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Tuesday, February 07, 2023

UF women pose for Playboy's 'Girls of the SEC' issue

In the name of school spirit, some students would give the shirts off their backs.

Seven women from UF took off more than that in a 10-page pictorial of the "Girls of the SEC" October issue of Playboy.

The issue, which features "WILD SOUTHERN COLLEGE GIRLS," according to the cover, was on newsstands Sept. 7.

Jessica Macbeth, a pre-med UF psychology senior who posed with the other Gator gals in an orange, blow-up kiddie pool, said the number of fan e-mails she's received pushes triple digits.

Macbeth, a tall brunette who wore a white pullover sweater during an interview Friday, said she tried out for the magazine in April because her friends dared her.

But the joke was on them, she said.

Two days before the photo shoot on April 13, she got the news that she was in.

So far, she said she's had positive responses from friends and family.

She said she'd always be proud of her participation in the magazine.

"It's a fun thing I did when I was young and hot," she said with a wide smile.

Still, Macbeth said frequent recognition by strangers is hard to get used to.

Crowds of people at the gym have approached her and every day she can count on more than twenty Facebook friend requests and messages, she said.

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On Sept. 10, all seven girls participated in a magazine signing at the Swamp Restaurant. Hundreds of people came for autographs, they said.

"It was weird when people had me signing for their dad or a little brother," Macbeth said.

She added that she signed one copy of the magazine for her own dad.

"He knows all about it," she said, laughing.

She said her grandma saw it as well. And Macbeth's boyfriend. And his parents.

But Macbeth, who wore a bikini in the photo, said it doesn't matter to her.

"It's how they'd see me at the beach," she said.

Allison Creamer, a UF sophomore and self-proclaimed baby of the group, said her boyfriend, Pat Carroll, encouraged her to audition.

When Carroll saw his sweetheart's bare breasts in print, Creamer said he couldn't have been happier.

She said Carroll's fraternity brothers were also excited.

"He just told them, 'Whatever. She's beautiful,'" Creamer said.

Playboy's college pictorials have been some of the most popular features in the magazine over the past 31 years, according to a press release from Playboy.

The last time Playboy featured "Girls of the SEC" was in October 2001.

Monique Omura, a UF advertising senior who posed topless, said she has always loved Playboy. However, she said she never expected to be a part of it.

"You don't look at it as pornography," Omura said, flipping through glossy pages of busty, naked women. "You look at it as these beautiful girls."

Between giggles, the freckled, dark-haired Omura explained that she's proud to have posed but hasn't mustered the courage to break the news to her mom and dad.

"I don't think my parents really need to see me naked," she said.

Looking around the room at four of the other Playboy pinups from UF, she said the best part of the experience was bonding with her new buddies.

"You'll always have the magazine, but now we also all have these great friends," Omura said.

Natasha Combs, a UF sophomore, said she initially had concerns that participation in the pictorial could hinder her future career in telecommunication.

She said she ultimately decided if someone doesn't hire her because she posed, she wouldn't want to work for that company anyway.

Combs has a tattoo on her hip that says "Live Free," and she loves to predict personality traits based on astrological signs.

She was the only girl from UF with an individual shot, donning nothing but a green net.

"I was comfortable," she said of the shoot. "I was surprised."

However, Combs said she was disappointed when she saw the published product because her name below the picture was switched with another woman's.

"It was horrible," she said with her eyes wide. "You want to take credit for your own picture. That's a really big deal."

Combs said she denied her participation in the magazine to her parents for as long as she could. But when a check from Playboy was mailed to her house, the secret was out.

The girls would not reveal how much they were paid for the shoot, but Combs said it was less than ,1,000.

She said her parents weren't thrilled about her participation at first, but she said they were happy she chose to be a part of "one of the classier adult magazines."

"It's not like it's Hustler," she said.

The girls said because they posed for the magazine, the doors of the Playboy Mansion are open to them whenever they want to visit.

They will have to pay for travel expenses, but with one quick phone call, they have a ticket inside.

Anita Mae Rose, a UF finance senior, said she wasn't the least bit nervous posing topless.

The only other people in the room were the photographer, producer and lighting coordinator, Rose said.

She said she wasn't worried about dressing scantily even though she was representing UF.

If she were on a sports team, it might have been a different story, she said.

So far, she hasn't had negative feedback about posing in the magazine.

Rose added that she thinks Americans in general are too prudish about showing skin.

The others nodded in agreement.

"The female figure is something people shouldn't be ashamed of," Macbeth said. "It's empowering in a lot of ways."

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