Just Over 18
by Blake Linton Wilfong -- The Wondersmith!

We have already considered evidence that Body Mass Index (BMIs) toward the lower end of the U.S. federal government's recommended range are at least as healthy as those in the middle or upper part--perhaps more so. And even the conservative NIH specifies the lowest ideal BMI to be 18.5. Thus there is no need to further justify the BMIs of the Playboy Playmates in the range of 18.5 to 18.9. Most doctors and scientists (not to mention Playboy readers) would readily agree that these women are in superb physical condition.

18.9 Janis Schmitt Feb 78
     Kymberly Herrin Mar 81
     Cynthia Brown May 95
     Angel Boris Jul 96
     Kimberly Spicer Jun 99
     Nicole Narain Jan 02
18.8 Linda Rhys Vaughn Apr 82
     Alana Soares Mar 83
     Susie Owens Mar 88
     Mirjam van Breeschooten Sep 89
     Jenny McCarthy Oct 93, Jun 94
     Donna Perry Nov 94
     Lisa Marie Scott Feb 95
     Lynn Thomas May 97
     Laura Lee Cover Oct 98
     Tishara Lee Cousino May 99
     Cara Wakelin Nov 99
18.7 Henriette Allais Mar 80
     Cynthia Brimhall Oct 85
     Tylyn John Mar 92
     Becky DelosSantos Apr 94
     Stacy Sanches Mar 95, Jun 96
     Victoria Alynette Fuller Jan 96
     Inga Drozdova Nov 97

18.6 Louann Fernald Jun 79
     Kelly Ann Tough Oct 81
     Lynda Wiesmeier Jul 82
     Kimberly Evenson Sep 84
     Laura Richmond Sep 88
     Kata Karkkainen Dec 88
     Corinna Harney Aug 91, Jun 92
     Angela Melini Jun 92
     Holly Witt Nov 95
     Gillian Bonner Apr 96
     Jodi Ann Paterson Oct 99
     Jennifer Walcott Aug 01
     Dalene Kurtis Sep 01
18.5 Rosanne Katon Sep 78
     Dorothy Mays Jul 79
     Heidi Sorenson Jul 81
     Marlene Janssen Nov 82
     Lonny Chin Jan 83
     Dona Speir Mar 84
     Karen Velez Dec 84, May 85
     Carol Ficatier Dec 85
     Anna Clark Apr 87
     Gwendolyn Hajek Sep 87
     Diana Lee May 88
     Cady Cantrell Apr 92
     Leisa Sheridan Jul 93
     Ulrika Ericsson Nov 96
     Daphnee Lynn Duplaix Jul 97 (pictured)
     Julia Schultz Feb 98
     Marliece Andrada Mar 98
     Crista Nicole May 01

We now proceed into more controversial territory: BMIs below the conventionally recommended minimum of 18.5. There is increasing scientific evidence that such BMIs may be even healthier than the higher ones we have examined. One of the most famous large-scale BMI studies, "Body Weight and Mortality Among Women", published in the September 14th, 1995 New England Journal of Medicine, followed 115,195 women nurses, ages 30-55, believed to be free of cardiovascular disease and cancer at the outset, from 1976 to 1992. When smokers were factored out, the least risk of mortality was found in the group whose BMIs were less than 19.0. Other studies have confirmed that when smokers and persons with preexisting illnesses are screened out, lower BMIs are found to be optimal.

Why? It takes tremendous determination and effort to voluntarily reach a BMI below 18.5, and only a small percentage of the general population has done so. The results of mortality studies at low BMIs are distorted by the poor longevity of smokers (whose habit results in artificially reduced BMIs), victims of preexisting illnesses that cause weight loss (e.g., cancer, AIDS), users of illegal drugs (e.g., amphetamines), and people suffering from eating disorders (which result in malnutrition). Screen these out, and the "perfect" BMI for maximum longevity is probably less than 18.5--perhaps much less.

Fortunately, Playboy's selection process offers effective screening; women in poor health tend to be neither attractive enough to be gatefold girls, nor energetic enough to fit the successful, vivacious Playmate profile. So Playmates with BMIs in the range 18.0 to 18.4 not only look terrific, but really are extraordinarily healthy. Let's see who they are.

18.4 Lee Ann Michelle Feb 79
     Denise McConnell Mar 79
     Debbie Boostrom Aug 81
     Shannon Tweed Nov 81, Jun 82
     Pia Reyes Nov 88
     Tanya Beyer Feb 92
     Ashley Allen Aug 92
     Kona Carmack Feb 96
     Carrie Stevens Jun 97
     Brooke Richards Dec 99
18.3 Vicki Witt Aug 78
     Monique St. Pierre Nov 78, Jun 79
     Liz Glazowski Apr 80
     Pamela Annette Saunders Nov 85
     Sharry Konopski Aug 87
     Jennifer Jackson Apr 89
     Julie Ann Clarke Mar 91
     Anna-Marie Goddard Jan 94
     Elan Carter Jun 94
     Donna D'Errico Sep 95
     Vanessa Gleason Sep 98
     Jaime Bergman Jan 99
     Brande Nicole Roderick Apr 2000
18.2 Ashley Cox Dec 77
     Debra Jensen Jan 78
     Janet Quist Dec 78
     Dorothy Stratten Aug 79, Jun 80
     Vicki Lynn Lasseter Feb 81
     Lorraine Michaels Apr 81
     Susan M. Smith Sep 81
     Liz Stewart Jul 84
     Donna Edmondson Nov 86, Jun 87
     Kymberly Paige May 87
     Petra Verkaik Dec 89
     Melissa Evridge Aug 90
     Carrie Jean Yazel May 91
     Karin Taylor Jun 96
     Jennifer Allan Sep 96
     Kimber West Feb 97
     Jennifer Rovero Jul 99
     Lindsey Vuolo Nov 01
18.1 Julia Lyndon Aug 77
     Victoria Cooke Aug 80
     Lourdes Estores Jun 82
     Renee Tenison Nov 89, Jun 90
     Lorraine Olivia Nov 90
     Wendy Kaye Jul 91
     Arlene Baxter Dec 93
     Traci Adell Jul 94
     Deanna Brooks May 98
     Shannon Stewart Jun 00
18.0 Michelle Drake May 79
     Lisa Welch Sep 80
     Connie Brighton Sep 82
     Christina Ferguson Apr 83
     Susie Scott May 83
     Ruth Guerri Jul 83
     Tracy Vaccaro Oct 83
     Lesa Ann Pedriana Apr 84
     Kathy Shower May 85, Jun 86
     Julie McCullough Feb 86
     Carmen Berg Jul 87
     Kimberley Conrad Jan 88, Jun 89
     Erika Eleniak Jul 89
     Karen Foster Oct 89
     Peggy McIntaggart Jan 90
     Kerri Kendall Sep 90
     Stacy Leigh Arthur Jan 91
     Morena Corwin Sep 92
     Carrie Westcott Sep 93
     Shae Marks May 94
     Lisa Dergan Jul 98
     Tiffany Taylor Nov 98 (pictured)
     Suzanne Stokes Feb 00

Summing up, if there can be said to be a "typical" BMI for Playboy Playmates, it is "just over 18". The models who weigh in at this level project a well-rounded, wholesome, healthy, sexy image that all men should find desirable and all of us--men and women alike--should strive to emulate. Want to see more of these women who strike the perfect balance between curvaceous femininity and streamlined longevity? You'll find bevies of them in Playboy magazines, newsstand specials, DVDs, and VHS videos!

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