The lovely lives of Playmates

By Gus Bode

Don’t get these women wrong, it is all fun and games, and they’re loving every minute of it

Nicole Whitehead is thinking intensely in the lobby of the Drury Inn in Marion, but her sparkling teeth still look amazing.

She’s not thinking about the flight class she has to teach on Monday. She’s not thinking about the men gawking at her behind the front desk, or even the limousine waiting for her and fellow Playmate Stephanie Glasson outside. She’s trying to answer what most people would consider a simple question:”What’s the hardest part about being a Playmate?”


Whitehead is saved by Glasson, who makes her way down to the lobby and sits next to Miss May.

Whitehead, a native of Cleveland, Ala., turns to the Playmate.

“Can you think of anything about our job that is hard?” she asks.

Glasson contemplates her answer.

“Having to travel by herself is the hardest part about her job,” she said. “Everywhere I go, I’m by myself – in the airport, on the plane and during layovers, but I’ve gotten use to it by now. Like this month, I’ve been to Miami, Sacramento, and Vegas.”

Doesn’t sound that bad, does it?

The Playmates were in town sponsoring Milwaukee’s Best beer and offering a trip to a Playboy Poker Party at the illustrious Playboy Mansion in February for a winner and a guest. Glasson and Whitehead, along with the Miller girls, handpicked lucky contestants throughout the weekend for a drawing Saturday night at Carboz. Along with the trip, valued at more than $4,000, the winner received the opportunity to meet Hugh Hefner, who Whitehead said is a very pleasant man.


“He’s a gentleman,” Whitehead said. “He’s a great role model for a lot of people. He’s a strong individual, he’s in great shape and he really knows how to have fun.”

Whitehead said the first time she met the philanthropist, they immediately hit it off.

“He was a pilot as well, so we talked about flying,” Whitehead said. “He’s really easy to talk to. He’s always asking if there is anything he can do for you to make your time better.”

The two women were both spotted by Playboy scouts, but had different reactions to being picked.

Glasson was in a restaurant in Virginia Beach, where she lives. She said someone came up to her and asked her if she wanted to be in the magazine, but she didn’t think she had a chance of making the publication. Finally, the nagging got to her.

“The only reason I did it was because the person who wanted me was so persistent,” she said. “I didn’t know why he chose me because all the Playmates have such different looks.”

Whitehead was spotted at a community college. She said she was also a little relunctant about being in the magazine.

“I never saw myself as a playmate,” she said. “I had a different idea of what they were looking for, but since then I have learned there is a lot more to a playmate than what most people expect.”

Whitehead thought about posing in the magazine for six months before she agreed to pose. She talked to friends family, and even ex-boyfriends just to see how it would affect them, and everyone was really supportive about it.

“It’s a really an important decision, because a lot of people see the magazine,” Whitehead said. “It’s not something that will go away in a couple of years.”

Luckily for her she accepted, because the experience really helped her pay for flight school. Now she is an instructor and contract commercial pilot, a dream of her’s since she was six years old.

“Playboy really helped me financially to reach that goal because flight schools aren’t cheap,” Whithead said. “And it really helped me feel like a stronger woman. Aviation is a man’s world so the magazine really gave me confidence.”

Still, doing appearances like the ones in Carbondale still take a little getting use to for Whithead, a small town native and self proclaimed country girl.

Recently, a man’s wife and daughter came to a signing.

“The father had to work that night and couldn’t make it, but his family really wanted to get a picture,” Whitehead said.

Interactions with people can be the most exciting, but confusing part of the job.

“When people want my autograph, it’s still pretty weird for me,” Whitehead said. “I sign flight logs everyday for my students, and they don’t care. They just want the endorsements they need.”

Glasson also believes that the long hours of traveling and work will pay off for her professionally. She too is also living out her dream through Playboy. Glasson plans on going back into real estate and start her own mortgage company after living the glamorous life for a while.

“It’s all been pretty amazing,” Glasson said. “It’s probably the best thing that is ever going to happen to me in my professional life.”