Influence: Hugh Hefner

Hugh Hefner

The man, the myth, and the legend. Hugh Hefner has lived a life that many people dream of (men in particular). A magazine, beautiful women, mansion, and of course, money. Mr. Hefner has done it all and seen it all (literally). So, what brings me to Hugh Hefner? Well, you have to go back when I was a teenager. Like all curious teenage boys, I was very curious (and intrigued) about Playboy magazine. In today’s world all you have to do is search anything on Google, but seeing and feeling a Playboy magazine in your hands was something magical. Playboy was always the frontrunner in featuring beautiful women in their magazines, but it wasn’t until I got older that I understood the comment, “I read Playboy for the articles.” Once you gaze over the women in the magazine and start to read the articles, you quickly realize that there’s damn good writing in Playboy.

It never dawned on me to learn more about Hugh Hefner. I thought he was just living the life (which he was and still is), but once I started to hear more about Hugh Hefner over they years, I finally began to learn more about him. Hugh Hefner was a man of many talents and interests. For instance, I never knew that Mr. Hefner was a big fan of jazz music, and featured his favorite musical artists on ‘Playboy After Dark’, and he fought against racism. There was just more to Hugh Hefner than meets the eye, and I was impressed by the way he ran Playboy and the way that he respected women and gave them a platform to succeed in life.

Playboy Magazine

I was most impressed by Mr. Hefner’s ability to start Playboy from the ground up, and turn it into one of the most recognizable magazines in the world. When I first started my blog, I didn’t know exactly what to write. Whatever came to mind, I would quickly put together a post. If you look back on previous posts on my blog, you’ll find that I interviewed a lot of models. I never intended to go down that route, but that all changed when I sent out an email to Abigail Ratchford. Abigail was just starting out as a model when I first interviewed her, but now she’s a sensation. Abigail has been on TMZ countless times, and she’s been dominating on Instagram. She was very impressed with my unique questions and my ability to engage her in good conversation. Since I first interviewed her, we’ve become good friends, and I’ll be forever grateful for that. And ironically, Abigail has done photo shoots for Playboy and even shot some content with them. Like Hugh Hefner, I was starting something that gave me great satisfaction knowing that I just wasn’t doing the same thing such as other publications and websites.

Playboy Magazine

Other people may view Hugh Hefner differently than I, but I see him as a pioneer and an innovator. He was truly passionate about the work he was doing, and he paid exceptional detail to each and every magazine that was put out. Things are a lot different now with Playboy, but I’ll always be inspired by Hugh Hefner whether I’m writing something down on paper or typing.

A Beautiful Mind: Kennedy Summers

Kennedy Summers


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.


Kennedy Summers


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.


Kennedy Summers


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.


Kennedy Summers


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.


Kennedy Summers


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.




Kennedy Summers


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.


Kennedy Summers


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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So Seductive: Taryn Maria

Justin Marroquin interview with Taryn Maria

There are models, and then there is Taryn Maria. With a long, extensive background in modeling, Taryn Maria has done a lot early on in her career. Taryn is the first Canadian in history to win the coveted title of Playboy Miss Social March 2013. She has been also featured on the THESMOKINGJACKET.COM for PBMS (Playboy Miss Social), and has also been in several calendar shoots, and online magazines. Taryn took time to share with me her views on modeling, goals, and advice.

Justin Marroquin: How does it feel to be the first Canadian winner of Playboy Miss Social?

Taryn Maria:

AMAZING. Words can not express how happy I am to be the FIRST Canadian Winner of Playboy Miss Social.
I made finals 12x, I was runner-up Miss July & Miss September 2012, before I finally won the honor of Miss March.
We come from a beautiful country, and it should be shared with the world. I can only hope to be a role model to other
Canadian woman of all ages. Believe in your country, and everything else will follow. I am PROUD to be Canadian.
Photo Credit: Brian Perry Photography
Photo Credit: Brian Perry Photography

JM: How did you get into modeling?

TM: I started with photography, shooting my model friends here & there. Then a fellow photographer asked me to
model for him. I’m a total jock, so when he asked me; I looked at him like he was crazy ha-ha, but I took a chance
and fell in love. it’s been eight years now and I am still going strong.

