had breast cancer surgery or people who have attempted suicide or self-harm and want to cover their scars.

This is something Leslie has been doing on her own for several years now. And she does it for free, tattooing people after hours or on her days off.

Heather Donaldson, 32, of Fort Myers, is entering the Inked <a class=Magazine Cover Girl 2022 contest.” data-src=”https://s.yimg.com/ny/api/res/1.2/E3DuoT9tpx0iROJyMYUSXw–/YXBwaWQ9aGlnaGxhbmRlcjt3PTcwNTtoPTg2NQ–/https://s.yimg.com/uu/api/res/1.2/pYCuAQwzCdjmobvTQ.RkbQ–~B/aD0xNzY2O3c9MTQ0MDthcHBpZD15dGFjaHlvbg–/https://media.zenfs.com/en/the-news-press/5b9ffe40bf179a1f2d2404bcb867715a”/>

Heather Donaldson, 32, of Fort Myers, is entering the Inked Magazine Cover Girl 2022 contest.

She got the idea about seven or eight years ago when she tattooed a breast cancer survivor.

“I gave her her nipples back, because she lost them,” Leslie explains. “She was so thrilled and so happy that she just bawled in my chair.”

She was supposed to charge the woman, but Leslie didn’t feel good about it.

“For me, it was like giving her back her femininity,” she says. “And I don’t think anyone should have to pay for it, so I gave him his money back with my cut from the studio.”

Caitlin Marie Florence, 25, of Fort Myers, is entering the Inked Magazine Cover Girl 2022 contest.

Caitlin Marie Florence, 25, of Fort Myers, is entering the Inked Magazine Cover Girl 2022 contest.

How to Vote for the Inked Magazine Cover Girl 2022 Nominees

The Inked Cover Girl contest is divided into several smaller groups of competing women. Eventually, the winners of these groups will be combined into one large group for the final.

Here’s where to vote for Southwest Florida women competing this year:

Voters must register through their Facebook account. You can vote once per day.

The competition is a fundraiser for MusiCares, a non-profit organization that helps musicians in times of financial, personal or medical crisis. It also sheds light on tattoos and tattoo culture.

Candi Betts Couto, 31, of Port Charlotte, is entering the 2022 Inked Cover Girl contest.

Candi Betts Couto, 31, of Port Charlotte, is entering the 2022 Inked Cover Girl contest.

The top 15 winners from each group will advance to the Top 10 round, which narrows each group down to just 10 women. Voting for this round will take place from February 3 to 10.

After the Top 10 round, winners advance to these rounds:

  • Top 5 lap, where the Top 10 winners are reduced to five in their different groups (February 10-17);

  • Group Finalists Round, where an overall winner in each group is chosen and advances to the quarter-finals (February 17-24);

  • Quarter-finals, where the group finalists compete in several new quarter-final groups. One winner will be chosen from each group (February 25 to March 3);

  • Semi-finals, where the winners of the quarter-finals compete in several new semi-final groups. One winner will be chosen from each group (March 4-10);

  • And Finalswhere all the semi-finalists compete in the same group to win the competition (March 11-17).

To learn more about the competition and see the other competitors, visit cover.inkedmag.com.

— Are you a Southwest Florida woman entering this year’s Inked Cover Girl contest? Email reporter Charles Runnells at [email protected] or connect with him on Facebook (facebook.com/charles.runnells.7), Twitter (@charlesrunnells) or Instagram (@crunnells1).

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Inked Cover Girl Contest: Women from Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Arcadia Compete for $25,000

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