| Fort Myers News-Press
Megan René doesn’t know who voted for her, exactly. But she’s sure glad they did.
The Cape Coral restaurant server just advanced to the Quarter-Finals in the annual Inked Cover Girl contest. Now she’s one step closer to the $25,000 grand prize.
“It’s insane,” René says and laughs. “I just wanted to see how far I could get. … It’s just crazy — in a good way.”
All those online voters put her over the top in the Inked contest. She suspects most of them live in Southwest Florida, but she doesn’t know for sure.
“I wish I could see who it is,” she says. “But people come up to me and tell me that they did (vote). Some people around town are like, ‘Good luck!’”
About 102,000 U.S. women started out competing in the annual Inked Cover Girl contest in January, according to the contest website. Now that’s been narrowed to the top 1 percent — roughly 1,024 women.
More about Megan René: Southwest Florida women move to next round for chance at $25,000
Voting for the Quarter-Finals started Friday and continues through Feb. 25. To vote for René, visit cover.inkedmag.com/2021/megan-ren.
If she wins, René says she’ll use the prize money to pay off her car, invest in stocks and take her parents out to dinner to celebrate. Or she might use it to move to another city and start a new life there. She’s still figuring that out.
René got her first tattoo when she was 15. Now she thinks she has 26 tattoos, but admits that’s just a guess. She stopped counting at 20.
“It’s really therapeutic for me,” she told The News-Press and the Naples Daily News earlier this month. “Most of my tattoos come from if I’m going through something mentally — or anything.
“I zone out when the buzzing starts. And then, of course, there’s the beautiful art afterward.”
Her favorites include a moth under her chin and, just below that, the words “it could be worse.” “It’s about being grateful,” she said.
Those tattoos often get her recognized in Southwest Florida. People know them from her Inked contest photos.
“Even if I have a mask on,” she says. “They recognize my neck tattoo.”
After the Quarter-Finals, competitors will advance to the Semi-Finals (Feb. 26-March 4) and the Finals (March 5-11). The winner gets $25,000 and an Inked cover-photo shoot with celebrity photographer Christopher Kolk.
The contest is a fundraiser for MusiCares, a nonprofit that helps musicians in times of financial, personal or medical crisis. It also spotlights tattoos and tattoo culture.
Voters must register through their Facebook account. You can vote once every day.
To learn more about the contest and see the other competitors, visit cover.inkedmag.com.
Connect with this reporter: Email firstname.lastname@example.org or connect on social media at Charles Runnells (Facebook), @charlesrunnells (Twitter) and @crunnells1 (Instagram).
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