Photo Credit: Brian Perry Photography
Photo Credit: Brian Perry Photography
JM: What is the hardest part about being a model?
TM: Remembering to be your biggest fan. If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will. It’s a tough industry; you need a thick skin for the constant criticism. You just have to keep your chin up, and move forward. As long as it makes you happy, nothing else matters.
JM: How do you get through a tough day?
TM: Two ways. I’ll come home from a tough day, and go play some PS3, or I’ll play with my beautiful golden retriever, Mariah.
Justin Marroquin interview with Taryn Maria
JM: What does Playboy mean to you?
TM: Everything. Beauty is everywhere—on the campus, in the office, living next door; nice girls like sex too—it’s a natural part of life. Don’t be ashamed of it. I’ve never thought of Playboy as a sex magazine. I always thought of it as a lifestyle magazine, in which sex was one important ingredient. I dreamed impossible dreams, and the dreams turned out beyond anything I could possibly imagine. You know, from my point of view, I’m the luckiest cat on the planet to be Playboy’s Miss Social March 2013.
Justin Marroquin interviews Taryn Maria
JM: Describe your dream photo shoot?
TM: I would love to shoot at the Playboy Mansion. Hair, makeup, wardrobe all taken care of. It would be an honor to shoot in front of Hugh Hefner, or Cooper Hefner; I’m very jealous of PBMSOY13 Ashley Salazar, not only did she get to shoot her title shoot at the mansion, but she got in the grotto in front of Cooper (Hef’s son) that to me, would be the icing on the cake for the rest of my life! I can only hope for the best in PBMSOY14 this February.
Photo Credit: Brian Perry Photography
Photo Credit: Brian Perry Photography

JM: What is one piece of advice that has helped you in your life?

TM: Carpe Diem—Seize the day; take every opportunity you can because life changes, and changes fast, so live life with no regrets.

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It’s Always Sunny In London: April Summers

April Summers 1There are girls in this world that will leave you speechless. April Summers is that girl. Actress. Model. TV Presenter. Playboy Playmate. April is lighting up the UK with her beauty, and she plans to do the same here in the US. Without a doubt, I think April will not only have the UK and US speechless, but the rest of the world as well.

Justin Marroquin: How does it feel to be a Playboy Playmate?

April Summers: Fantastic! It is a real joy to have been given the title of a Playmate.

JM: Did you always envision being part of Playboy?

AS: Oh yes, very much so. Playboy had always been my inspiration for modeling. I used to buy everything from clothes to jewelry with the Playboy logo on them! I have always admired Playboy for celebrating beautiful, and curvaceous women at their best and keeping the ideal women form in focus. None of this skinny clothes horse Vogue rubbish. The only reason fashion models are all skinny and flat chested, are because the designers for the clothing lines are all gay, so therefore they want the models to look more like men, with no womanly shape to them.

DSC_6258JM: Who do you admire and look up to?

AS: I admire quite a few talented people, but I don’t look up to anyone.

JM: What type of action did you take when you decided that you wanted to be a model?

AS: I had a friend take some studio shots of me for the fun of it, and then we put them on a social modeling network, then before I knew it, I was lucky enough to have been selected for my first professional shoot. I was only 16 when I started to model, and the first job I had was for an online boutique selling rock ‘n’ roll type of clothing.

DSC_4358bwJM: Describe some setbacks that you have had, and how did you learn from them?

AS: The hardest setbacks are always the ones you give and manifest yourself. I believe only you can hold you back from whatever it is your heart truly desires to do.

JM: How do you deal with negativity?

AS: The only way to deal with negativity in this industry, is to brush it straight off. People will always be out there to have something negative to say. The truth is, if they have any negative response to you, it can only be to do with the fact that is a reflection on how they feel towards themselves. Positive people only have positive things to say, so the rest isn’t worth even listening to.

DSC_2799JM: Do you believe in setting goals?

AS: I do indeed. One must always set goals so they have a point to work towards and work out the mini goals you must set yourself in order to reach the bigger ones.

JM: What do you do to get through a tough day?

AS: I whistle while I work.


JM: Any plans on coming to the US for modeling, TV, or movies?

AS: Yes, I will be making my first visit to the Playboy mansion this fall, so I am very much looking forward to meeting other lovely Playmates, and of course the man himself ‘Sir Hugh Hefner’ oh, and his new bride. With regards to work, I will explore all my options for TV and film while I’m out there.


JM: If you could give one piece of advice, what would it be?

AS: Always follow your heart. As dreams really do come true.


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