Montana Cox is Australia’s new national muse. Below, the adorable winner of Australia’s Next Top Model gives us her take on moving to New York, playing netball, and her mischievous youth in Melbourne.
“I was definitely an adventurous kid. I grew up in Warrandyte on four acres with chickens and dogs. A few of my best friends lived walking distance away from me, so we’d always go for walks around the bush and down the river. There’d be snakes and we’d throw rocks and just be dumb. We’d get yelled at by every person that ran into us.
I would get into trouble all the time. Too many times to remember. Everybody was just like, ‘Keep her at home, lock her up.’ I was one of those little menacing kids.
Growing up, I was very sporty. I played tennis and basketball and netball, really any sport at school. They would just say ‘throw Montana in the butterfly swim race, she can do it.’ Which I couldn’t. I was that kind of girl.
I wanted to be a sports woman. I would actually put that down to Kathy Freeman. I wanted to be the best sprinter in the school and that was who I looked up to. I used to have all her posters on the wall when she wore that bloody green suit of hers.
I just think sports are such an amazing thing to be a part of. There’s no real hierarchy. I know that, because I’m actually extremely uncoordinated. I am completely gumby. I don’t know where my limbs are most of the time. I’m constantly running into things and full of bruises. But in sports, it doesn’t matter what your background is, it doesn’t matter who you are. If you can give it a go and try your best you’re always going to be welcomed onto the team.
I loved that team camaraderie. I always like to experience things with other people. I always take other people’s feelings on hand and if they’re enjoying it, I’m enjoying it. It’s the same with modeling.
Even though I love getting on the road and hanging around new places, the one thing about modeling is that, even though you’re meeting people all the time and you’re working with different crews, it can be very lonely.
When I’m shooting, I wish I could hang out with a good friend, so they could experience it the way I’m experiencing it. I wish I could bring all my friends over.
I think my confidence being in front of a camera kind of stemmed from sport. Otherwise I would’ve had no idea what to do or been confident with my body.
I didn’t want to be a model. That was never my idea. The modeling started when I was playing netball for the Victoria side. Netball was the thing I was actually really good at, but I broke a bone off the side of my foot and had to stop for a couple of months. I couldn’t do anything, I had to keep my foot in a moon boot.
One day I was out shopping with my mum someone was like ‘Do you model?’ and I was like ’No way,’ and they were like, ‘just give it a go.’ My mum told me to just go and see what happens, and it just stemmed from there.
I’m pretty proud to be an Australian because we’re good at just having a go. It’s the same with New York: you put yourself in the deep end, and New York is definitely going to throw something back at you. It might be good or it might be bad, but you have to somehow turn that into a positive. You take positives out of every adventure or journey.
When you first get to New York you see like the city lights and you just know that you want to be there, you want to be a part of it. When you walk down the street it has a pulse. It has an energy about it that nowhere else has ever had. It’s like New York lives on a higher frequency. It’s something that I’d never experienced before, and once I had a little taste of it I wanted to be around it twenty-four seven.
I’ve broken up with New York so many times, but I always come running back to it. It’s a big love/hate relationship. It can tear you apart, and sometimes it can make you feel incredible. It’s not amazing all the time, and it’s not shit all the time. It’s just consistently crazy.
When you’re walking around the street, you have to keep your head up high and you have to be watching out. You can yell at someone if you want to yell at someone. You can talk up to people. I’ve never had that in me, and I think New York’s kind of brought that out of me.
I’m generally a very upbeat person, and I’m pretty much the same when I’m working. I don’t think modeling should be serious. You should take it seriously to a certain point, but you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously. I like my work to be fun and positive, I don’t like it to be dreary.”
Style Notes: Montana wears leather, white high top Volley shoes.