Hef might have passed away, but the legacy of Playboy lives on in our hearts, in our minds and under our beds. We also have the Playboy Playmates to remind us of the magazine's raison d'etre. Kennedy Summers is one of them. Born in Berlin in 1987, she has traveled a lot during her career. She was also the Playmate of the Year in 2014.
As a model, Kennedy does runway, TV commercials, catalogues, print ads, promotions, short films, independent movies, and a lot of magazines. She even appeared in movies! And she was going through medical school at the time when she became a Playboy Playmate. As you see, this bombshell of a blonde is a very well rounded personality, and Catfly managed to get an interview with her!
Kennedy told us that she never never considered herself pretty when she was growing up. However, her parents always emphasized her intelligence: "My parents always called me smart, instead of beautiful, so I've always identified as a complete brain, haha. I think it worked out for me, though, because I put a lot of effort into my education." And education was a lot of fun for her, considering that she didn't have to go through bullying while at school. Her private school had a zero-tolerance stance for bullies - anyone who spent time picking on other would have been thrown out immediately. The school was so tightly run that they didn't even had locks on their lockers!
And along with great memories of time spent at school came the appreciation to what education can give you. "I really think, as great as work is now, it's equally important to invest in your future. I won't always be a top model – someday, I'm going to want to have kids and a normal life, and I won't be able to do what I do anymore," Kennedy told us while commenting on her plans on continuing education. "Looks are a very transient thing, but brains and education last forever. My grandmother always said that education is the one thing no one can ever take away from you." She also believes that a lot of other Playboy Playmates are also smart and beautiful women - yet ones that haven't had the chance to improve via education. As Kennedy days, "'smart' and 'educated' aren't the same thing!"
On the other hand, she's still a beautiful blonde that appeared on the cover of Playboy. And we all know how mean people can get when it comes to sexy blondes! Unless you have been living under a rock – and probably even then - you have probably heard a joke or two that associate stunning good looks with stunningly low IQ. Kennedy, however, doesn't really care about what these people say about her. In fact, she thinks that jokes like that reveal more about people telling them. She believes that rude people - from schoolyard bullies to folks that tell blonde jokes - feel threatened, and what they say about you is just a reflection of how they feel about themselves. "The people who say those things usually aren't from good home environments and probably had a mother who was abusive or neglectful," says Kennedy" I try to look at things from the other side, which helps me not take them personally. You'll encounter good and bad people in any industry, and social media is no exception!" She also likes to add that "happy people aren't mean people."
Back on to the positive track, it came as a surprise to Kennedy when she had her first modeling gig when she was just a teen. "I started modeling when I was fourteen – I got put into finishing school, and the lady owned a modeling agency. I was so surprised when she wanted to sign me because I'd never heard anything about my looks, good or bad. I was like, 'Does this mean I'm pretty?'" She hasn't looked back since. One of the best things about modeling for her is all the free travel she gets to do, which is a great perk when you think about it. Wish someone paid for my travels...
One other thing that helps Kennedy is that her parents loved the idea of her modeling. While she says that "they're not historically supportive people" - besides telling her that she's smart, I guess - they did support her on this adventure. On the other hand, Kennedy says that she's always been really independent and never asks for permission, nor she seeks validation: "I follow my heart and try to make choices I'll be happy with on my deathbed." This means sometimes going to meet a rock start backstage instead of going home early to study, which is a decision all of us can empathize with. And here you were starting to think that Kennedy is some nerd shut in! Shame on you!
She does have issues with personal relationships – or how they have been affected by her rise to fame. "A lot of people you were close to start expecting you to change, so they start looking for it," commented Kennedy. "When they're approaching you with negative ideas, they're more likely to see them in you." On the other hand, some of them try and get benefits from being friends with her. For example, some uses her name to get tables at clubs. And since Kennedy doesn't show – since nobody told her about that - the angry club managers start phoning her over that!
However, Kennedy doesn't think that modeling changed her that much. For one, she has been doing that for ages (or "as long as I can remember" in her words).
On the other hand, she doesn’t appreciate the way her image is formed by the media. “Everyone is really quick to snap photos of me walking my dog without underwear and say bad things, instead of considering that, sometimes, when puppy has to potty, you just have to take him out with wet hair, or unfinished makeup, or even half your clothes on because he's having an emergency!” says Kennedy, who would prefer to get some coverage of her work with the homeless or Habitat for Humanity.
Speaking of which, Kennedy some parting words of wisdom about being successful: “Do what makes you happy. Don't ask for validation and don't expect everyone to like you. As long as YOU like you, the rest will work itself out. Just don't compromise your values to fit in.”