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Friday, April 12, 2024

Former UF student and Playboy playmate visits Gainesville

Tall, blonde and topless.

That's how former UF student and Playboy Playmate Lauren Anderson is pictured in a 2009 swimsuit calendar she promoted Saturday.

In an outdoor bar created in the parking lot on University Avenue near her salon, LAE Tanning & Boutique, Anderson and fellow Playmate Stacy Fuson sat in blue spaghetti-strap dresses next to the disc jockey blasting M.I.A. while promoting the $20 calendars featuring bikini-clad playmates.

Twenty percent of the proceeds, she said, would go to the United Service Organizations to benefit U.S. troops and their families.

"Sex sells," she said. "And that's a big thing. To be honest, it does. You've got to use it for something good."

They also promoted Foxxy News, an online news service created two years ago by Lauren Anderson Entertainment, or LAE, that features Playboy Playmates as the news anchors. Anderson is the main sports anchor.

But with beers in hand and nowhere to go until an 8 p.m. kickoff, football fans, separated into groups of purple and yellow or orange and blue, weren't making lines to buy calendars.

Anderson said she understood that UF and LSU fans weren't looking to carry around the notebook-sized calendars all day.

Kelley Anderson, the playmate's older sister and manager, said they had sold about 20 calendars between Saturday's signing and one at Gator City on Friday.

She said most people wanted to hear about Playboy editor Hugh Hefner and his show on the E! channel, "The Girls Next Door."

UF alumnus Mike Webber and his wife, Martha Webber, snagged a picture with Lauren. Webber said she recognized the playmate from an episode on "The Girls Next Door," which she often watches.

"I'm not a lesbian or anything," Webber said, laughing. "I just like it."

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Like most people who stopped by the table, the couple only wanted a picture with the woman who was in Playboy. They didn't buy a calendar.

"We have kids at home. I don't want that hanging in the house. They're young," Martha Webber said. "But it's cool they can do that. She's awesome."

Anderson, in her usual 4-inch heels that make her a "6-foot monster," said she didn't mind and sat coolly drinking a Budweiser.

You'd never guess she fainted at her first of five photo shoots for Playboy.

"It's so hot with all the lights, heavy makeup and hairspray," Anderson said.

Her road to Playboy started in 2001 when she made it into the magazine's Girls of the SEC feature when it came to UF. She then won on the Fox reality show "Who Wants to be a Playboy Centerfold?" in 2002, where she posed as a school girl.

In those days, the getup fit. She was still a UF student pursuing a degree in animal biology. She said she plans to take the last three classes she needs to get her bachelor's degree and plans to become a veterinarian.

But for now, she's looking to expand LAE, her tanning salon and start her own reality show as she travels back and forth from work in Los Angeles and in Gainesville.

"Here it's just a small town where we say 'Go Gators,'" said Anderson, who has lived in Gainesville most of her life. "I'm definitely more comfortable here."

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