Playboy heads to campus
Published: Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Updated: Sunday, May 17, 2009 19:05
Heather Danielle, a sophomore nursing major at the University of Memphis, posed last Wednesday when Playboy visited her campus.
Initially, she had some qualms about posing fully nude, but she changed her mind during the shoot, something the Playboy crew hopes to repeat when they swing through Hattiesburg.
Playboy magazine is looking for a handful of USM girls to pose for their May 2007 Conference USA issue.
Playboy's crew is set to pass through on Oct. 30 and 31, their first visit since 2000 when they got the cold shoulder from the Hub City. Playboy photographer David Rams said because of the amount of protesters last visit, they will not disclose the audition location to the public.
The upcoming issue will feature a few girls from each Conference USA school. While one crew shoots here, there will be two more crews at the University of Texas and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. There are 12 schools total.
Public relations representative Stefan Prelog said recruiters are looking for girls who "fit the Playboy image" although there are no weight, height or racial restrictions.
Prelog said, "It could be the girl who sits next to you in science class" meaning that Playboy hopefuls do not have to have any prior modeling experience. Photographer Rams added that girls with less experience often do better during the shoot. "We're basically looking for cute, hot college girls."
Rams said he chooses women who fit the location or theme. He creates a "wish list of locations" like a classroom or an outdoor setting and visualizes the women in each place. Rams hopes to capture the "flavor of the city" in the May 2007 issue.
Prelog said models decide how much or how little they will show. He said, "We don't force or coerce the girls to show anything. We don't do anything sleazy." Girls can choose to shoot in lingerie or costume if they are not comfortable with nudity. On the other hand, Prelog said, "keep in mind, this is Playboy."
Rams said initially girls are nervous about being photographed fully or partially nude. He said, however, he and the crew are so laid back the models quickly adapt and feel comfortable. Rams uses specific lighting and poses to flatter the model's assets and downplay her flaws.
He said sometimes the girls do not recognize their own pictures which undergo minimal digital corrections. Rams said they revert to airbrushing only to remove some tattoos, scars or blemishes. Contrary to what some may think, they do not enhance their bodies.
Above all, Rams said girls pose best when they feel beautiful. He said, "I make them feel like a princess for the day. I treat them like they're the most beautiful girls in the world."
You won't find Danielle from Memphis in the phone book, she replaced her last name with her middle to help maintain some privacy, and decided to audition late Wednesday evening after Playboy had already chosen six women from her school. Regardless, her audition impressed Rams so much she got a photo shoot.
"It's something I never thought I would ever do", Danielle said. She said she was not nervous because the whole process made her feel so comfortable and sexy. She got her hair and makeup done professionally on set before the shoot. "Before you know it you're walking around naked," she said.
She said none of it felt dirty or wrong and that the shots were done tastefully and professionally. Danielle said it was fun, too, as the shoot was accompanied with music and food.
Danielle said working with Playboy gave her self confidence. She said she is not worried about what others think. "If you live your life trying to please everybody, you're not really living your life. You're living theirs."
She said the experience also made her more aware of the double standards between men and women. "Women never uplift each other. We judge each other instead of encouraging each other. They shouldn't judge women for doing Playboy, they should be happy for women who are comfortable." Danielle said she is proud to express her sexuality and encourages girls who are considering it to audition.
Any USM women interested in auditions should call 312-315-7432 or visit playboy.com.