It is my absolute pleasure that I introduce you to Playboy’s Miss December 2013, Kennedy Summers. You will not come across a more beautiful, kind, and smart woman as Kennedy. She’s a very busy woman, and in addition to being Miss December 2013, she is also starring in a movie called “Money Money Money,” going to med school, and is in the process of getting her masters. Kennedy is quickly becoming a household name, and something tells me you’re going to remember her name for years to come.
Justin Marroquin: How did you get interested in modeling?
Kennedy Summers: Modeling actually wasn’t my intention; my parents sent me off for etiquette classes and the teacher happened to also own a modeling agency. I was about fourteen at the time and already 5’7,” so she thought I’d be good for it.
JM: What was your first photo shoot like?
KS: My first photo shoot was really funny. Since I was fourteen, my mom sent my aunt to travel about eight hours with me to the shoot. She spent a good portion of the time checking the dressing room for hidden cameras and asking the photographer where they were. I was mortified at the time, but now I think it’s hilarious.
JM: Have you ever been nervous while modeling?
KS: I don’t get nervous in front of the camera. I forget the whole world when I’m shooting and I feel like I really come to life under all those bright lights. They’re set up to make you look your best, so I honestly think I’m more nervous about being under fluorescent lighting, haha.
JM: How do you handle criticism and negativity that is directed towards you?
KS: On a professional level, I believe that any publicity is good publicity. I think as long as you’re relevant and on people’s minds, you’re doing something right. On a personal level, I just let it go. Ultimately, their opinion doesn’t change my life anymore than me being in Playboy changes theirs. I’m happy, which is why I don’t sit around bashing people on the internet (or reading nasty reviews), but some people aren’t. It’s not really me they’re mad at; they don’t know me. They can’t see two pictures of me and call me names like they’re a bigger expert on female beauty than Hugh Hefner.
JM: What interested you to study anthropology?
KS: I got into anthropology because I got to experience a lot of different cultures firsthand as an international model. I got to live in about fifteen different countries, each for a few months at a time, and really learn what makes their world go ’round. I wanted, and would still love, to share their incredible, unique experience with the world through travel documentaries. I thought that anthropology would teach me how to better analyze the cultures by helping me organize what I’d learned during my travels.
JM: You also went to medical school. What was that like, and tell me the experience you had while studying there?
KS: I did go to medical school; I’m in my third year doing rotations. I would say that I was the “nerd” of med school basic sciences (I know, right. I thought we were all nerds, here), so I was the person who threw off the grading curve. People kind of resented that, but the only person who really bullied me was my teacher. It’s weird to be bullied by a teacher. I did have a great group there, though, with whom I’m still very close. There were four of us who shared a house down there and we made some incredible memories! We’ll definitely be friends for life. As far as the schoolwork goes, though, it’s a lot of time and effort, but I wouldn’t call it hard. I think there is a lot of time involved and a lot of memorization, but the material itself isn’t challenging. I think as long as you love school, it’s very doable.
JM: What are some things you have failed at, and how did you overcome them?
KS: You know, I’ve never stopped to think of something as a “failure.” I never in my life thought, “I can’t do this.” Sure, I would try things and sometimes I couldn’t get my way via the traditional route, but I always found a way around it. . . just persevere and never underestimate the power of research. There’s no such thing as failure unless you give up; I don’t fail because I never give up. When I broke into the international modeling circuit in my late teens, I was honestly just looking for a way to move to Italy. I didn’t stop to think about why, or how, but I felt like it was something I needed to do, right then and there. I looked into studying abroad, but my parents weren’t interested in footing the bill for me to “party in Europe,” so I circumvented them and that obstacle. It even worked out that I got to move there for free because the agency I signed with paid for my plane ticket and apartment! And think about it, if I’d studied in Italy, come back, and gotten a nine-to-five job, I wouldn’t be your Miss December 2013! It changed my life for the better. Maybe you only “fail,” because you’re meant to succeed at something greater than what you saw for yourself.
JM: You are Playboy’s Miss December 2013. Describe what Playboy means to you?
KS: It’s the most amazing thing ever! Playboy is an American icon and Hugh Hefner is a living legend! I’m so flattered that Mr. Hefner thought I could represent his company well. It’s such a compliment for him to think you’re beautiful and I love that! I get to be immortalized in American pop culture. It’s truly an honor!
JM: You’re also involved in acting. Tell me how you got interested, and is there anything specific you would like to achieve in acting?
KS: I got involved with acting in school and church plays as a kid. I really felt comfortable on the stage. Eventually though, though, I made the switch to TV commercials, short films, and music videos. I’ve just landed a lead role in the movie Money, Money, Money, which starts filming in January. I’ll be on set until April, then I plan to get back into the hospital and finish med school while they do post-production. I’m hoping to land more movie roles and continue acting in the future because it’s something I really love and enjoy.
JM: What is the best advice you have ever received in your life?
KS: The best advice I ever received is to follow your heart, live without expectations, and never pass up an opportunity because you’ve got a plan. I think that if you don’t expect anything from your life, you’re more likely to follow your heart. Let’s be honest. How often do plans come together flawlessly, just the way we’ve intended? Yes, I’m halfway done with medical school, but I don’t honestly assume that I will be a doctor. I think, “This is what I’m doing now; I’m heading in a good direction.” But, if something comes along tomorrow that sweeps me off my feet, I’ll happily drift that way for a while. This movie role is kind of like that. I feel passionate about my choice to do the film and I know I’d regret not doing the movie more than I’ll regret not having that three extra months of my career as a doctor. Everything I’ve done and every choice I’ve made has been a stepping stone to where I am right now. Maybe that’s why I don’t believe in failure. The best advice I can give is to follow your heart because tomorrow may never come. Live for you and live for now. I do it every day and I can genuinely say that I have no regrets.
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