When Colleen Marie popped into our office, she struck us as the kind of girl who can kick back and feel comfortable in any environment. The 26-year-old has zero attitude, a homegrown allure and a self-deprecating sense of humor that instantly puts you at ease. Colleen was raised in Dallas and lived in Baton Rouge for eight years while studying veterinary medicine. "I'm not a Southern belle who's like, 'Could you fetch me my coat?' though I do prefer my tea with ice in it," she says. "I have one older sister and our dad raised us like sons, so we did all the outdoor chores and went fishing with him." In fact, Colleen's tomboy ways persisted even after she blossomed. "I blended into the walls and got teased a lot at school, which made me realize in the eighth grade that I had to start brushing my hair. I never felt pretty until people told me. I was in college, and, of course, it went straight to my head! A year later I got it under control, and that's when I started to model." Even with a busy schedule of modeling jobs, Miss August achieved her dream of becoming an animal doctor a year ago. "I am so fortunate to be able to do two things I love this much," she says. At the age of 24, Colleen drove across the country to share a home with her sister in Las Vegas. "My sister and I don't have any attachments and had never lived west of Texas, so we wanted to experiment," she says. "I work for one of the better-known exotic vets in town. We see rats, snakes, ferrets, lizards -- anything and everything. There was a traveling freak show that had an act featuring a tarantula, and it ripped off one of its legs. I handed it to my boss and said, 'It's all up to you. I don't do spiders.' We glued its wound shut and gave it an antibiotic injection. Then we were invited to watch it perform." Colleen offers these tips on how to express your own animal attraction: "Don't stand behind me and scope me out for 10 minutes, because I'll see you doing it and it'll make you look like a dumbass," she says. "Pickup lines can be amusing, but it's a scary place to go if you're not that funny. You can pretty much do anything wrong and I'll forgive you as long as you're honest. Also, I like guys with big, girly eyelashes. It's a total jealousy thing because I have none. I wear makeup only when I go out for a big night with the girls or when I'm modeling." Dr. Colleen is in touch with her inner wildcat and confesses to having a few body piercings, though she won't tell us exactly where all of them are. "I have a split personality -- the doctor side and the fun side," she says. "I try to make it a good mix."
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