Meridian Star

Meridian 360

July 24, 2008

Local beauty star model in Mississippi Hotties competition

Jeff Carter was searching for something to give his newly formed company, J&C; Marketing, some good exposure when the idea of Mississippi Hotties came to mind.

He and his partner, Chris Wright, set about starting a contest calling all the most beautiful women ages 18-40 in Mississippi to participate. A myspace page was formed: That was in April. Now there are about 60 models participating. Voting on the myspace profile is open until Aug. 1. The top 12 vote-getters to be featured in the calendar will be announced Aug. 2.

Top model

One of the stars of the Mississippi Hotties calendar competition is Karla Boutwell, a registered nurse from right here in Meridian.

"I've never been in any kind of beauty pageant or anything like that," she said.

She has participated in some hair shows and does some modeling. Now with the attention she's gotten through the contest and her myspace profile at, more modeling opportunities are pouring in, including runway modeling, something Karla thought about doing when she was 12 and 13 years old.

"I was the most goofy, gangly, all arms and legs kind of kid," she said. "But as I got older I fell back into wanting to do it."

Now 39, Karla said she has more free time for her childhood dream now that her children are older.

She also hopes her participation in the calendar competition, being close to the age limit (she turns 40 in November) will be encouraging for other women.

"They say 40 is the new 20," Karla said, laughing.

A good cause

Money raised with the Missisippi Hotties calendar and clothing line is also going to a good cause, Heather's T.R.E.E., a foundation dedicated to Training, Resources, Education, and Empowerment regarding domestic violence.

Find out more about the foundation, which honors the late Mary Heather Spencer, online at

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